Sunday Opens (10/19/14)

By Dave Fratello | October 19th, 2014

There's a transformation under way in downtown Manhattan Beach, as another new destination restaurant is being pieced together amid much anticipation.

At, they've just published a nice interview with Love & Salt's chef Michael Fiorelli. The restaurant is opening later this Fall on the site of the former Cafe Pierre. Enjoy.

Also, if you get yourself to the end of the pier some day soon, you'll find that there's a great reason to be there: Two Guns Espresso has just opened up in the roundhouse as Manhattan Beach Yacht Club.

As to real estate, over the next few months, there will be weekends like this one.

No brand-new listings are showing off this Sunday, so we're going to be pointing to some homes that have been around a bit and are still looking to make their deals.

It's quite a change after last week, which saw 18 new listings and 13 sales (new escrows). This week, just 4 new listings, with 12 sales coming off the board. (One of those sales was Dave's new listing from last week, 209 41st, which drew multiple offers.)

To plan your open-house tours for this week, use MB Confidential's online list of Manhattan Beach open houses (it's mobile-friendly!).

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

Sand Section

616 Highland (3br/4ba, 2130 sq. ft.) is a very refreshed late-90s TH with nice views and, obviously, a close-to-town location.

This one is more or less a direct competitor to 512 Highland (3br/3ba, 2135 sq. ft.), which logged several weeks on market, first at $2.789M, then down to $2.399M when they made a deal recently.

Here, unlike at 512, we can vouch for the bedroom count. There's a legit master that doesn't share its bath and the 3rd bedroom really is a bedroom (en suite, no less) with a closet.

616 Highland has also seen a lot of work poured in recently to try to refresh and modernize the home, though it is mainly cosmetic (new paint, carpets and thorough cleaning). Again, by contrast, when we saw 512 Highland, it was a little rough around the edges and more obviously dated.

Both townhomes feature a pretty open top floor opening to an ocean-view deck. At 616 Highland, we were pretty surprised to see the views blocked by sliding plantation shutters – it's a small matter to open those, but half will still be blocked.

616 Highland has cut $150K and is now at $2.299M; it is open Sun. 1-4pm.

532 5th Place (2br/2ba, 910 sq. ft.) is a compact little home on a half lot which, at this point, seems to be absolutely the most it can ever be.

We've seen this original (1932) home here previously in its past runs on the market, but with the new modernizations and splashy, sleek style that's been applied inside and out, we could only say: Wow.

Here you enter along a newly redone side yard/patio into the modestly sized living room. One bedroom is on this floor, with the (remodeled) kitchen in back. The second bed/bath combo is upstairs. 

All of the space has to be used efficiently in a home like this. It could be rough for a family but great for a first home for a couple or, equally well, as a weekend/vacation home. (We are seeing a lot of those kinds of purchases lately.)

Two of the comps you might point to for this one are the "landlocked" half-lot homes on flat, South End walkstreets that have sold recently: 333 8th St. (1br/1ba, 765 sq. ft.) at $1.447M and, quite recently, 329 9th St. (2br/1ba, 900 sq. ft.)  at $1.440M. Those "landllocked" homes had no garages. Here, at least, on 5th Place, there is at least the one "car" garage (we did not try to park a modern car in it), although of course this home does not front a walkstreet like the others.

Now, it may not be literally true that this home is now the most it can be. Given our understanding of the city's rules, you could probably add 400 sq. ft. or so to the top floor, making it 1300 instead of 900 sq. ft. But when a home has gotten such a complete makeover as this one has, you tend to imagine those kinds of possibilities as coming much further down the road.

532 5th Place starts at $1.419M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Hill Section

200 S. Poinsettia (6br/7ba, 5060 sq. ft.) is a big, custom 90s house with lots of light and open, flowing spaces, and a surprise or two.

Now, it's very much of its vintage, and not a familiar layout, but you can wrap your mind around it after getting through the whole place.

There are lots of common spaces spread along the first floor, including a big, open kitchen with dining area and a connected family room near the yard (a smallish space that would be hard to do much with).

But the truly fun common space is not on the first level, not on the second level, but way up on the third floor (did we really see 3 floors? yes we did), where a big outdoor patio with built-in wet bar awaits. Ocean views and breezes are quite good. It's worth the hike.

Other than that big patio, the third floor is really for the (sprawling) master, which features a roughly 700 sq. ft. bath, including sauna. (To the downside, your guests at any patio party might need to ask to use that master bath.)

Of the 6br, there are 4br concentrated on the midlevel and one more tucked away on the first floor. The garage and laundry are yet another level down – yes, there are really 4 levels to the home – and while hauling laundry up the stairs would be no fun, there is a laundry chute for getting stuff down there. 

200 S. Poinsettia has cut $200K and is now at $3.995M; it is open Sun. 2-4pm.

922 Duncan Place (4br/2ba, 1785 sq. ft.) seems to be partway into a quick cosmetic refresher – new paint, maybe replacing some carpet, fixing floors, etc. So that may convey to prospective buyers that the home is livable as is.

To indulge that a moment, you have four smallish bedrooms, clustered together at the "front" of the house by the garage, but the entry is actually in the rear with the living areas – you'll access the proper entry by walking the length of the house along the east side.

Inside, we can only call the baths and kitchen dated. The kitchen is somewhat open to the living areas upstairs, and there are stairs down to a reasonably bright basement room as well.

What stands out, both from the exterior and the main living room in back, is the view and view potential. The neighbor to the south is (for now) under height and you can easily see PV and some ocean blue. Building up on this site, you'd get a lot more.

Duncan Place is an alley street, although there are some nice homes and frontages along this particular block. (We're mentally contrasting this stretch with some others that really feel like garage upon garage – there's more of a neighborhood feel here on Duncan Place.)

We're going to bet on development here, but you can never be sure.

922 Duncan Place has cut $100K and is now at at $1.649M; it is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1409 Wendy (3br/3ba, 1815 sq. ft.) is a fancy-looking flipper remodel that we did not get to tour on Friday. We're optimistic about it, as it seems to hit all the notes that are popular today – another great case of an old, tired, original home that's been saved with an update.

Here are some excerpts from the official listing description:

Dramatic, yet intimate, beachy yet sophisticated, this home is virtually new, with tasteful appointments and a calming color palette throughout. The interior is accented by wide plank smokey white oak hardwood floors throughout. 14 Foot High Vaulted Ceilings in all of the main living space. The central island kitchen has an enormous amount of lustrous white cabinetry with carerra marble and quartzite counters... There is a large patio with stone accents and a big grassy yard... The master bedroom has a spacious walk in closet and a beach chic bath with a walk in shower and dual lav beach plantation vanity. All of the window and door openings are enhanced with crown details and there is wainscoting and chair railing throughout.

1409 Wendy is at $1.689M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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