Sunday Opens (3/10)

By Dave Fratello | March 10th, 2013

Oddly, what's new this week isn't all that middle-of-the-road.

But that's good, if you've got some time this weekend to check out a couple of Sand Section stunners. We recommend it.

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

Sand Section

224 6th (5br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft.) is finally finished and ready for the public. This listing has racked up more than 6 months' worth of DOM while tantalizing potential buyers during construction.

Now, the big reveal.

In short: Worth waiting for. And different.

The style of this home is part of an emerging trend – here they call it "Beach Plantation," in other cases we've heard "Island style," "British West Indies" and variations from there. There's no doubt, much of this style trend locally is driven by the landmark triple-lot home on The Strand (212 The Strand), completed in Summer 2009. (See "Big, Beautiful, Too Much?")

This home has a lot of what you'd expect in a new ocean-view walkstreet house, with some pluses. The architect and builder are solid local names, and the quality shines through.

As you enter, you can step down a bit right into the downstairs living room, which opens to a private patio. The lower level also has a guest bedroom, bath and laundry, plus 3-car garage. (The guest bedroom has glass doors, suggesting it to be more an extension of the entertaining spaces than an actual sleeping room, but it's available.)

Midlevel, there are 3 bedrooms, including a very spacious master suite with a walk-in closet so big, you'd never know you were at the beach. The bath features a steam shower and clawfoot tub, which gives the room a little throwback feel. The additional 2br are a bit larger than we're accustomed to in walkstreet houses, and both have their own baths.

This points up an interesting design choice: To run with only 3br on the sleeping floor. To put a 4th or 5th bedroom into service in this home, you would have to use the room off the downstairs entertaining room, or another legal bedroom on the top floor off the kitchen. To us, this means the home is functionally 3br with an option on more for occasional use. It's probably a smart choice for most families who would look at the home, but potentially a limiting factor for others.

Now, oooooooooooh, that top floor. There is simply no way photos will capture it. (You can expand the photo from our listing display page to full screen, but it's only a hint.) This is The Reason to go to the open.

The top floor is one wide-open, marvelous space, with high ceilings, bright colors, ocean views and breezes, and warmth all at the same time. It feels huge, and it feels like a home.

Though a whole room is cut out in back (that aforementioned 5th legal bedroom, staged as a small ocean-view living room), you don't miss the space in the great room here at all. We liked the unique sandy-colored tile in the kitchen, and how the kitchen has easy, flowing access in back to the balcony where you'd grill. (Oh, man, ocean-view grilling!) It almost goes without saying that the cabinetry and appliances are all top-flight.

The wood flooring in the living areas on all levels is a wide-plank French oak with an acid-wash stain that delivers a stunning color and feel unlike any we've seen in recent memory. It's a soft, greyish tan with subtle variations that give the wood an "aged" feeling without any faux distressing. The stain alone struck us as a daring choice, because if it didn't work as well as it does, well, who knows what you'd have. But this is a great alternative to the dark stains that have become prominent in recent years.

This home has that increasingly vital item in the Sand Section, a 3-stop elevator, plus something different: a laundry chute from the bedroom level down to the bottom-floor laundry room.

So what are you doing Sunday afternoon? Is it better than seeing this achievement of a home? Make plans.

224 6th starts at $5.500M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

316 26th (5br/5ba, 4150 sq. ft.) is an achievement of a completely different sort. It's a bold, confident mix of modern and Craftsman influences that delivers several unique spaces and great ocean views up top.

There's no neighbor to the west here along Crest (except power poles), meaning the whole home gets full light and views from all around the top level.

Much of the wood in the home is Douglas fir, something of a Craftsman staple, but on the bottom level, the flooring is polished concrete, and some walls are concrete block. That's an example of the contrasts you'll see throughout. The entertaining room on that bottom floor boasts a display-oriented wine storage unit and a very large wooden bar opening out to the room, with the walkstreet patio enticing you out.

The top floor living area has soaring ceilings that show off the wood – with a metal girder prominently running across, again pushing the contrasting/complementing styles. This is a huge great room with good views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and sliders. The kitchen features a nicely crafted wooden island.

This 2006 build has traded twice previously: In Jan. 2007 at $3.650M and in Sept. 2010 at $3.200M.

This year, they're looking to improve on the 2007 number, with a start at $3.700M.

316 26th is open Sun. 1-4pm.


Tree Section

660 17th (4br/3ba, 3020 sq. ft.) holds a lot of promise, with a Martyrs-area location on one of the very best blocks.

On 17th, you have a cul-de-sac that ends just above the playing fields at the Martyrs school. It has always felt like an exclusive block – one where we've suggested (lightheartedly) in the past that the neighbors might have to vote to approve new residents.

This 5000 sq. ft. lot is among the smallest in the area, but it's high up the hill, and the listing photos show vast, wide-open views.

We (still) didn't get a chance to tour this one, but we do see that Janie Sue Nagy offered a review on her site, noting 3br downstairs and one up, along with some other details.

660 17th starts at $2.795M, which is all about location, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

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