Adios to Another Spanish

By Dave Fratello | December 18th, 2013

As we did just a few weeks ago, it’s time to (pre-) mourn the passing of another little piece of old Manhattan Beach.

This time, it’s 209 1st St. in the South End, right at 1st/Manhattan Ave. – call it 100 Manhattan Ave., if you will. (The new owners will.)

As with 3116 Alma, subject of our post “Adios to a Cool Spanish,” this site hosts an older Spanish. In this case, it’s a little duplex of 2500+ sq. ft. on a 3300 sq. ft. corner lot near the beach.

What’s been happening to these lots along Manhattan Ave. recently? They’ve been sprouting new construction at max density, often new duplexes where each home has nearly the square footage of this one current home.

And that’s the plan for “100 Manhattan Ave.,” the next iteration of this property. But before the ‘dozers come – and it could be a little while – let’s look back at the history here.

209 1st St. dates back to 1932. At that time a little Spanish sprouted on the site. As this old photo shows, they had that rare combination by the beach of a (then-) new house and a big yard. Total commute to the sand: About 35 seconds, downhill.

Fast forward 40 years, and a new family took over. They paid the (then-) princely sum of $84K for the property in 1974. They had a plan: Expand the existing house, and add a separate unit up front along Manhattan Ave., which could eventually provide income.

After that remodel was finished, people took notice. Specifically, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce gave the owners an Award of Merit in 1981 for the design of their new home. The family was featured on the front page of the Beach Reporter on occasion of the award. Their new home was becoming something of a landmark. (Our thanks go to family members for the old photos in this post.)

The family grew in the home, then gradually all moved on to other places. The Chamber stopped giving awards for darling Spanish homes. Redevelopment became the dominant theme in MB, especially near the water.

Recently, to settle affairs, the property had to be sold. Some family members tried to get it, with the goal of preserving the home, but they could not outbid a developer interested in the lot. It sold a couple of weeks ago for $2.750M.

Coming next to 100 Manhattan Ave.: Two very high-end THs with ocean views. The way this market is rolling now, you can project prices closer to $3M each than to $2M, though we shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot to do between now and then.

One day next year, an excavator will arrive. In a matter of hours, this little landmark slice of old MB will be rubble, and the modernization of our little beach town will roll on.

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