Spotlight: Villa Capistrano


By Benjamin Sidon for Sellebrity | Read the original article here

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With a history dating to 1776, the California city of San Juan Capistrano – perched between Los Angeles and San Diego – is one of the state’s oldest, most beautiful and most diverse communities. Many of the city’s homes pay architectural homage to Mission San Juan Capistrano, the city’s namesake…but none more dramatically or luxuriously than Villa Capistrano, located at 26162 Calle Roberto. 

Purchased by Hollywood screenwriter Steve Oedekerk (whose credits include the Ace Ventura films, Evan Almighty and Jimmy Neutron) and his wife Tonie in 1997, the lush two-acre estate features an impeccably detailed 10,400 sq ft main home filled to the brim with unique amenities. A Spanish courtyard-themed home theater (complete with a star-filled night sky), a vaulted game room with raised karaoke stage and a soaring, 2-story living room that recalls a 5-star hotel lobby solidify Villa Capistrano as one of the state’s most distinctive and luxurious homes.

But it’s what’s outside the main house that truly amazes. Towards the back of the property sits The Clubhouse, a soaring, airy 3,222 sq ft live/work space that wouldn’t be out of place on a tech campus. Designed for film/television collaboration, The Clubhouse’s work space (with twin 25-ft desks) blends with a meeting area, a lounge, a kitchen, a dining space and a game room….all with tranquil views of Villa Capistrano’s resort-like outdoor space.

There’s no better place to enjoy San Juan Capistrano’s famed Southern California weather than  the estate’s 2+ acres of relaxation. Covered, arched patios extend from the main home and encompass romantic seating areas and an outdoor kitchen with pizza oven; beyond them you’ll find a breathtaking, brick-lined Spanish pool & spa, dramatically accented with flaming terra cotta bowls. 

But that’s not all. Between the wings of the main home is a private, tree-lined courtyard with a peaceful fountain….perfect for large-scale entertaining. But your guests needn’t feel confined to one space; wandering the beautifully landscaped grounds reveals a picturesque fire pit, as well as a stately, heated gazebo.  And should the need for exercise arise, your own lighted tennis court and basketball court await…to say nothing of the property’s two workout rooms.

Villa Capistrano is truly one-of-a-kind, and its luxury and sophistication are unparalleled. The estate is offered at $9,995,000 by Kofi Nartey of Compass and Tracy Weintraub of Surterre Properties.

Neighborhood Spotlight: West Adams lures with its architecture, small-town vibe


By Scott Garner for Los Angeles Times | Read the original article here

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No discussion of the history of West Adams can be complete without drawing a distinction between the district of mansions that make up the heart of Historic West Adams, and the relatively newly designated neighborhood to its west that shares its name.

Whereas Historic West Adams is a close-in suburb dating from the 1880s, the bulk of the “new” West Adams neighborhood was developed in the 1920s, on a wide swath of land between two major east-west streetcar routes: the Los Angeles Railway West Adams Boulevard line and the Pacific Electric Santa Monica Air Line (the Expo Line’s predecessor).

The lines traversed an agricultural no man’s land. It wasn’t a destination, just a series of farms and marshes on the way to Culver City or the beach resorts of Santa Monica and Venice of America.

But as the city expanded westward in the 1920s, the lima bean fields were plowed under and the swampland drained to make room for homes. The new arrivals were drawn to the city by plentiful work in the region’s booming manufacturing, petroleum and construction industries.

The dream of homeownership for Angelenos of more modest means was born here in West Adams and the other neighborhoods built across the city in the 1920s. The old model of homeownership — one that depended on enormous wealth, as typified by Historic West Adams and its baroque palaces — was swept away.

Affordable land and the cheaper, more easily replicated design of tract homes made it possible for almost anyone to buy a home and still have enough left over to purchase a car to go in its driveway. The boom of the 1920s became the template for all succeeding booms, save the current explosion in high-rise residential developments.

That template and the dream it represented forever changed L.A. The streetcar lines were ripped up, and entire neighborhoods were bulldozed to make way for freeways as the city expanded further and further out in the pursuit of more cheap land to build more subdivisions.

The housing bust put an end to that era, as the development of the far-flung suburbs of Riverside County was swamped by a wave of foreclosures. Close-in homes are again in demand, and West Adams seems poised to be the next L.A. neighborhood to watch as those horizontal flipper fences go up, and prices follow.

Neighborhood highlights
Culver City-adjacent: West Adams offers relatively reasonable prices right next door to this booming tech hub, and the Expo Line makes commuting a breeze.

Parks and rec: With easy access to Kenneth Hahn Park, the Ballona Creek Bike Path and the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, West Adams is a great choice for outdoors enthusiasts.

Culinary delights: Whether you crave soul food, down-home barbecue, pupusas or tacos, there is a place in West Adams for you.

Neighborhood challenge
A boom for some, a bust for others: The neighborhood seems certain to change as commercial development at its margins increases, making it more attractive to new buyers.

Expert insight
David Raposa of City Living Realty has been working in West Adams for 32 years and said the beautiful architecture brings people in, and the small-town neighborly vibe makes them stay.

“The homes and streets here have context; they’re more than just a box of square footage,” Raposa said. “But at the same time, the people here know each other’s names.”

During the last half decade, new restaurants have been slowly popping up alongside historic neighborhood staples, but Raposa said there’s enough room for all to coexist. He said desirable properties usually net multiple offers, so prospective buyers need to be in a strong financial position to land a home.

“Sometimes, even writing a letter to the seller can be a good idea,” Raposa said. “Prove your dedication to the house and the neighborhood.”

Market snapshot
In the 90016 ZIP Code, based on 21 sales, the median sales price in July for single-family homes was $645,000, according to CoreLogic. That was a 2.4% increase in median sales price year over year.

Report card
Schools inside the West Adams boundary include Marvin Elementary and Cienega Elementary, which scored 794 and 792, respectively, in the 2013 Academic Performance Index.

Bright spots in the area include Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, which scored 897, and Baldwin Hills Elementary, which scored 864. Alta Loma Elementary scored 763.

Manhattan Beach mall makeover finally moving forward


By Elijah Chiland for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

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In the works for over a decade, a major overhaul planned for the 44-acre Manhattan Village Shopping Center in Manhattan Beach may be on its way to fruition.

The Daily Breeze reports that a lawsuit filed by opponents of the project in 2014 was settled earlier this month, after the city approved alternate construction plans in June. A separate appeal of the project from neighboring businesses was rejected by the Manhattan Beach City Council last week.

With these challenges out of the way, the redevelopment—which is expected to be complete by 2020—can get underway.

The planned renovations will transform the northern and central portions of the shopping mall, razing more than 70,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space to make way for 194,644 square feet of new construction.

Developer RREEF plans to give the mall a more free-flowing feel, with a “village” of open-air shops connecting visitors to the enclosed portion of the mall. Major updates include an expansion of the Macy’s store on site and the demolition and relocation of a California Pizza Kitchen.

Plans also call for a lot more parking, with new on-site lots providing between 463 and 749 new spaces.

The Manhattan Beach City Council initially approved the project three years ago, but appeals and other delays have held up work on the mall’s big update.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Glassell Park’s future looks greener and livelier


By Scott Garner for Los Angeles Times | Read the original article here

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The massive, 36,000-acre Rancho San Rafael — a gift from the Spanish governor of California to Jose Maria Verdugo in 1784 — can fairly be called the mother of Northeast Los Angeles.

The neighborhoods that were carved from the hilly, scenic expanse of land to the east of the L.A. River include Atwater Village, Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Glassell Park.

Lost by the Verdugo family in foreclosure proceedings and snapped up by Andrew Glassell and Alfred Chapman — two Southern lawyers who had made their way west in the years before the Civil War — the rancho was then split by the men into 31 separate tracts in the Great Partition of 1871.

Glassell and Chapman ended up with fewer than 6,000 acres on the eastern banks of the rio, where the narrow alluvial plains of the Elysian Valley give way to the rolling landscape of the San Rafael Hills. Glassell built a hilltop home for himself and his family on the current site of Washington Irving Middle School and in 1888 founded the agricultural city of Orange.

When Glassell died in 1901, his family began selling off chunks of his holdings (in the 1920s they would sell the land that would become Forest Lawn), and as investors snapped up the acres they began to develop the tract that would bear his name.

Modest Craftsman bungalows began to sprout up along winding streets named after Glassell’s children, and in 1912 the burgeoning hillside community was annexed by the city of Los Angeles.

Because it was served by the Los Angeles Railway’s Eagle Rock line, the neighborhood was a convenient location for commuters who worked downtown or in the rail yards just north of the city. In 1923, the opening of the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Taylor Yard boosted growth in Glassell Park and further reinforced the neighborhood’s ties to the railroad.

Construction of the 2 Freeway, which cut the neighborhood in two in the early 1950s, signaled a shift to the suburbs that was taking place across the city. As many earlier residents followed the freeways out into the valleys (San Fernando and San Gabriel), Glassell Park became a popular destination for newly arrived immigrants from Latin America. 

Today, Glassell Park is facing the demographic changes that come in the wake of increased property values and redevelopment of its historic homes and commercial corridors.

Neighborhood highlights
Bungalow heaven: Glassell Park’s charming bungalows and hillside vistas are a big draw for home buyers looking for historic character and classic California living.

Riverside: The old Taylor Yard has been transformed into Rio de Los Angeles State Park, and the city’s river revitalization project aims to reclaim even more land for green space.

Good eats: In keeping with its rustic roots, Glassell Park is home to a number of eateries that serve hearty, unpretentious offerings of everything from tamales to pub fare.

Neighborhood challenge
Managing change: As the Glassell Park real estate market heats up, the neighborhood could become the latest to wrestle with managing the effects of gentrification.

Expert insight
Alyssa Valentine, a listing agent with Courtney + Kurt Real Estate, has been working in Glassell Park for 11 years. She said she has recently noticed excitement brewing in the community.

“Glassell Park lacks some of the big commercial corridors of its neighbors like Highland Park and Mount Washington, so it’s traditionally been a sleepier area with a residential vibe,” Valentine said. “But as of late, there are more and more restaurants and cafes popping up.”

Valentine noted that there’s a wide variety of housing stock in the area. Because the value is a little better than in the surrounding neighborhoods, the market is hot.

“Glassell Park has a few pockets people aren’t as familiar with, so buyers should seek those out and be prepared to make plenty of offers,” she said.

Market snapshot
In the 90065 ZIP Code, based on 26 sales, the median sales price in July for single-family homes was $705,000, according to CoreLogic. That was a 2.8% increase in median sales price year over year.

Report card
Schools inside the boundaries include Fletcher Drive Elementary and Glassell Park Elementary, which scored 746 and 742, respectively, in the 2013 Academic Performance Index.

Bright spots in the area include Delevan Drive Elementary, which scored 915. Mount Washington Elementary scored 915, and Cerritos Elementary scored 874.

Rams stadium could have the priciest tickets in NFL history


By Elijah Chiland for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

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The new Los Angeles Rams stadium, soon to be the largest in the NFL, could also be its most expensive, according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times

Still under construction in Inglewood, the stadium won’t open until 2020, but the Rams organization is already studying possible ticket prices, as well as fees associated with season ticket purchases. 

According to the Times, the team is considering charging between $175,000 and $225,000 per seat for the stadium’s most expensive personal seat licenses—one-time deposits that allow fans to purchase season tickets in the future.

Those would be the highest-priced personal seat licenses in NFL history, though they would eventually be refundable—50 years from the date of purchase.

After purchasing the license, buyers would be able to acquire season tickets for between $350 and $400 per game.

Rams fans looking to spend a little less than the price of a Ferrari on season tickets won’t be out of options. Under the proposed pricing scheme, personal seat licenses for the most economical tickets would start at $500—with the actual tickets costing $50 per game.

It’s not clear yet whether Chargers fans will face similar costs. The team, which moved from San Diego to Los Angeles this year, will share the new stadium once it opens, but team executives haven’t figured out a pricing plan yet.

Plans initially called for the new stadium to open in 2019, but construction delays pushed the date back to 2020. Because of the delay, NFL team owners voted to bring the 2022 Super Bowl to Los Angeles—rather than the 2021 game, as originally planned.

Once complete, the stadium will be nearly 3 million square feet in size, with seating for 70,240 fans—and up to 100,000 people in standing-room only scenarios.

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