Manhattan Beach

resort-style home near downtown Manhattan Beach—1215 Fisher Avenue

Manhattan Beach Resort Style Home

A coveted location, great design and timeless sensibility come together in a gorgeous, resort-style home near downtown Manhattan Beach—1215 Fisher Avenue, touting unobstructed views to rival the Strand and prime proximity. Just minutes from sand and sea, the luxurious dwelling is ideally situated; close to the many conveniences and attractions of downtown.

The home’s incredible location—a melding of ease and scenery—lends itself to the beach resort lifestyle amid a striking surround. Unimpeded ocean vistas are captured from this rare spot, which is on the hill and has 85 feet of the top floor facing west landscapes. Stealing time with the perfect sunset is the daily norm here, where it is a scenic feast for the eyes as far south as Miraleste and panning northward to the Santa Monica Mountains and beyond.

Realtors Kerry Dawson and John Chuka hand-selected everything from the neighborhood down to each luxury detail for a custom dream home. The residence is positioned in the beloved American Martyrs neighborhood, making walks to American Martyrs Church & School and Pacific Elementary School a breeze. Unique to a locale this close to downtown is its abundant peace and quiet.

Given the home’s aforementioned easy access to local hot spots, but without the noisy foot or car traffic of other downtown locations, it avails itself as a choice market opportunity, made more so by the Greenbelt; just outside this home’s door, it lends itself to leisurely walks with dogs or vigorous afternoon jogs.

A wealth of conveniences aside, it is a refreshing sensibility that best characterizes this 5,400-square-foot home. Trimmed with lush green grass and lovely landscapes, and featuring a façade that harmoniously blends contemporary stacked gray stone and nautically-inspired siding for a style all its own, the residence is a welcoming presence. Surrounded by windows and flanked by modern copper lighting, its oversize front door sets the tone for the brilliant mix of design elements inside.

With four bedrooms plus an office, the coastal-chic property merges an East Coast essence with a contemporary California twist: a delightful balance of Cape Cod shiplap siding walls displays sleek light fixtures and components from modern to mid-century in a variety of mixed metals while the curated collection of lighting ranges from modern Sputnik to Art Deco starbursts from brands like Arterior Home, Visual Comfort, and Ralph Lauren.

Muted crisp white walls, shiplap ceilings, and Neolith counters set the backdrop for a light, bright feeling throughout the home. These elements create a swoon-worthy space for any self-proclaimed chef. The tranquil master bath, meanwhile, offers its own charms. Namely Neolith counters and impressive steam shower made entirely of Neolith and highlighted by natural tones in the floating wood vanities.

Baths throughout the home feature a chic mix of tile by Ann Sacks. Another constant presence are white oak wide plank floors in a natural tone. And on every level, a multitude of windows and glass stacking doors invite heaps of natural light to pour into each space, creating a fresh atmosphere.


All is the product of a well-planned design. The reverse floor plan serves this four-story home well. With the aforementioned 85-foot stretch of dramatic ocean views, the top floor is the entertaining hub, which includes multiple living spaces indoors and out. An open living room with a modern fireplace, bar and spacious connecting balcony accessed through glass pocket doors opens up to create a huge indoor-outdoor space.

Adjacent, the relaxed dining area with a Sputnik-style chandelier floating above connects to the stunningly bright kitchen with gray glossy cabinets and Neolith counters, backsplash, and island. As the nucleus of the home where people naturally gather, the kitchen’s oversized 12-foot island bar avails ample seating to beckon guests, family, and friends to congregate. The kitchen includes a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator, custom paneled 48-inch Sub-Zero

 refrigerator, two Bosch dishwashers, and a six-burner Wolf Range with griddle, steam oven and Wolf microwave. The range is topped with a pristine custom-designed stainless steel hood, and here and throughout the home are top-of-the-line plumbing fixtures from Dornbracht and Grohe.

“This home has many engaging spaces making it the perfect home for the host who likes entertaining families,” explains Chuka.

Nearby, a more intimate family room with a white brick fireplace and vaulted shiplap ceiling proves a great spot to kick one’s feet up and take in the sweeping southwest facing ocean vistas from the picture window or the attached patio—another oasis with a built-in Lynx barbecue and Infratec heat lamps that allow for outdoor enjoyment year-round.

Just below, on the third level, is the large master suite. Here are two separate oversize closets, and a sleek fireplace flanked with built-in cabinetry featuring plenty of storage. The large private balcony and aforementioned luxurious en-suite bath with steam shower culminate in nothing less than a haven for homeowners.


Also on this floor, the laundry room is as functional as it is pretty with retro Neolith quartz countertops and built-in cabinets. Completing this level are two additional bright bedroom suites with individualized design, one of which is the west facing guest bedroom that, like the master, claim fantastic deck with ocean views.

One also finds in 1215 Fisher Avenue a home that is big on flex spaces. Offers Dawson: “Families will love the added flex rooms that can be dedicated areas for teens to hang out with their friends.” The entry level of the home includes a spacious flex space with an outdoor patio and shower, making it a great game room or a home gym. A fourth bedroom and lovely bathroom with French encaustic tile, and the oversized three-car garage with an additional parking pad, share this level.

The bottom floor of the home hosts yet another area for entertaining. Along with an office (or potential bedroom) with custom built-ins there is a wine room with a glass and iron door for a chic display, and a large media room with full-size wet bar. 

Conveniently, the wet-bar includes a Bosch dishwasher, Bosch Subzero combo fridge and freezer drawers with ice maker and Wolf microwave for making popcorn on movie nights.

Wide, substantial hallways and stairwells throughout the Fisher property offer an added feeling of volume, as does the state-of-the-art, four-stop elevator. The home, with Crestron, is prewired for all automated data, phone, camera, and auto shades systems. Finally, the HVAC system is three-zoned and the roof is solar-ready via an Infratec system.

Epitomizing the pinnacle of resort-style living, amenity-rich 1215 Fisher Avenue is an address to envy, a home where accessibility and indulgences converge, and the view is always amazing.




Modern-chic Home in Manhattan Beach

Pair soaring unobstructed ocean views from a walk street corner lot in Manhattan Beach with a stunning modern Michael Lee-designed home and the result is simply amazing. With unfussy, straightforward design the foundation for what this townhome is all about—the views, the light, and savoring life—25th Street and Highland Avenue is mere steps to the sand and the adjacent grassy lawn at Bruce’s Park. Walkability to both north and south Manhattan Beach is fantastic from here. Commuters, meanwhile, have an efficient route to Rosecrans and Vista Del Mar.

This gorgeous, three-year project began as a labor of love for homeowners Jon and Kim Friedman. “We have always loved architect Michael Lee’s modern style, contemporary lines and dramatic combination of wood stone and glass,” shares Kim. Planning for more than a year, the Friedmans set out to make the very best use of every square inch of the 2,300-square-foot abode.

Lee’s distinctive stamp on the project: the wood and steel roof built with cantilever engineering; clean, modern lines and transitional indoor-outdoor spaces accessed through Fleetwood pocket doors.

“Our goal was to develop townhomes that were visually stunning and with blurred transition from outside to inside,” explains Kim.

They successfully maximized the living space on the top level where the wood floor seamlessly transitions to almost identical porcelain tile floors on the enormous outside deck.

Built on the reverse floorplan, the townhome’s bottom floor includes two bedrooms, one that might also function as an office with ocean views. Both rooms have private baths with floating vanities. Sharing the same floor is the two-car garage plus two parking pads, and an outdoor shower. Unique to this area is a property with on-site parking for six cars. “The corner lot allows for larger outdoor spaces for landscaping and parking; for example, the parking pads are roomy enough for an SUV,” says listing agent John Altamura of Altamura Real Estate Group.

Occupying the townhome’s second level are two remaining en-suite bedrooms, one of which is the master suite. This contemporary space features frameless corner windows that maximize views of Palos Verdes to the south and Malibu to the north, and also includes a massive private balcony with a clear line of sight down the walk street.

The focal point, however, is the striking floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Add the convenience of recessed, remote-controlled window coverings and one can cozy in at night with ease. The lovely master bath, meanwhile, includes an ocean view peekaboo window built into the shower, and a freestanding, tulip-style soaker bathtub. In the master bath and throughout the home are floating vanities that nod to the modern characteristics of the home. A large walk-in closet completes the master suite.

“A Michael Lee design always incorporates lots of natural light,” states Altamura while ascending the stairs. Meticulously designed and built, the floating staircase is a gorgeous mixture of glass and substantial wood built onto an almost sculptural iron support beam. The backdrop—a stunning limestone feature wall—feels like a work of art. Once atop the stairs, a mesmerizing picture window blasts views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu and ocean vistas as far as the eye can see.

The mixing of opposing elements—rough and sleek, clean and textured, matte and polished—is evident in the upstairs space that includes a powder room, the kitchen, dining room and indoor-outdoor living areas. “Knowing that the Friedmans wanted a monochromatic design, I knew to create drama and interest,” states Deborah Gear of Deborah Gear Interior Design, who did so by starting “with a mixture of finishes and textures.”

Examples of this approach include the highly textured cream limestone for the exterior stone, entry and strategic areas in the living room, along with gorgeous and sleekly veneered cabinets in soft gray amid porcelain counters and warm wood cabinets.

The lustrous floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace anchors the adjacent living room with massive Fleetwood pocket doors opening out to awe-inspiring vistas on the balcony. Here, there is room for outdoor dining and living areas to relax while one prepares a feast on the built-in barbecue. Throughout the home is a similar use of materials: wood, exotic stone, unique porcelain tiles, high-gloss cabinets and leathered slabs.

Wide plank oak flooring, pure white walls and superior craftsmanship raise the bar for townhome living, as does automated shades throughout that maintain the clean, modern look. There is also pre-wiring for home automation by Crestron and vantage lighting control.

“This three-year project has been a labor of love—it feels like creating a 3D art project!” says Kim. After working closely with contractor Tyler Krikorian, as well as Gear and Lee, the couple’s modern-chic beach house was complete. A dream born in Manhattan Beach.



LIST PRICE $4,999,000


Manhattan Beach’s Favorite New Quirky-cool Downtown Café Homie

Come Homie

Dine and shop at Manhattan Beach’s Favorite New Quirky-cool Downtown Café Homie

Manhattan Beach has become a bit of an epicenter for delicious and stylish restaurants. Woven throughout our beach community are great little haunts like Homie, the new café with an eclectic beach-bohemian vibe that achieved cult-status basically overnight. 

“We feel so blessed that our community has embraced us like it has, and the store is doing so well because of everyone’s support,” shares owner and native Manhattan Beach resident Kelley Bailey Haley, who has restauranteering in her DNA, having worked closely for years with the family who owned Tallia’s and also been part of the original crew that opened neighboring Mangiamo’s.

Streetside outdoor dining

Haley took a hiatus to pursue nursing in a pediatric center, but her dream of opening her own restaurant never left her. “I wanted to create something small, local, and relaxing,” she shares, “so when this particular downtown location came available, I was on it, and it turned out to be such an amazing spot for us.”

Meanwhile, homie’s chef, Jason LeClaire, another South Bay native who has been cooking flavorful simple food for 30 years, co-created the menu with Haley. They selected simple items that they and their kids enjoy eating. “Our desire was to make fun and easy food that was really fresh and thoughtfully sourced,”

Homie boutique

Haley explains. Having grown up in Manhattan Beach, Haley wanted to support local business with her venture, therefore she buys all of her meat products from local meat counter Manhattan Meat Market and bread from the Bread Bar bakery in El Segundo, which delivers provisions daily—fresh and still warm. 

Commune table in the dining room

Patrons delight over yummy dishes like the Home Skillet, a breakfast bowl with white corn baby squash and avocado on cauliflower rice that is served all day. “People love our breakfast burritos, and we kept that item as a nod to our friends who had the space previous to us,” Haley explains warmly. Other favorites are the Street Tacos, and the Bruschetta is quite amazing. The delicious showstopper dessert is the Betty, which is toasted shortcake, fresh mixed fruit and vanilla cream.


The café also serves a variety of craft beer, organic wine and has just added craft cocktails, being one of only 100 restaurants in California that are experimenting with new alcohol concepts like rice-based Vodka. These concoctions make homie the perfect stop for a Bailey cocktail or a Bloody Mary while enjoying the breezy, carefree atmosphere.

Fresh bruschetta

Within the walls of homie’s stylish setting, Haley’s mix of eclectic food and trendy retail is spot-on with her vision. “Since the store was zoned for retail-restaurant, we started experimenting with different ideas and came up with our own line of homie-branded products like T-shirts, hats and candles, which are selling like hot cakes, and the rest of the retail just kind of grew from there,” states Haley.

Sitting lounge at Homie

She also does a great business with her jewelry designer Wendy Stillman, who is known for her abstract tribal art and greeting cards, as well as locally designed MB Surplus jewelry that is fun and edgy. When perusing the store, one finds Haley’s very own line of plants and mini succulents from her gardening collection, livingsmall. 

Haley, a self-proclaimed picker who loves flea markets, mixing design eras and finding new talent, has blended it all in the winning recipe that is homie.


1140 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310.546.4663  |

Idyll on the Strand at 3400 The Strand

3400 The Strand a luxe Louie Tomaro oceanfront residence creates an island-like getaway on the Manhattan Beach Strand

Bedrooms  |  Total Baths   |  Full Baths   |  1 Partial Baths   |  SqFt 5,468  |  $19,300,000

View the Full MLS Listing

It’s here that a modern-day haven is found—approximately 5,500 square feet of it, with five bedrooms plus an office, five-and-a-half bathrooms and lots of outdoor living space—on a corner walk street where 34th Street meets the ocean: at 3400 The Strand. The home is the product of architect Louie Tomaro, well known for designing elegant California coastal homes. In this case, Tomaro, wholly accustomed to making the most of ocean views and beachfront living, created an inviting au courant residence with an island focus, courtesy of the homeowners who were inspired by the tropical luxe of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s charmed Kona Coast.

The blend of the two styles, contemporary and island, makes for a seaside residence that is distinctive, yet timeless in the vein of Southern California architecture: connecting organically to the bounty of Pacific Ocean, sand and fresh air while being eternally practical for both high-toned entertaining and comfortable family life.

According to the real estate firm Gillespie-Host Group, of  Sotheby’s International Realty: “There are other houses with similar characteristics, but none are executed quite as well as this one.”

Boasting an exceedingly well-crafted level of detail and materials, the home stands out even among the Strand’s ultra-grade residences. Even the overhanging eaves are decked with mahogany, and its copper gutters are cast a soft aqua patina. Inside, floors and floating stairs are crafted from a striking Brazilian hardwood—Chichipate.

With its subtle striping and inviting chestnut hue, the wood contrasts with the home’s creamy walls to amplify its uplifting ocean-and-sunshine atmosphere. The custom mahogany cabinetry and columns throughout combined with grass-clothed and mahogany ceilings create an island feel.

The property’s beauty is fresh, as the property has been impeccably maintained since being completed at the end of 2006. “The homeowners used the best materials, and it shows,” notes Gillespie-Host Group. “The homeowners are extremely meticulous in the upkeep—the home is pristine.”

The good-time hub is found on the ground level—a leisure floor that merges its many elegant spaces, including a sprawling lounge to a cozy club room, with the beach via a strategic network of nana doors, oversized windows and outdoor lounges. Particularly special touches on this floor include an oceanfront spa tub for 10, a glass-front wine cellar and a bar. Crafted from Hawaiian Koa wood and topped with African jade granite, bar seating is oriented towards the ocean—a detail prescribed by the owner, who noticed while traveling in hotels around the world that it was the bartender, not the customers, who seemed to have the prime views.

The middle floor of the residence is home to everyday living spaces, including a sunny great room, a kitchen and dining areas, all anchored by a wrap-around deck. The result is a grand space that feels like one is on a perpetual vacation, even while sipping morning coffee in the breakfast room. A private getaway, too, since the home is designed so that views into upper floors are obscured.

“You get the luxury of being on The Strand,” notes Gillespie-Host Group. “You look straight out at the gorgeous views, but no one sees you. You enjoy that lifestyle without sacrificing your privacy.”

Head to the uppermost floor and one finds a master wing with commanding views of the Pacific, along with dual balconies, a fireplace and a geometric mahogany ceiling with cove lighting, and exposed beams that enhance the handcrafted, island feel of the place, particularly during sunset hours. At the other end of the floor is a guest wing—complete with kitchenette, ocean view balcony and separate entrance—that functions as a handy suite for guests or in-laws.

Views are energizing and dreamy, stretching from Malibu to Palos Verdes, with a fresh panorama of blue sky and ocean revealed at every turn. Because of the home’s strategic position, on a south-facing corner lot along a spacious walk street, there are generous views along the sides of the home, and sunlight streams throughout.

Another plus is this section of The Strand: crowds are rare and the surf break is enviable. When one feels like stepping out, a quick stroll brings a sunny stretch of sidewalk cafes and yoga studios. Less than a mile away is the Manhattan Beach Pier and a bevy of elegant dining and shopping spots. (Note to frequent fliers—LAX is less than five miles away.)

“It’s a beautiful home with all of this thoughtful detail,” says Gillespie-Host Group. “There’s this seamless transition from being a stunning entertaining home to being a comfortable, warm environment where you can live with your children and have your privacy too.”

Presented by 

Gillespie-Host Group, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty
310.796.1617  |
List price: $19,300,000

Surface Quality at Cambria in downtown Manhattan Beach

Cambria’s Manhattan Beach gallery offers an up-close look at the many faces of quartz

It’s one thing to see a fetching countertop online or in a magazine—then admire its elegant profile and wonder how it might look in your home. But it’s quite another to see it in the flesh, run your hands along its surface, see your reflection in its mirror-like finish and know it’s perfect. This difference, between image and real life, is resolved at Cambria in downtown Manhattan Beach.

The glossy gallery—open by appointment only—is steps from the pier, and offers a place for consumers and designers, architects and builders alike to experience the Le Sueur, Minnesota firm’s rich supply of elegant quartz surfaces and applications firsthand. “We want them all to come and see us,” says Summer Kath, Cambria’s executive vice president of design and business development.

A point of pride for the family owned company is its status as the only American-made producer of natural stone surfaces, all made of natural quartz and boasting Herculean levels of strength and durability.

A point of pride for the family owned company is its status as the only American-made producer of natural stone surfaces, all made of natural quartz and boasting Herculean levels of strength and durability. “You can toss wine on there, leave it there for a month and wipe it up—and it will not absorb,” says Kath. Not always the case with surfaces like marble, soapstone or granite, she points out, which also sport veins and fissures, making them more vulnerable to cracks.

A dramatic kitchen scene starring Cambria’s Blackpool Matte.

Cambria’s non-porous factor is a boon for the white and pale-gray palettes currently in vogue among coastal and contemporary homes. Those interested in this look might swing by the gallery to check out Brittanicca, a signature Cambria design—white with soft gray veining—that’s ideal for elegant, sunlit South Bay homes.

Subtle green, black and white tones of Skara Brae bring rich depth to this island

When one thinks of stone surfaces, it’s easy to think of only countertops, or bars and islands. But the mind is expanded after stopping by the Cambria gallery. There are shower and tub-deck surrounds for a luxe spa look that reduce cleaning hassles due to an absence of grout. There’s wall cladding and dramatic kitchen backsplashes. Other uses include tiles—cut to any size—and fireplace surrounds. (Tip: Use a clean edge with mitered corners for a mod profile, or trim with a decorative edge for an ornate look.)

Reception area luxe with Skara Brae; Brittanicca at the Manhattan Beach gallery

Since Cambria surfaces are “not beholden to Mother Nature,” says Kath, unlike the aforementioned natural surfaces, there’s an endless selection of Cambria design palettes to suit a kaleidoscope of tastes. “It’s like making brownies,” Kath says of the Cambria process, which results in a uniform product where the outcome and look are assured.

“You take crushed-up natural quartz, 93 percent of the whole composition is quartz,” she explains. “It’s a natural mineral, the hardest mineral on Earth—diamond is the only thing harder.”

Skara Brae frames an elegant sink and faucet

A binder and a resin give it tonalities. After this, the mixture is baked, and the resulting slab is polished. “Because it’s put through that process, and cured,” says Kath, “we don’t seal it, and it’s not treated. You never have to seal it.”

Photographs: courtesy of Cambria

Manhattan Beach Hill Section Prices Reach All-time High

Manhattan Beach Hill Section Prices Reach All-time High

The Hill Section in Manhattan Beach has reached a new record high median sales price of $4,050,000 in May 2018, up 41.1% from a year earlier when the median sale price was $2,870,000.

The average sale price also hit a new high of $4,696,250 in May, up 45.2% versus last May. Additionally, the average days on market fell 59.4% to just 28 in May 2018 versus last May, when the average days on market was 69.

If we look back ten years, the lowest price single family residence sold in the Hill Section is 402 Larsson Street, which sold for $816,000 in June 2009. The highest sale price in the Hill Section was $20,000,000 for 814 Pacific Avenue, which sold last August.

Manhattan Beach Hill Section Year-Over-Year
$4,696,250 | + 45.2% 

Average SALE PRICES | 5 Year – Single Family Residences


Current Market Snapshot:  Single Family Residence
*As of 6.26.18

Manhattan Beach HILL SECTION | Active

Active listings: 7
Minimum list price: $2,350,000
Maximum list price: $6,199,000
Average list price: $4,388,286
Median list price: $4,399,000
Average days on market: 82
Months of inventory: 3

Manhattan Beach HILL SECTION | Sold

Closed Sales Y-T-D: 12
Minimum close price: $1,930,000
Maximum close price: $8,050,218
Average close price: $4,721,770
Median close price: $4,747,500
Average days on market: 54
Average sales discount: -0.0060% under list

MRMLS single family residence average sales in Manhattan Beach Hill. Information is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Search Active Manhattan Beach Hill Section Homes

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DIGS Market Influencer: Ed Kaminsky

Real Estate Market Influencer: Ed Kaminsky

Ed Kaminsky

Top 100 Real Estate Agent | The Kaminsky Real Estate Group

DIGS dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best real estate professionals. Market Influencer weaves a narrative journey about agents, entrepreneurs and influencers—and what drives them to succeed. This week we tell Ed Kaminsky’s story, a top 100 producer in the South Bay.

Perpetually learning. Always innovating. Top 100 real estate pro, Ed Kaminsky offers tips for staying on top and insight on trends that are moving the local market.

It was the mid-1980s when Ed Kaminsky, a transplant from Ohio who was working in the jewelry business, decided to try his hand in real estate. It was a good time to get involved, doubly so if you were a hardworking, up-from-the-bootstraps type accustomed to the long hours of retail and intent on grand success, despite not having a college degree or any personal contacts in the business.[/cs_dropcap]

“I came in as naked as I could be,” recounts Kaminsky some 30 years later. A mainstay of luxury real estate in the South Bay who sells over 100 properties a year (top producing agent at Strand Hill, Christie’s International 2017, and Trendgraphix’s top agent in the Beach Cities are among his awards), Kaminsky employs a team of 10 and is engaged in businesses beyond selling properties.

DIGS Market Influencer: Ed Kaminsky headshot



The South Bay is extremely ripe for significant appreciation over the next 10 years. I say that because of the amount of job growth that is happening in Playa Vista and areas like that with the tech industry. It’s heavily influencing this market.”

Creating Multiple Revenue Streams

“I don’t run around and call myself an entrepreneur,” says Kaminsky. But it fits. “I work for myself,” he adds. “I create revenue streams with different companies, and that’s what an entrepreneur is.”

Staying on top for decades requires more than just smarts and dedication. A knack for knowing what’s coming around the corner and how to properly optimize it continues to be essential to Kaminsky’s success. The state of the local market, for instance, has him bullish, and jobs are the prime reason.

The future of South Bay’s Market

“The South Bay is extremely ripe for significant appreciation over the next 10 years,” says Kaminsky. “I say that because of the amount of job growth that is happening in Playa Vista and areas like that with the tech industry. It’s heavily influencing this market.”

Twine that with an increase in the quality of education in the South Bay, particularly in Beach Cities, where star-school status is spreading beyond Manhattan Beach to increased rankings in neighboring communities like Redondo Beach. “You’re seeing a strong buyer demand for the other Beach Cities that were not always as sought after as Manhattan Beach has been in the last 10 or 15 years.”

Do Global Buyers Flock to the South Bay?

Education has been a draw for moneyed global buyers, mostly from China, who in recent years have been coming in large numbers to the local area, particularly Palos Verdes. Kaminsky notes this trend has hit a snag of late due to difficulties some of these buyers face moving their funds out of their native country. “It’s slowed the pace down quite a bit.”

Real estate trends that go beyond the South Bay? Connection. Shorter commutes. Walkability.

“People are less interested in commuting very far to work, and having a sense of community—shops, restaurants, coffee places, within a short distance—it’s becoming incredibly important in every community in the U.S. right now,” says Kaminsky. Another tendency in the local luxury market that has Kaminsky “a bit nervous” is the expectation of buyers when it comes to style and design.

Home Selling Challenges

“Buyers are walking into homes expecting a certain look today,” says Kaminsky. It’s an expectation built on television’s flurry of home flipping and real estate programs that show even modest homes as sleek, contemporary hubs packed with the latest bells and whistles. “Not every house is going to fit that shape and color that television, or friends, are trying to portray,” says Kaminsky, noting that it’s made it a challenge to sell homes that don’t fit this bill aesthetically. 

DIGS Market Influencer: Ed Kaminsky, Kaminsky Real Estate Group group shot


Competition Fires the Idea

Surely Kaminsky will find a way to capitalize. “I’m constantly looking for problems and creating solutions for the problems. Competitive desire fires the idea. Delivering on the service is what creates the results.” Case in point: His company SportStar Relocation, which handles moving duty for pro athletes, was initially based on Kaminsky’s desire to have a bigger slice of the burgeoning sports market. How to accomplish it? Provide something that no one else is; in this case, an all-around concierge service.

“Become insanely educated about everything in your marketplace.” “Deliver more than what is expected from your clients.” These orient Kaminsky’s work ethic, which he’s driven at a dogged pace for decades, broken for hours devoted to family (Kaminsky is a grandfather of two and a father of two daughters with his wife Cindy) and small pleasures.


“My favorite experience is to drive up to the top of the crest of Manhattan Beach Boulevard,” says Kaminsky, who’s been a Manhattan Beach resident for nearly 20 years. “You see the downtown district. You see the pier. You see the Pacific Ocean. You see it on a clear day with blue skies and I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful or welcoming than that view.”


Ed Kaminsky

Kaminsky Real Estate Group
440 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, CA, 90254
310.798.1277 |

Written by Constance Dunn  |  Photography by Kieron McKay


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The Strand Life

Looking for prime oceanfront Strand properties in the South Bay?

THE STRAND + OCEAN DRIVE | Active Listings
Sq. Ft.
Lot Sq. Ft
List Price
$ / Sq. Ft.
Property Type
72 The Strand #5, Hermosa Beach 2 2 762 3594 $1,225,000 $1,607.61 144 Condo
4310 Ocean Drive, Manhattan Beach 90266 2 2 1409 1046 $1,600,000 $1,135.56 11 SFR
4117 Ocean Drive / Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 3 2804 3500 $6,500,000 $2,318.12 54 SFR
12 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 4 4 2693 2552 $6,680,000 $2,480.51 15 SFR
22 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 4 5 3600 2554 $7,495,000 $2,081.94 4 SFR
4122 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 5 4154 3503 $7,895,000 $1,900.58 54 SFR
212 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 5 6 4403 2374 $10,500,000 $2,384.74 245 SFR
58 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 4 5 3575 2402 $10,900,000 $3,048.95 89 SFR
3416 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 5 3934 3494 $12,395,000 $3,150.74 5 SFR
3120 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 4 4200 3488 $12,900,000 $3,071.43 247 SFR
1140 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 4 2808 3337 $14,974,000 $5,332.62 425 SFR
2722 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 8 9 6381 6927 $23,995,000 $3,760.38 158 SFR


Here’s what sold in 2017 on the Strand / Ocean Drive.

THE STRAND + OCEAN DRIVE | Closed Sales 2017
Sq. Ft.
Lot Sq. Ft
List Price
Close Price
Sales Discount
$ / Sq. Ft.
Property Type
4218 Ocean Drive, Manhattan Beach 90266 2 3 1396 5851 $1,749,000 $1,730,000 0.98914 $1,239.26 18 8/10/2017 TH
72 The Strand #6, Hermosa Beach 90254 3 2 1460 3594 $1,945,000 $2,150,000 1.1054 $1,472.60 2 7/13/2017 Condo
638 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 3 2 1500 4790 $4,490,000 $3,725,000 0.82962 $2,483.33 30 9/22/2017 Condo
2702 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 3 4 1900 n/a $4,995,000 $4,750,000 0.95095 $2,500.00 32 6/20/2017 TH
622 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 2 2 1110 2064 $6,299,000 $5,750,000 0.91284 $5,180.18 116 9/28/2017 SFR
1830 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 6 4 2850 2410 $6,900,000 $6,581,250 0.9538 $2,309.21 34 8/28/2017 SFR
1942 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 n/a n/a 100 4240 $8,900,000 $8,350,000 0.9382   155 5/12/2017 SFR
802 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 5 6 3540 2436 $9,299,000 $8,900,000 0.95709 $2,514.12 22 5/2/2017 SFR
2654 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 3 5 3180 2597 $9,200,000 $9,200,000 1 $2,893.08 0 10/17/2017 SFR
716 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 3 3 1648 3483 $11,500,000 $9,300,000 0.8087 $5,643.20 28 1/13/2017 SFR
1912 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 5 3482 3327 $11,500,000 $11,300,000 0.98261 $3,245.26 217 10/31/2017 SFR
2400 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 4 4 3969 3492 $12,999,000 $11,900,000 0.91546 $2,998.24 197 8/14/2017 SFR
2302 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 5 4 2817 5349 $14,850,000 $13,000,000 0.87542 $4,614.84 28 12/18/2017 SFR
1540 The Strand, Hermosa Beach 90254 5 7 4643 4180 $14,000,000 $14,150,000 1.01071 $3,047.60 0 5/23/2017 SFR
3420 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 6 5500 3517 $16,500,000 $15,400,000 0.93333 $2,800.00 66 9/7/2017 SFR
104 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 5 8 6123 3330 $18,900,000 $18,400,000 0.97354 $3,005.06 455 3/24/2017 SFR
1000 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 9 8 5967 4979 $23,900,000 $21,000,000 0.87866 $3,519.36 151 5/31/2017 SFR


(All property data taken from MRMLS residential homes for lease for areas: Manhattan Beach, Sand Section, Hermosa Beach, Sand Section – as of 4.17.18. Information is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.)

465 36th Place | Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach Homes for Sale That Were Built in 2017

3605 Oak Avenue | Manhattan Beach

3605 Oak Avenue | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 3.5 Bath, 3,250 Sq. Ft, 4,647 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $2,740,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $843.08
69 Days on Market

BEST VALUE WEST OF SEPULVEDA! Stunning contemporary in the coveted Tree Section rebuilt and expanded in 2017. Located on a quiet street (don’t let the map fool you!), the moment you enter you’ll feel like you came home to your own private retreat. With his tasteful European design & thoughtful approach to layout, French architect Bertrand Genoist created a stunning yet practical home perfect for families & entertainers alike.

The large open concept living area continues seamlessly into a covered outdoor great room & grassy yard that is exceptionally large for the neighborhood. Mature trees provide privacy and greenery from every room. The luxurious master suite includes a private balcony with treetop views. Great schools, plenty of parking (no traffic from the businesses on Sepulveda), walking distance to high-end shopping & restaurants at the Point & Manhattan Village, minutes to the beach, and easy freeway access.


2612 Pine Avenue | Manhattan Beach

2612 Pine Avenue | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 3.5 Bath, 3,600 Sq. Ft, 4,480 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $3,495,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $970.83
182 Days on Market

Huge Reduction! Refined contemporary craftsman nestled in the heart of the tree section. 5 Bedroom, 4 bath, 3600 SF with a finished basement. This remarkable home is discerningly fitted with fine home finishes; wide plank oak flooring thought out, wolf range, 30-inch Thermador Fridge w/ 18-inch split freezer, custom kitchen cabinets, oversized Cambria Island with double waterfall.

Lofty master retreat with en-suite deck, spa-like master bath, double black granite vanity, black tile inlays, soaking tub, and large double glass shower. Intimate rear yard with built-in fire pit, water feature, and mature trees. Luxury in the trees at its finest.

465 36th Place | Manhattan Beach

465 36th Place | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 6 Bath, 4,289 Sq. Ft, 3,341 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $4,250,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $990.91
116 Days on Market

This breathtaking, 5 bed 6 bath home with sweeping ocean views sits on an oversized Sand Section lot. A grand courtyard entrance opens to 4,289 square feet of modern elegance, exquisite finishes, and expansive views of the open ocean and Malibu. Follow the floating staircase up to a stunning top floor that boasts 11-foot ceilings, a gas fireplace surrounded by built-ins, two wine refrigerators and wide-plank white oak flooring.

The desirable kitchen amenities include Thermador stainless steel appliances, Neolith counter tops, a waterfall island and a large pantry. The 4-panel slider creates an indoor, outdoor lifestyle and flows out to a large deck offering gorgeous ocean views. The entry-level floor features a sizable 3-car garage, a wide-open master suite with a peaceful sitting area, a gas fireplace and an enormous walk-in closet.

The master bathroom features a freestanding tub, limestone floors, and a large frameless shower. The lower floor comprises a huge, sunny media room with West-facing views, a large laundry room, two bedrooms and three bathrooms. This home also includes a 3-stop elevator, 4 iPad stations, smart lighting throughout, a Sonos sound system & installed speakers, 6 exterior cameras, a security alarm system and 3 separate air conditioning units.

It’s ideally located in the prestigious Manhattan Beach school district, a few short blocks to the beach, and the shops, yoga studios, and restaurants of the charming El Porto section of Manhattan Beach.

3300 Palm Avenue | Manhattan Beach

3300 Palm Avenue | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 4.5 Bath, 3,947 Sq. Ft, 4,636 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $3,995,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $1,012.16
11 Days on Market

Inspired by the glorious estates of the Napa Valley Wine Country, this luxurious interpretation of a Country Farm House exudes a combination of fine elegance and casual living. With interior finishes designed by Jamie Roddy of Eden LA Interiors with impeccable attention to details and masterfully built by Matt Wachtfogel of Wachtfogel Construction, this TONY HOMES new construction is a true beauty.

1901 Palm Avenue | Manhattan Beach

1901 Palm Avenue | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 5.5 Bath, 4,762 Sq. Ft, 5,061 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $5,500,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $1,154.98
24 Days on Market

You will love this Engaging Cape Cod built on a desirable oversized corner lot. Abundant natural light, Neolith Estatuario Quartz, Pietra Grey and Calcutta Splenda Marble, Basalt Stone, Ice Cube Marble, Hexagon tiles, stacked stone, flagstone, white oak hardwoods. 5 bedrooms, large office/ formal LR, w/ tiled fireplace, 5 full ensuite bathrooms, 2 powder rooms, 3 stop elevator, Epicurean Kitchen with Wolf, Subzero & Bosch appliances, Pot filler, steam & microwave oven, built in desk, breakfast nook, pantry, Neolith Estatuario Island w/ 2 sinks, 2 Bosch dishwashers, coffered wood beamed ceilings, fireplace, a 12 ft La Cantina bifold door leading to the patio, ceiling heater, Basalto stone peninsula, Lynx bbq grill, fridge, builtin steel trash unit, steel storage drawers and access door.

Master has tongue and groove vaulted ceilings, fireplace, balcony, Calcutta Splendor Marble bath, steeping tub, 2 vanities, linen closet, custom wood walk-in closet, velvet lined jewelry & watch showcase drawers and dresser. Large basement for entertaining, full wet bar w/ Fisher-Paykel dishwasher, fridge with ice maker, a chilled wine room, powder room and 5th bedroom. 3 car garage, 2 electric vehicle chargers, Audio Visual System has fully prewired a Cat 5 surround system in family room & basement with a Home Theatre pre-wired for projection and for drop down screen. Speakers in kitchen, patio, master bedroom & office/LR. 3 zone heating & air cond, alarm system w/ optional outside camera locations.

915 Duncan Avenue | Manhattan Beach

915 Duncan Avenue | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 5.5 Bath, 4,637 Sq. Ft, 4,998 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $5,950,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $1,283.16
145 Days on Market

Ocean View, Warm Coastal Contemporary, New Construction Hill Section home boasts five en-suite bedrooms, plus two additional half baths. European white oak flooring throughout. Exquisite top-of-the-line finishes provide a feeling of luxury and comfort.

All floors accessible via a 3-stop elevator with the entire home serviced by multi-zone heating and A/C. Sun filled open floor plan with family room, dining room and kitchen area leading out to the backyard through Fleetwood accordion doors enabling a seamless indoor/outdoor flow so you can enjoy that special California feeling all year-round. Home is pre-wired for custom automation. Three fireplaces, chef’s delight kitchen with Quartz waterfall countertops and Wolf/Sub-Zero top quality appliances.

Master suite features black quartz fireplace, spacious glass surrounds ocean view balcony. The spacious lower lever includes an en-suite 5th bedroom and state-of-the-art media room, bar refrigerator, dishwasher, cabinet-ready wine storage and second laundry room.

The backyard is easy to maintain and perfect for entertaining with Infratech heaters and Sedona outdoor grill and fridge. Gas-line ready for a pool spa/firepit. Upstairs office/family room with ocean views and balcony completes this lovely home and its casually elegant lifestyle. Short stroll to the beach, parks, downtown shops and restaurants makes this a fabulous home in one of California’s most sought-after beach communities. Designed by Louie Tomaro and developed by Titan and Co.

81 Morningside Drive | Manhattan Beach

81 Morningside Drive | Manhattan Beach

5 Bed, 4.5 Bath, 4,261 Sq. Ft, 2,709 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $5,975,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $1,402.25
142 Days on Market

This newly constructed modern brownstone is unique in its attention to design detail and quality. Developed by Balios Capital, this exceptional beachside home is perfectly located in the highly desired Sand Section of Manhattan Beach; a few blocks to the water and a short walk to town. Situated on an NW corner lot, this ideal location allows for abundant natural light to fill the home with spectacular panoramic hill section views. The ground floor features a large entertainment room with a built-in bar, a secluded guest room with en-suite bath, a private office, and mud room next to a three-car garage.

The second level showcases high ceilings, a great room with fireplace, a gourmet kitchen with built-in dining nook, top of the line Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances and two large balconies. The top floor offers a total of four bedrooms with an exquisite master suite which features a balcony with ocean views, a massive walk-in closet and spa-like master bath with Calacatta Classico marble.

Inspired by classic NY brownstone manors, elegant details can be found throughout this modern-traditional with a total of five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two half-bathrooms. The developer has invested a tremendous amount of care in designing this home with the finest quality of fixtures and materials and it is impressive from every angle. Bring all your discerning clients to view this new home. Address formerly 333 Homer St, Manhattan Beach.

461 27th Street | Manhattan Beach

461 27th Street | Manhattan Beach

3 Bed, 3.5 Bath, 2,300 Sq. Ft, 1,549 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $3,349,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $1,456.09
20 Days on Market

New Coastal Contemporary designed by Jon Starr and intended as the developer’s personal residence. Meticulous attention to detail. Street-to-alley lot with garage in back enhances the curb appeal of the 3-story facade. First floor “beach room” with 5.1 surround sound opens to hardscaped front yard with natural stone tiles. Custom floating wood staircase with glass railing leads to 2nd-floor bedroom level, including a luxurious master suite featuring an outdoor deck with privacy glass railings, walk-in closet, oak accent wall with hidden drawers and sumptuous master bath.

Top floor presents the common living areas in an open floor plan with tons of light, courtesy of Kobi mahogany windows and sliding glass doors. Great room has a fireplace, an outdoor deck with glass railing (and partial ocean view) and a walk-in bar with beverage refrigerator, paneled ice maker and hand-pounded nickel sink. Open center island kitchen has Thermador Pro series appliances, including built-in coffee maker, walk-in pantry, Blue De Savoie marble countertop and farmhouse sink.

Other features – 3-stop elevator beginning in the garage and serving all 3 floors, multi-zone heating and A/C, dual tankless water heaters, and a “smart home” system by RTI that controls lights, temperature, and Sonos sound. Natural French oak floors (finished on site) and custom woodwork throughout. The home is also fully wired for an alarm system, including interior motion sensors, and comes with 6 security cameras.

130 19th Street | Manhattan Beach

130 19th Street | Manhattan Beach

4 Bed, 4.5 Bath, 4,200 Sq. Ft, 2,698 Sq. Ft Lot
Price: $9,250,000
Price Per Sq. Ft: $2,202.38
126 Days on Market

New Coastal Modern Design Home by Louie Tomaro & Elwood Design. Situated on the highly desirable 100 block walk streets, this home has the most functional floor plan you’ll ever see. Boasting protected ocean & mountain views (no power lines in sight). Top floor layout has an open plan that includes the living room, dining room, kitchen and outdoor living with no walls. This is the first of its kind!

Master suite features limestone fireplace & retracting glass doors with seamless glass railings boasting ocean views to Malibu. Master bath has floating vanities with LED strip lighting, travertine countertops, & big walk-in closet. Vaulted ceilings with wooden beams complement built-in cabinetry & baseboards throughout the home. Oversize dining room with space for 14 people, massive quartzite island that seats 6 with views of Manhattan Beach Pier.

The kitchen has custom cabinetry & a retracting glass wall separates the kitchen and outdoor living space for dining al fresco. Outdoor living space features a gas fireplace, wall mount television, grill & built-in ceiling heaters by Infratech. Appliances include refrigerated drawers, Thermador refrigerator, and stove. Spacious media room with wet bar and sliding glass doors that open up to large front yard patio, which is perfect for entertaining guests & enjoying the sunset. 3-stop elevator, Nest Thermostat, Lutron Lighting system, & ability to manage the entire house from an iPad.

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Mediterranean Masterpiece

This custom Manhattan Beach home is a real classic, showcasing the ideal coastal lifestyle and plenty of room for a large family

Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason

This classically beautiful Mediterranean-style home in the prestigious and sought-after Hill section of Manhattan Beach personifies the ultimate coastal lifestyle—from its easy jaunt to the beach to a backyard spacious enough for a pool, outdoor kitchen or simple Zen garden. “This is the ultimate beach home,” says Ed Kaminsky of Strand Hill/Christie’s International Real Estate, who is listing the stunning abode at 701 N. Dianthus Street for $3.195 million. “It is close enough to enjoy the beach and fantastic shops and restaurants year-round, without dealing with traffic.

You could walk to the beach, all of the restaurants on Sepulveda are nearby, and downtown Manhattan Beach is either a nice stroll or short bike ride away. “There’s also plenty of room to spread out after a long day, or to enjoy a cocktail and the sunset from your backyard or balcony,” he adds. With the stroke of a paintbrush, the new homeowner even has the ability to alter the house’s exterior and interior hues with relative ease.

“The entire look of the home can be changed to meet your personal style,” says Kaminsky, who has rendered images of its façade to depict the popular white color scheme splashed across the pages of today’s designer magazines, more reminiscent of a Santa Barbara Mission or Spanish touch. “This could be accomplished for less than $10,000, or you could leave the existing color, which has a Tuscan feel,” Kaminsky says. “The owner has also changed some of the colors on the inside, lightening the appearance to today’s more coastal colors.”

Crafted in 2005 by notable South Bay high-end custom builders Mike Zivec and Rick Farnham, the three-level home features more than 3,000 square feet of finely-honed living space highlighted by vaulted beamed ceilings, custom stonework, designer lighting and rich, wide-plank hardwood flooring throughout. The home’s free-flowing, open floor plan downstairs features a guest bedroom that also could be converted into an office space. A large gourmet kitchen is anchored by a sizable center island, stainless steel appliances and opens to formal dining and living areas, as well as a welcoming family room with a cozy fireplace. Stepping outside, a massive 5,204-square-foot lot offers a private, sunny, west-facing backyard with mature trees, a grassy lawn perfect for kids and pets, and a peaceful pergola with a sitting area and fireplace.

The upstairs is rife with bright, naturally lit environs and four bedrooms—including a gorgeous master suite with a sitting area boasting a fireplace, a balcony and a relaxing spa-like bathroom, along with a guest room with a private bath and two additional guestrooms that share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. A convenient laundry room with a sink and plentiful storage space also is located on this upper level.

“This home is beautiful both inside and out, and there is a great flow from the front of the home all the way to the back,” says Kaminsky. “The floor plan is what today’s home buyers are looking for, with the family room and kitchen facing the backyard, ideal for both entertaining guests and monitoring the kids and family.” Upping the home’s customization factor even further is an oversized garage with space for three cars and a bonus room/office area that could also be used to create additional space for a four-car garage. “Because of the slope of the lot, the builder was able to tuck the garage under the home,” adds Kaminsky.

“This allows not only for a larger garage, but also for the entire house to be pulled toward the front of the lot to create a much larger backyard and also give a phenomenal elevation by creating the look of a three-story home. “It really comes down to value,” continues Kaminsky. “There are very similar homes that have sold for more money, and if someone wants to make a few style adjustments to suit their own tastes, there is an opportunity to do that and still be in at a great value. This home has a fantastic floor plan, a large backyard and is ideally located in the prime Hill section; that combo for $3.2 million is a rare find. Homes like this in the Hill section have recently sold between $3.7 and $3.9 million, making this a great opportunity for adding future value.”

One thing’s for certain, while this home is the perfect beach abode as is, there could still be a Manhattan Beach masterpiece just waiting to be realized.

Visionary Design

An Ultra-open Contemporary home in the Sand Section makes the most of its Pacific Ocean perch

Occasionally, a new home can act like a bellwether—a sign of what is new and next in design, and a cue to how people are arranging their living spaces for optimum ease and pleasure. Such is the case of a contemporary home in the Sand Section in Manhattan Beach. The area is lauded for its location, blocks from the beach and the upmarket boutiques and sidewalk eateries of both Downtown and North Manhattan, while still being neighborly and family-friendly. And the home is a striking structure that fuses high-style good looks with a practical ease, pushing the fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces much more than most.

Over 4,200 square feet and spanning four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, the property was created by Jay Refold and is a project that represents a homecoming of sorts. “I built my first home in Manhattan Beach 20 years ago,” says the veteran developer, who grew up in the area before moving away. Now back, the developer of more than 100 projects claims this property as one of his best. “It’s one of the top three projects that I’ve done,” he states.

Refold and his design team, which included Harry Abhichandani of Harry Designs and Tom Sanford of Elwood Design & Construction, started with a great canvas. The house sits on a lengthy corner lot along Alma Avenue, where it meets Marine Avenue at its highest elevation. The inspired location allowed them to take advantage of ocean views that include Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Their vision is stated plainly on the exterior of the home, a concert of glass alongside smooth and textured materials, and capped with a flat roof featuring slender, overhanging eaves. The color palette is warm beige, browns and reddish tones that harmonize with the sunlight by day and glow from interior lights after dark. This duality—a sharp contemporary profile softened by earthy elements—is consistent throughout the design. It’s an accessible yet standout style that developer Refold calls Soft Contemporary. “There’s people that just don’t like contemporary that love the house—and there’s people that like traditional homes that love this house,” he says.

The earthy, red-hued material that hugs the exterior and resembles exotic wood, meanwhile, is actually a fiber-reinforced hybrid product made of rice hulls, rock salts and mineral oil. Chosen for its low-maintenance good looks, the material is also environmentally-friendly and highly durable in the face of beachside elements like sun and salt water.

To create a beach and sunshine atmosphere cloaked in total sophistication, the design team relied on a tempered mix of materials, such as grainy wood floors burnished to a matte finish, steel beams warmed to a rusted shade, clean white walls and lots of glass. They also doubled down on opening the floor plan to the hilt. “This house has the quintessential floor plan that I believe will be the new standard on all [of these types of] Sand Section lots,” says leading South Bay real estate agent John Altamura. “The top floor has an open floor plan—with no columns or posts—creating an easy flow between living spaces.”

It’s a strategy Refold began employing about 35 years ago while building upmarket homes on the Venice canals. “It all developed around getting rid of a formal dining room and formal living room,” he says. Granted, open floor plans are used liberally in modern homes these days, particularly in the Beach Cities. In this case, however, Refold and his team did things to up the ante and create what he calls “an unusually open floor plan.”

First, rather than interrupt the flow of the open top floor (which houses a great room, dining and kitchen areas, plus an office) with a staircase placed in the center of the floor, a minimalist staircase was tucked along the side of the home. This helped the designers achieve fully open corners in the master bedroom and in the fireplaced great room on the top level.

It’s a striking feature of the home that amplifies one’s connection to the outdoors while comfortably indoors, and makes for a head-turning Modernist look while outside looking in. “The doors are ‘XO’ type,” explains Abhichandani. “They both interlock at the corner without the need for a post that would have blocked the beautiful southwest view.” Having the entire glass pocket neatly into the wall, in tandem with an absence of interior walls or other structural blockages, transforms this floor into an ideal stage of ocean, sky and light.

Adding to the unusually open feel of the home is a fresh-air family room complete with bar and fireplace that seamlessly merges with the kitchen by virtue of disappearing Fleetwood windows. It’s a comfortable, elegant space for lounging or entertaining, and a top feature of the home. “The most unique style of the floor plan is the outdoor patio,” notes Altamura. “I thought it was very clever to have the windows and doors that separate the kitchen from the patio slide into wall pockets to create a perfect open living space.”

The result of such features, along with strategic and generous window placement throughout the home, is a place that feels different throughout the day—from the first hush of daylight, to the cheerful midday sun, to the vivid haze of purples, blues and orange at sunset. At night, the home stays open to stars and ocean breezes.

Each of the bedrooms is a suite with a bathroom, with the oversized master also boasting a fireplace, a chandelier bathroom and a sliding corner wall that opens the room to an unfiltered, unblocked palm tree and sunshine California view (via the same XO doors used on the floor above, interlocking at the corner without posts or beams).

The media room can double as an additional bedroom, bringing the count to five, and there’s a ground-floor beach room equipped with fireplace and wet bar that opens up to a generous fresh-air lounge. The result is a mellow terrace that feels like one is relaxing on a walk street versus a drive street. Another plus of the home, particularly in this high-density area, is its parking capacity for up to seven cars.

“Anybody can live in it. You can put a family in it, you can put a bachelor in it,” says Refold. Musing about how the home manages to bridge two important design goals—for a home to be both a comfortable domestic sphere and an inspired one, he points out a singular success of its design: “It’s the best of both worlds.”



LIST PRICE: $7,300,000

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason


Living in a Digital World

Local Realtor Justin Miller finds an innovative new way to help clients purchase property

Written by Wendy Bowman

A relatively new form of currency, Bitcoin—a digital cash system that enables people to send peer-to-peer payments online—has hit the shores of South Bay, having been recently used to purchase a new home in East Manhattan Beach. The largest residential transaction in California to translate bitcoins into cash, the home sold for $3.225 million. Earlier, in 2014, a luxury residential community in Lake Tahoe sold a 1.4-acre home-building site for $1.6 million worth of the digital dinero.

Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin involves no banks, credit card companies or financial institutions, and transactions typically require both purchaser and seller to have a Bitcoin wallet (an app that allows an individual to make electronic commerce transactions) from sites such as Bitcoin is traded online through Internet exchanges, with value fluctuating greatly. For example, the price of one bitcoin currently equals about 1,017 U.S. dollars.

“Bitcoin is an exciting new currency people aren’t really familiar with,” says Justin Miller of Redondo Beach-based The Miller Group, who represented the buyer of the East Manhattan Beach home with coworker Piper Moretti, and also closed on a $2.3 million commercial deal in El Segundo recently using Bitcoin. “I didn’t know a lot about Bitcoin. We basically had to find an escrow company that would accept Bitcoin payment and initially had a hard time finding one. After some research, we found out that there was one other property in the state of California that was purchased in Lake Tahoe via Bitcoin. They used a service called BitPay that will take the bitcoins and turn them into cash.”

“… Bitcoin involves no banks, credit card companies or financial institutions, and transactions typically require both purchaser and seller to have a Bitcoin wallet…”

A BitPay executive came to visit Miller and explain the process, and once the seller of the East Manhattan Beach home was on board, Miller’s team was ready to compete the deal. How did it work? The buyer—who worked in the world—first had to show proof of funds by displaying the payment wallet on his mobile phone. The sellers then had the option to take the payment fully in either Bitcoin or U.S. dollars; they chose U.S. dollars, which Bitcoin processor BitPay provides via direct bank settlement. Instead of waiting a few days for a wire transfer to clear, the client and the escrow service completed the transaction within an hour.

For the $3.225 million in bitcoins, the buyer of the East Manhattan Beach property will get a five-bedroom, 4,562-square-foot modern farmhouse-style home at 1400 21st Street, which was listed by South Bay agents Mike Michalski and Sachi Fujita of Re/Max Estate Properties. The best part: after converting the currency, the value of the buyer’s Bitcoin appreciated during the time he went under contract and the close of the escrow date (from about $750 to $1,000). That left him with a 25 percent (or about $1 million) windfall that he reportedly used to buy a Lamborghini from a car dealer that also accepts Bitcoin.

“I want to continue to find ways to help clients expand their ability to find and close properties—and to take advantage of new methods available in the market,” says Miller. “Since the opportunities in our world change every day, we remain open to new things and work hard to change, too.” It’s true…we’re all living in a digital world.

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