Sunday Opens (3/1/15)

By Dave Fratello | March 1st, 2015

This week, we're a little light on new real estate inventory, but Manhattan Beach does have a new piece of public art to celebrate. 

"Light Gate" is the name of the sculpture now situated right outside City Hall at 1400 Highland.

Artists Mags Harries and Lajos Héder (pictured) designed Light Gate, and attended a ribbon cutting this week. According to the artists, the piece is made of glass laminated with prismatic lighting film that creates "rich and varied light effects with the sun... As you move around the sculpture, it will shift unexpectedly from transparency, to prismatic refraction, to mirror reflection."

Yes, and also, it looks really cool.

Catch it some late afternoon. Or at sunset. Twice a year (Jan. 27 and Nov. 14), the sun will set perfectly through the "keyhole" slot in the sculpture. It's like MB's own Stonehenge, but made of glass and steel.

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.

Hill Section

915 Boundary Place Manhattan Beach CA915 Boundary Place (2bd/1ba, 864 sq. ft.) is a little place that might have been left for dead. It sold in Feb. 2013, at a time when the listing described it thusly: 

Great fixer/starter for a savvy buyer seeking a Hill Section address and Manhattan Beach schools.

It would appear that "savvy buyer" took full advantage of that opportunity, transforming the possible scraper into a button-cute little beach cottage.

They didn't add square footage, but they did add value. And maybe saved the house.

What's really added value: The skyrocketing market since these (now) sellers acquired the home.

In Feb. 2013, they paid $939K. (Here's the old listing.)

A recent sale of a home on a similarly situated alley lot at 922 Duncan Place sold for $1.650M just 6 weeks ago, in January. That one's got a 4200 sq. ft. lot with a very dated house, while 915 Boundary Place has almost a 4400 sq. ft. lot with this breezy update.

915 Boundary starts at $1.750M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

2216 Grandview Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2216 Grandview (2bd/1ba, 846 sq. ft.) is about the same size as 915 Duncan Place inside, not remodeled, on a smaller lot and asking more money.

But that's the difference between a Hill Section alley location and a Sand Section location near the school.

The purpose of the open house, in this case, is really to scope out the location, and get a feel for the possibilities. 

Lot size is 3350 sq. ft., west-facing toward townhomes.

2216 Grandview starts at $2.495M and is open Sunday 2-4pm.

3105 Vista (3bd/4ba, 2,400 sq. ft.) is a newer (2003) Mediterranean townhome with somewhat more space than you typically find in a TH. 

It's situated in back off the alley and does not really have views, per se.

Totally vacant, the property shows well enough. The top-floor open living space is what you want in a configuration like this. The kitchen is clean, with stainless appliances, granite counters and an attractive backsplash.

The elevator is a nice bonus.

We noted that this unit seems to be part of a 4-unit development, but this single one got its bold, custom color at some point. The rest remain a pale beige.

3105 Vista starts at $2.300M and is open Sunday 2-4pm

3101 Alma Avenue Manhattan Beach CA3101 Alma (3bd/4ba, 1,900 sq. ft.) is a 2005-built townhome with some views and a warm style all around. The top floor is very open and opulent in its Mediterranean style.

Perhaps this home's most striking feature isn't the inside, but the 6-car parking. There's a carved-out space in the front yard, 2-car garage and a wide driveway capable of hosting 3 more cars. In the often-cramped North End, that is simply vital if you're ever going to have visitors.

Interestingly, this property has been on and off the market in recent years without selling. Then, it traded off-market in May 2013 for $1.826M. The sellers have marked it up 31% for this public offering.

3101 Alma is down $100K from start, now at $2.295M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

541 4th (4br/4ba, 3,600 sq. ft.) was built in 1990 in a Southwestern motif, clearly visible in features like the adobe-style, bulbous fireplaces and saltillo tile. But the home has gotten thorough upgrades and modernizations over recent years, pulling it away from a potentially dated feel and instead allowing you to focus more on the fun features and clean, updated aspects.

Talk about fun: Not one, but two, roof decks make for a big "wow" factor. Views of the surrounding Hill and Sand Sections give a great sense of place. One of the roof decks even features a hot tub. You can't build these anymore, folks, but you can upgrade what you've got that's grandfathered in. Great work here.

As to the layout here, you have a ground floor den opening to a patio that's fairly private despite fronting 4th St. (On this block, 4th St. is not a walkstreet.) Three of the bedrooms are downstairs, one being either the smallish room showing as an office, or that whole den.

On the middle level the big, open living spaces plus the master suite, with one of those adobe fireplaces. The open master bath is up some steps and is slickly modern, with an open step-down shower.

This one's unusual, for sure, but somehow easy to groove on. 

It's got to be the decks.

541 4th starts at $3.989M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

620 36th Street Manhattan Beach CA620 36th (4bd/4ba, 3,800 sq. ft.) is a somewhat oversized 2002-built Mediterranean with bright, open common rooms and a Spanish-style courtyard at the center.

You enter along what seems a giant front yard on this street-to-alley lot. If there's going to be kids' or dogs' play space, it's this front area.

Inside, the living room up front is one of those rare "formal" spaces that you somehow sense people might actually use – instead of merely displaying furniture. With high ceilings, good light, and enough space to be a family/media room in its own right, the space somehow struck us as more functional than the norm.

There's a large office up front opening to the yard, formal dining on the way back and very large kitchen/great room in back.

All 4br are upstairs, with 2 of the 3 secondary bedrooms being really huge for a recent MB build.

This one has a down-the-middle, crowd-pleasing design and feel to it, showing now with little in the way of notable upgrades or customizations, and really no big question marks. It's a straightforward example of the last cycle's new construction with plus-sizes built into many rooms, making it above average in that way.

620 36th starts at $2.935M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

750 35th Street Manhattan Beach CA750 35th (5br/5ba, 3,700 sq. ft.) is new construction in what they're calling a Cape Cod style, built into a substantially upsloping lot with the garage off an alley in back.

Visitors enter up stairs and into a formal living room with wet bar and wall wine fridge. Up some more stairs, you have, on a single level, an open kitchen, dining area and big family room that opens to a paved courtyard on the side of the house. (That's the yard.)

We found all the bedrooms to be comfortably large. The master's tucked in back, just off the stairs that also go to the garage. Its windows are mainly oriented to the west toward the neighboring (lower) home. The two front bedrooms are bright, but get head-on views of the refinery. 

They knew in launching this project that location could be a challenge, so the builder poured extra into filling the home with well-done, absolutely current details. The basic idea is: Give the people what they want.

750 35th starts at $3.275M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

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