Sea & Strand
A rare Strand double lot—1 of 9—enters the Manhattan Beach market after 25 years as an oceanfront family haven
Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of Keller Williams
Twenty-five years ago, a local businessman went hunting for the perfect oceanfront home. About two years into his search, he walked into a handsome, luxe family compound on the beach. Brick, shingled and sprawling, it was located on the finest stretch of the Manhattan Beach Strand. His response was instant: “I’ll take it.”
From his search for the ideal beachfront haven comes this sage piece of real estate advice: “If you don’t absolutely love it when you walk in the front door—leave” he says. “Don’t compromise. You’re going to be there for too much of your life.”
He and his family, for example, spent several blissful decades immersed in the peace and pleasure of this rare oceanfront home of more than 6,000 square feet and set atop an elevated bluff for superior ocean views. Designed with a private interior courtyard, the home spans eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms, some of them located in a standalone apartment.
The location—a double corner lot on the Strand where 28th Street meets the ocean—is a particularly pleasant residential swath a few steps from a tidy green park (Bruce’s Beach) and an oceanfront leisure area where friendly locals congregate to exercise and play with their children. When one feels like stepping out, a picturesque 10-minute stroll along the Strand brings you to the Manhattan Beach Pier and the upmarket restaurants and boutiques of downtown.
The rarity of the property lies in its expansive size, highly desired location and potential to shape it into whatever one wishes—a real-estate hat trick that’s elusive on one of the world’s most desired stretch of oceanfront. Its double-lot status presents a lot of possibilities: re-build or revamp the existing home (one could build their dream dwelling up to 11,000 square feet) or split the property, which would allow for two custom homes of around 5,500 square feet each. Sell both? Keep one—or two? (Note: The owner is flexible with developers, understanding their needs and willing to work with them.)
“This lot is very dynamic,” notes real estate agent America Michael. “If one wants to have a compound, or a pool, they can do it. This property has so much possibility, and you don’t have to compromise with what you want it to be.”
However one wishes to remake the home, its owner will also possess of a particularly heavenly section of the Strand. “This is one of nine double lots on the Strand,” points out Michael. “That’s rare enough as it is, but to be on a corner lot is amazing, particularly when it comes to the views.” Speaking of, the property serves up exhilarating sights from Malibu to Catalina. Move to a different part of the property, or to an upper floor, and the perspectives changes—but an inspiring panorama of blue water and sunny skies is always in one’s sights. “It’s one of the best views of the beach, period,” says Michael.
Making ownership more enticing is the home’s unique capacity for 11 parking spots. Those familiar with the Strand know that parking is a sparse commodity in the area, making this feature a boon for auto aficionados and those who love to throw a good party, and often. “It has so much parking,” the owner points out. “You just can’t find that at the beach.” Given the unique scope of the lot, parking can also be expanded to accommodate a semi-subterranean parking structure for up to 18 cars.
“This place is very special,” says the owner’s son, whose daily ritual of watching the sunset with his family is among his favorite memories of the place. “You’re up on a bluff so it puts you about 20 feet above the Strand. You don’t see anyone walking on the Strand; you don’t hear any noise. You just get all the pleasure.” Times two.
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