News

Awards ceremony honors two of the Beach Cities real estate community’s “founding fathers” in tribute to Jack Gillespie and Arnold Goldstein.

A Lifetime of Achievement: Jack Gillespie & Arnold Goldstein

Jack Gillespie | South Bay Brokers

Arnold Goldstein | Shorewood Realtors

The Beach Cities real estate community came together to celebrate and honor Jack Gillespie and Arnold Goldstein with “Lifetime Achievement Awards in Beach Cities Real Estate” on January 13th at the Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach in recognition of their positive influence on the careers and lives of so many. Their passion and foresight provided a platform and roadmap for many others to follow and succeed.

Arnold Goldstein established Shorewood Realtors in 1969, bringing aboard Larry Wolf as a business partner in 1979. Shorewood grew to be the largest independent brokerage in the South Bay, reaching 450 agents and $2 billion in sales at its peak in 2006.

“The evening brought my wildest dreams to reality seeing so many of our people that I have not seen for a long time,” Goldstein said. “I wish my partner Larry Wolf was there so we could share the evening together.”

Jack Gillespie, along with partners Jim VanZanten and Annette Graw formed South Bay Brokers in 1985. Gillespie and VanZanten ran an extremely successful company for 30 years. “To receive recognition from your peers is the ultimate honor,” Gillespie said. “In a competitive business it is great to know you are respected by your competitors.”

Gillespie and Goldstein spawned hundreds of real estate careers over the years, and were affectionately referred to as “founding fathers,” according to Master of Ceremonies Chris Plank.

Colleagues shared funny and heartwarming stories. A recurrent theme expressed by many speakers was the sense of family felt within both companies, a remarkable culture given the competitive nature of the business.

Although South Bay Brokers was sold in 2015 and Shorewood was sold in 2014, the legacies created by Gillespie and Goldstein live on today. In a packed room filled with the top agents from virtually every brokerage in the area, camaraderie was the tone of the evening as both men received standing ovations from the crowd and were thanked for their mentorship, guidance, leadership and friendship.

“It’s a night I’ll never forget,” Goldstein said. Arnold reflected after the event. “We had love and that love was reignited again at the award ceremony. It was a reminder of how much I care about them and miss seeing them daily. They were so much a part of my world. I miss them all over again.”

 

Images By: Kieron McKay (DIGS)

Hotel Figueroa, top-rated hotel in DTLA featured in South Bay DIGS Magazine

Hotel Figueroa Gets A Renaissance In DTLA

Since opening in 1926 as an exclusive women’s hostelry by the YWCA, Hotel Figueroa has been at the forefront of social progress.

Throughout the years, it has been a home for intellectuals and artists—it exhibited “Women Painters of the West” in its lobby in 1933—and provided a platform for activists to give speeches denouncing racism and sexism, among other issues, especially in the 1950s. Today, the legacy lives on in the Hotel Figueroa’s current form. 

Located in the South Park district of Downtown Los Angeles, near the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and The Broad, the hotel occupies a 13-story historic building originally designed by Stanton, Reed, and Hibbard.

In February 2018, it revealed its new face after a two-year renovation led by Rockefeller Kempel Partners Architects and boutique interior design agency Studio Collective.

Inspired by Hotel Figueroa’s original Spanish Colonial splendor and its women-centric, artistic roots, the results of the restoration begin in a grand lobby under high ceilings, where an art gallery features works by female artists.

Welcoming guests is an Alison Van Pelt painting of the hotel’s first managing director Maude Bouldin on a motorcycle. The art program celebrating L.A.’s female artists, including Whitney Hubbs, Sarah Awad, and Jesse Mockrin, is on view throughout the public and private areas.

Curvy chairs and booths invite guests to sit and relax in spaces where earthy colors are complemented with rich textiles such as velvet and suede. In the 286 rooms and suites, hardwood floors, wood beams, custom millwork, and plaster walls accompany glass, leather, and metal, while custom tiles reference Spanish architecture and colorful wallpaper reflects the city’s cultural spirit.

 

Thanks to a partnership with the popular L.A. institution The Last Bookstore, each one of the 23 Artist Series suites and 33 Writer Series suites comprises a collection of books by an L.A.-based author or artist. In all of the Hotel Figueroa’s carefully considered spaces, Studio Collective focused on balancing nods to the past and allusions to the contemporary creative local scene.

Renowned chef Casey Lane is at the helm of Hotel Figueroa’s two restaurants: Breva, a Basque brasserie situated inside the lobby; and Veranda, an alfresco dining venue with Mediterranean influences. Dushan Zaric—a pioneer in craft bartending—leads the libations programs at Bar Figueroa, Bar Alta and Rick’s.

In addition to the 10,000-square-feet event space, Hotel Figueroa has a surprising coffin-shaped pool on the ground floor, surrounded by fig trees, cactus, and eucalyptus, creating an oasis in the middle of the city. Honoring women and the arts, Hotel Figueroa is an ode to the buzzing cultural soul of Downtown L.A. hotelfigueroa.com

 

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY HOTEL FIGUEROA

The Butterfly House

Both convinced of the importance to connect with nature, co-owners of Joe McGuire Design, Joe McGuire (who founded the Aspen-based studio in 2005) and Matthew Tenzin (a former Buddhist monk), strive to design “spaces that truly ‘feel good’ and that support personal growth and well-being on all levels.” One sees this philosophy translated through “a balance of light, color, pattern, texture, function, and flow,” according to the duo.

For two years, McGuire and Tenzin put their vision at the service of this home, which is located only two blocks from downtown Aspen yet still feels peaceful. Built on a small, corner lot, the structure designed by Z Group Architects consists of a central block flanked by two wings, alluding to the shape of a butterfly.

Inspired by the natural surroundings, the exterior of the house is made of cedar, limestone and glass. Core to the project was creating a seamless indoor-outdoor connection and reflecting a sense of openness in all areas. Inside, the mountain vistas are truly part of the decor and muted, natural tones prevail.

In the airy, double-height living room—which was elevated by Z Group Architects to maximize the views—McGuire and Tenzin carefully chose each of the pieces of furniture to cultivate a sense of harmony. The white sectional sofa by Viesso sits on a custom pale blue Tibetan rug in silk and wool, complementing a swivel chair, a marble and gilded coffee table (both by HD Buttercup), and a Swoon lounge chair by Space Copenhagen. A chandelier by Lambert & Fils adds drama.

A continuation of the living room aesthetic, the dining area features a BenchCraft Custom Woodwork table and sohoConcept chairs (all in white oak), as well as an adjustable-height pendant light fixture by Fort Standard. Furnished with LAXseries stools, the custom European Poggenpohl kitchen was designed by Joe McGuire Design in collaboration with Studio 2b. In the main living space, which mostly follows a clear color scheme, exposed steel beams offer an industrial touch while providing visual contrast.

A glass bridge leads to the bedrooms situated on each wing. In the master suite—surrounded by big windows offering a panorama of trees and mountainous terrain—the cedar-paneled ceiling and the Mesa Verde rug by Masland add warmth while HW Home cushions, a Bensen U Turn club chair and a stunning piece of art bring pops of colors.

“For many of us, relaxed, unscheduled time with friends and loved ones seems increasingly hard to find in the rush of modern life,” say  McGuire and Tenzin. 

“And when we do find those cherished moments of shared connection or restorative time alone, it makes such a difference when our living spaces are thoughtfully and intuitively designed to uplift and enhance the quality of our moment-by-moment experience. Through decades of honing our craft and attuning ourselves to the subtleties of spaces, we have found that when interiors are not just beautiful, but infused with a sense of serenity, comfort, artfulness, and soul, they naturally draw us into the moment together—and make such moments easier to savor, enjoy and remember.”

McGuire and Tenzin’s subtle approach where balance is key is translated into this luxury modern and restful home. joemcguiredesign.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

Alison Berger creates home art

Alison Berger’s Timeless Objects For Home Art

 “Glass captures the process of remembering and, as the light fades, forgetting,” says artist and designer Alison Berger. “Light is the medium, glass is the material, and memory—elusive as it is—is my theme.”

After working as an architect for many years, in 1994, the Texas-born artist launched Alison Berger Glassworks in Los Angeles, where she is still based today. Using age-old glass blowing techniques, she creates timeless light fixtures, objects, furnishings and large-scale sculptures. 

“My process is intense, physical, and time-consuming,” Berger confesses. “Though I love to experiment and push boundaries, my tools and techniques are essentially the same ones used thousands of years ago. For me, there is no other way.

The history of glassblowing, that sense of the true touch of the hand, is the heart and soul of every object I make.” Quick to acknowledge her talent are international brands, especially in the fashion world. Quick to acknowledge her talent are international brands, especially in the fashion world.

Berger was the first American artist to design a line of accessories for Hermès and was commissioned—along with other artists—by Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garçons, to create an architectural installation as a backdrop for her glass objects at the company’s showroom in Tokyo.

Delicate and full of energy, Berger’s work is also revered by the art world. Some of her pieces are part of the permanent collection of the Corning Museum of Glass. Others have been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. 

“My work is based on the visual vocabulary that societies create to manifest their beliefs, desires and rituals,” explains Berger of objects including Victorian fly traps, fireflies, apothecary jars and devices of measure that have inspired this work.

“I am drawn to these pieces because they are simultaneously enigmatic and revealing in what they say about the cultures that invented and utilized them. Rendered in glass, altered in scale and stripped of decoration, their essence is exposed. These pieces represent a reinterpretation that makes them feel contemporary and Old World.

Like memory itself, these glass objects, sculptures, and furnishings transcend time and place.” Elegant and subtle, all Berger’s creations achieve to capture the magic of light in a mysterious way. “Each one of my objects is unique, yet as a set they feel related, like brothers and sisters,” she says. alisonbergerglassworks.com 

 PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF ALISON BERGER (CHANDELIER), JOSHUA WHITE (TABLE AND BENCH), AND MONICA MAY (PORTRAIT)

Harmonious Living with Nature in Malibu with Alexander Design

Although Vanessa Alexander started her career in the entertainment industry—working in the field for several years—it is not by chance that she took the leap into design. Alexander honed her great taste and creativity from a young age: Her mother was a passionate art collector and the designer’s international experiences gave her the opportunity to discover varied aesthetics.

From the start, Alexander was motivated to shape the perfect home for her family. Now at the helm of her Los Angeles-based design studio, she and her team create residential, hospitality and retail projects for clients all over the country.

“We want to foster a lifestyle and tell the story of an individual, family or business through a comprehensive design that begins from the moment you step onto the property,” she says. “Our style employs a blend of contemporary, custom/bespoke and vintage pieces from a variety of periods, creating a layered feel that is rich in texture and influence yet functional and elegantly effortless.” When designing a new project, Alexander never forgets the first step:

“We draw influence first and foremost from context and surroundings.”

Then she identifies a specific, practical lifestyle that her design must honor. “We are,” she says, “inspired by the way that our clients live or want to live, by light—both natural and curated—and by the rhythm and flow of space.”

Alexander, her husband and their three sons previously resided in a home located on this 2.6-acre plot in the exclusive enclave of Malibu’s Serra Retreat. The family lived in the original structure—a ranch house—during the three-year period of design and permitting before the new structure, created by architect Michael Kovac, took shape. “Living so close really helped understanding the light and land, and was a huge advantage in the design process,” Alexander explains.

Made of two boxes linked by a glass structure, the new, six-bedroom house offers a seamless connection between interior and exterior, made possible through the installation of large glass doors in the living room that fully open up to the garden. Outside, the pool and its cabana, the fire pit and outdoor kitchen with pizza oven allow the family to enjoy an alfresco lifestyle.

Inside, everything was designed with the family in mind. An L-shaped sofa provides comfort; soft colors and textures (sheepskin rugs, linen curtains) add warmth; and metal windows frame beautiful views. Upstairs, the couple’s wing is separated from the kids’ rooms by a catwalk. Leading to a Zen garden with an outdoor shower, the master suite comprises a bedroom, a dressing area and a bath, with each of these areas divided by curtain walls.

Airy and welcoming, peaceful and contemporary, this project reflects Alexander’s vision, and puts lifestyle first. alexanderdb.com

Legendary Photographer Sally Mann

While the world embraces a retouched reality, there’s Sally Mann to remind us all of just how striking unaltered can be. In the paean of contemporary artists, the photographer’s work has carved out a space where she and she alone belongs—somewhere between transgressive and transcendent, the lack of contrivance in her pictures the most beautiful things about them.

 

This month, the J. Paul Getty Museum is giving the legendary lenswoman her due with an exhibit opening Nov. 16. Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings marks her first major international survey and will invite viewers to look through her incredibly evocative lens and see why her images have garnered acclaim—and courted controversy—from all corners of the globe.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), The Turn, 2005, gelatin silver print, Private collection

Organized by the National Gallery of Art and the Peabody Essex Museum, the show is comprised of more than 110 photographs—many exhibited for the first time—that together explore Mann’s relationship to what is familiar and fertile territory for the photographer, the American South, in all its pathos and paradoxes, beauty and sanctuary. Oftentimes with an uncomfortable intimacy, as if one is disturbing something they shouldn’t.

Born and still residing in Virginia, and represented by the Gagosian Gallery, New York, Mann brings a raw depth of perspective to her native land, a subject on which she elaborated with the prose of a poet in her stunning memoir Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs, a finalist for the National Book Award. Split into five sections, divided to explore varying themes from family and land to race and identity, A Thousand Crossings brings the best of Mann to bear—her empathy and elusiveness, brooding and being, and sheer force of one human spirit to both inspire and unsettle. Hers is a vision not easily described. But this show does much to capture the artist as it does the brilliance of her art. getty.edu

(top) R. Kim Rushing, American, born 1961, Sally with camera, about 1998, Gelatin silver paint, Image: 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in.), Collection of Sally Mann, EX.2018.9.109. (bottom) Sally Mann, American, born 1951, The Turn, 2005, Gelatin silver print, Image: 94.9 x 117.2 cm (37 3/8 x 46 1/8 in.) Private collection Image © Sally Mann, EX.2018.9.81.

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM

DOMO party image

DOMO Gives Project Lends a Hand

Armed with 35-plus years of combined experience in the real estate field, The DOMO Group continues to make its mark on the South Bay by inventing new and innovative initiatives to elevate its team of professionals in the community. Through the forward-thinking vision of founders Greg Geilman and Rob Freedman, the firm not only prides itself on offering world-class customer service to clients seeking to buy, sell, build and invest in real estate, but also with a passion for supporting the community via the DOMO Gives Project.

The goal? To help local residents with anonymous, one-time urgent needs, from victims of domestic violence and who need a hotel room for a week to a family who loses its main income producer and needs basic groceries or medical bills and more.

 

“When we were thinking of a name for our communitywide effort, we wanted to come up with something that was memorable, clean, easy to pronounce and could withstand the test of time,” says Greg Geilman, managing partner and listing specialist of The Domo Group, RE/MAX Estate Properties. “DOMO means ‘Thank You’ in Japanese, and it tells the story about our group’s culture and what we believe in: being extra helpful, accountable and resourceful, and giving thanks.”

Adding value to everything they touch is paramount to The DOMO Group, from helping individuals find the home of their dreams and handing them a set of keys to their random acts of kindness via DOMO Gives. “We celebrating our best year ever as a team,” says Rob Freedman, the firm’s senior partner and listing specialist. “So far this year, we have helped 68 families with their real estate needs.

 

We are proud to be the No. 1 team in the Beach Cities (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach) for RE/MAX Estate Properties. We have aggressive goals for the future and are always looking for new and innovative ways to help more people in the South Bay.”

As far as touching people’s lives in a deeper and more meaningful way, the DOMO Gives Project recently helped a local mom whose children were sleeping on the floor. “One of her friends submitted an anonymous need request to us and we responded,” says Geilman. “We sent her an unmarked check for $450 to go buy her family a bunkbed…her friend said she was thrilled.”

A Tastemaker’s Touch

Jeff Andrews has a long list of celebrity clients—Kaley Cuoco, Ryan Seacrest, Michael C. Hall, and Kourtney Kardashian, among them—but always focuses on comfort and functionality, in addition to beauty, in order to create a sense of home, regardless of the resident.

Balanced and harmonious interiors are at the heart of Andrews’s projects. His approach supports bold concepts through an unexpected mix of design elements, materials, and textures, all of which contribute to a feeling of warmth and extravagance.

One sees an influence from architects Frank Gehry and Paul Williams, and interior designers Axel Vervoordt and Billy Haines in Andrews’s work, but he gives all of his attention to his clients, who are his main source of inspiration. “My style, and therefore my work, is constantly evolving,” says Andrews. “I’m inspired by each client and their family, as well as their lifestyle and how they envision living in their home. I’m also guided by each unique project.

The architecture, the setting and location, the surrounding natural elements—they all come into play when I’m designing.” In the community of Hidden Hills, for example, the interior designer imagined a six-bedroom home for the NBA star Tyson Chandler—who settled in the Los Angeles area after many prior moves—and his family.

All the spaces in the home feature a sophisticated mix of vintage and modern pieces, combined with diverse textures and patterns. The atmosphere is both glamorous and pleasant; soft tones, metallic touches, and the wooden floor all contribute to the chic vibe.

When Andrews was trusted to reinvent a pied-à-terre with views over Beverly Hills for another of his clients, he imagined the whole space as airy and open with a “funky” base, according to the designer. With warmth, modernity and rustic the keywords, Andrews unified the penthouse with oak and walnut furnishings, including a floating console in the entry foyer, as well as the kitchen cabinets.

In the magical area of Lake Tahoe, surrounded by mountains, Andrews also designed a weekend and holiday house inspired by the exceptional natural environment. He used natural fibers and organic materials, including its double-height living room—bathed in natural light, thanks to big windows—which opens to the dining room. In the main living space, the fireplace adds the perfect element of coziness with a rustic look.

Pieces of furniture and accessories from McEwen Lighting, Lucca Antiques, Jean de Merry, Mimi London, Gregorius Pineo, Scott Group Custom Carpets, Urban Electric Co. and Exquisite Surfaces—among others—adorn this refuge for a family of five, who lives in San Francisco.

In addition to his interior design projects, Andrews has a furniture line with A. Rudin, a wallpaper line with Astek Wallcovering, a wood surfaces collaboration with Jamie Beckwith and a rug collection with Mansour Modern. What’s more, Andrews’s first and forthcoming new book, The New Glamour: Interiors with Star Quality (Rizzoli) is a sumptuous invitation into his creative and visual world—one that is truly beautiful.

PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF GREY CRAWFORD

DIGS Real Estate Market Influencer: Hugh Evans III

In 2009, Hugh Evans III teamed up with four partners to form Partners Trust. 

The group—Evans, Richard Stearns, Nick Segal, F. Ron Smith and David Findley—was looking to create an alternative to the existing agency model, where agents worked independently under a company banner.

“We wanted to create a new culture that was more of a team,” says Evans. “We realized that the group together could probably do more business than a bunch of agents competing with each other.”

Real Estate Market Influencer: Hugh Evans III


By the Number

Evans has over $2.5 billion in career sales

Listed

He’s listed among the most recent of Hollywood’s Top 25 Real Estate Agents (Hollywood Reporter) and Showbiz Real Estate Elite (Variety)

On Record

Evans set the price-per-square-foot record in Pacific Palisades with the $14 million sale of a six-bedroom California Modernist home at 748 Amalfi Drive


THE QUICKEST WAY TO GET SOMEBODY’S TRUST IS TO TELL THEM WHY THEY SHOULDN’T BUY SOMETHING. IF I DON’T BELIEVE IN IT AND I THINK THERE’S A PROBLEM WITH IT, I’M GOING TO TELL THEM.

They invited others aboard who shared this idea and, nearly 10 years and about 250 agents later, Partners Trust merged with Pacific Union International, which is currently the nation’s fifth largest brokerage by sales volume.

But it was many years earlier that Evans’ journey in real estate began, hammer in hand. After attending college in Colorado, the Santa Monica native worked as a general laborer in construction.

“I was doing grunt work,” he says. “I was the guy who runs around doing stuff that nobody else wants to do. It was fun. I really enjoyed that time.”

It wasn’t just after-work beers with the crew that was responsible for this fondness, but the interest in building it inspired, which would become central to Evans’ well-rounded real estate repertoire.

Real Estate Market Influencer: Hugh Evans III _listing

Agent, mortgage broker and developer. Agency founder.

“It gives me a lot of confidence knowing how to talk to clients from the beginning to the end of the transaction,” he explains.

“I can discuss the finance side. I can talk about the construction of the property. I can talk about it from an investment standpoint—I understand the value and emotion they are going through investing a tremendous amount of their own money, because I’ve been there myself.”

It’s this acumen, crossed with Evans’ approachable, consultative nature that has earned the trust of a stable of particularly well-heeled clientele.

“The quickest way to get somebody’s trust is to tell them why they shouldn’t buy something,” he advises. “If I don’t believe in it and I think there’s a problem with it, I’m going to tell them.”

Partners’ merge with Pacific Union was a victory for Evans and his team—“What we set out to do, we did,” he says—and the group is, as entrepreneurs are, busy creating new things. Co-founder Richard Stearns, for instance, recently profiled in this column (August 3, 2018 issue), has started Stearns + Partners, a next-gen real estate team at Pacific Union.

We wanted to create a new culture that was more of a team

In addition to selling homes, Evans is also returning to a former and not forgotten love.

“I’m back into building again,” he says, with a happy kick in his placid, warm voice. It’s a pursuit he and his business partner Chris Liebes engaged in for many years, creating standout architectural homes on epic sites in Brentwood and Pacific Palisades.

“We’re taking that model and starting again.” For Evans, the payoff is the process of building something exquisite and unique, then, similar to his work as a real estate agent, connecting it with its rightful owner. “It’s so satisfying to see someone who gets it,” the agent says of the match-making moment.

“They know it. It takes them five seconds.” It’s also not uncommon for him to bump into someone whose home he built 20 years ago, and find out that they’ve never moved, so right was the place.

He teases a specific project that he promises “is going to be amazing,” before pulling back: “But we’ll just leave that there.”

Heal the Bay Keeps South Bay Shores Sparkling

Beach Clean

Heal the Bay Keeps South Bay Shores Sparkling

In 1985, Dorothy Green, Howard Bennett and a group of L.A. residents banded together to stem the pollution in the Santa Monica Bay. Just a year later, the group, named Heal the Bay, secured a win when Hyperion Treatment Plant stopped dumping partially treated sewage into the bay due to their efforts.

“It’s rare for a South Bay site to be on our Beach Bummer List, which ranks the 10 most polluted beaches in the state each year”

The group lives on today and the Santa Monica Bay, stretching from Malibu’s Point Dume to Palos Verdes, remains their prime focus—meaning that South Bay residents owe much to their work, which range from beach clean-ups and marine education to ocean advocacy and the completion of their highly useful Beach Report Card, which grades local beaches weekly from A to F.

“Heal the Bay has a large group of volunteers and board members that live from Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach,” says Heal the Bay board member and Beach Cities resident Paul Stimpfl. “While our aquarium is in Santa Monica, the collecting of food for the animals that we study comes right off the Palos Verdes coast.”

Ask someone why they live in the South Bay, and chances are it has something to do with the beach: surfing, walking the water’s edge, catching the sunset—priceless activities that have the power to shift one’s mood in a moment.

Good news: “The South Bay historically has some of the best water quality in Los Angeles County,” reports Heal the Bay’s Communications Director Matthew King. “It’s rare for a South Bay site to be on our Beach Bummer List, which ranks the 10 most polluted beaches in the state each year.”

Even better, four South Bay beaches made the organization’s most recent Honor Roll, meaning they scored perfect A+ grades throughout the year: Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, Portuguese Bend Cove, Bluff Cove and El Segundo Beach.

Perhaps you’ve seen, or been among the folks who walk the sand, buckets in hand, cleaning trash and debris from the beach. If you have a notion to join them—last year volunteers collectively pulled 800,00 pounds of trash from California’s coast and waterways in just three hours—consider signing up for Coastal Cleaning Day 2018. Happening Sept. 15, it is the world’s largest volunteer day on behalf of the environment, and a powerful way to invest in our most treasured local resource. healthebay.org

Photograph courtesy of Heal the Bay

The Case Oceanview Residences is Taking Shape in Malibu

Last year, designer and builder Scott Gillen purchased one of the last remaining undeveloped parcels in Malibu for $50 million in what has been recorded as the largest land deal in the city’s history.

Now he’s in the midst of creating his latest project on the site: The Case, consisting of a guard-gated community featuring five single-story, Mid-century modern residences situated atop a bluff offering panoramic coastal and mountain vistas.

“When the project was listed for sale, I walked the site and the concept just came to me, and I knew that I was going to buy it. The views from the property are extraordinary, and the project was approved for one-story homes, which I love.”

Designer and builder Scott Gillen’s latest project is The Case, featuring five Mid-century modern homes atop a bluff in the guard-gated Malibu Colony community that are slated for completion in mid-2020.

“I followed the project for many years as it wound its way through a very long entitlement process,” says Gillen, president of UNVARNISHED, who has designed and built 23 houses to date and is for the first time collaborating with an architect, Richard Landry, on the development.

“When the project was listed for sale, I walked the site and the concept just came to me, and I knew that I was going to buy it. The views from the property are extraordinary, and the project was approved for one-story homes, which I love.”

Set on 24 acres at 24108 Pacific Coast Highway in the heart of Malibu—just minutes from the Cross Creek, Malibu Village, Malibu Creek Plaza and Malibu Colony Plaza shopping centers, as well as Nobu Malibu and Little Beach House restaurants—the community is set for completion in mid-2020.

Prices start at $40 million for the estates, which will range from 10,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet and feature lots as large as 5.5 acres. Expect residences reminiscent of the Case Study Houses built primarily in Southern California in the 1950s and ’60s by architects such as Richard Neutra, A. Quincy Jones and Charles and Ray Eames (hence, “The Case”), but with updated touches such as zinc roofs and large open spaces ideal for family living.

“I have lived in Malibu for the past 30 years, and this was truly the last premier undeveloped site in the heart of the city,” says Gillen. “As for the location, it’s an unsurpassed opportunity to create what I like to call an architectural mountain.”

The Case

24108 pacific coast highway
424.346.2616 | scottgillen.com

Photographs: courtesy of UNVARNISHED

Pacific Union International Brings its Commercial Brokerage to L.A.

Market Masters Pacific Union International brings its Commercial Brokerage to L.A.

Pacific Union Commercial Brokerage was established in 1974 as a complement to the residential side of business. More than 40 years later—and on the heels of merger with local powerhouse brokerages John Aaroe Group, Partners Trust and Gibson International—the firm has officially launched its Commercial Brokerage in L.A. with a team of 40 professionals headed by President Stephen Pugh, plus the ability to tap in to 50 offices and 1,700 real estate agents statewide. Here, the new entity’s operations manager, Robert Fitzgerald, discusses the move, along with his take on L.A.’s up-and-coming commercial areas and more.

Why is it the right time to bring a new commercial brokerage to L.A.? The commercial real estate market is booming. The region is gaining traction in a variety of areas, from business expansion and low office-vacancy rates to an increase in land sales and strong activity at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Where is the new brokerage located, and why did you choose this area? We’re centrally headquartered in Beverly Hills. The real market advantage for Pacific Union is that we have 22 offices spread out over L.A., and with a commercial team member in every office; Pacific Union Commercial is very neighborhood-centric. We’re able to have a presence in well-established areas such as Venice and Pasadena and in up-and-coming areas such as Highland Park, Baldwin Hills and View Park.

What is the mission of the new brokerage? We have a unique opportunity to leverage the largest independent real estate brokerage in California to help advise and facilitate commercial sales, acquisitions and leasing services, as well as tenant and landlord representation, to our clients’ advantage. We want to provide a value-added service for our buyers and developers; a world-class platform to showcase our sellers’ properties; and expert local deal knowledge in all transactions.

What types of services will you offer? The brokerage will focus on investment sales and leasing, with an emphasis on commercial land development, and apartment and commercial sales. We can provide a property or portfolio analysis that focuses on increasing cash flow and value appreciation. Then we can advise on ways to enhance the value of the assets and provide other investment opportunities.

Tell me a little bit about the team. With my background in hospitality and mixed-use development, I will be point of contact for all commercial agents and staff in the region, and also will direct brand development and marketing. Our executive vice presidents and regional directors include Tim Byrne, an L.A. native who comes from the real estate pension fund advisory field, and Dario Svilder, an expert in the construction and real estate business.

What types of clients are you targeting? Private and institutional clients and developers who are looking for new, ground-up construction opportunities for apartments, mixed-use and hospitality-related uses. We’re looking for investors who are seeking advice on how to increase their property value in this quickly evolving market. With the influx of Silicon Valley tech companies and the ever-expanding entertainment industry seeking new commercial space, we can advise on how to monetize these new opportunities. We also specialize in 1031 transactions, helping those investors to complete the up-leg of their transaction for stabilized, tax-deferred investment properties.

What types of properties will you handle? We are a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and have strong representation in all commercial property types, including multifamily, office, retail, industrial, land and development investments. We specialize in development opportunities and apartment and commercial properties.

What are some of your current top listings? We have 679 N. Spring St. in Chinatown, which offers 5,700 square feet and is a great land opportunity for mixed-use or hotel development [price undisclosed], as well as an 11-unit Beverly Hills offering for $7.775 million. There’s also 6345 Primrose Ave. (10 units in Hollywood Dell for $4.5 million); 409 & 512 S. Rampart Blvd. (77 low-income housing units for $7.35 million); 8301 Santa Monica Blvd. (a three-tenant retail development/redevelopment site for $13 million); 130-6-1316 S. Glendale Ave. (37, 486 square feet of land zoned C3 for $5.5 million); 7038 Sunset Blvd. (33,520 square feet of land zoned C4 for $20.8 million); and 6908 Knowlton Ave. in Westchester (18 newly constructed units for $11 million).

What’s your take on L.A.’s commercial real estate market right now? The commercial real estate market is really moving, and we anticipate this will continue for the foreseeable future. The hottest commercial development areas right now are Atwater Village, the Frogtown arts district, Highland Park, Chinatown, Boyle Heights, Silicon Beach (which recently welcomed Snapchat) and Playa Vista (where Google recently landed).

What does the new commercial brokerage entity mean for Pacific Union International and L.A.? Expanding the Pacific Union Commercial Brokerage means that we can further serve our clients, and the larger L.A. community, by leveraging the company’s vast residential network to bring our clients’ largest investments—their homes and their commercial assets—under one roof supported by the strong pillars of teamwork, trust and integrity.

Photograph: courtesy of Anthony Barcelo

Load More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 9