A distinctive seaside retreat
“Peaceful, clean-lined, modern, and oddly quirky, my finally finished family home embodies my fantasy of California—glamorous but effortless, a place to dream and retreat—and how I pictured myself living here when I was kid.”
These are the words of the property owner, himself an avid collector of architecture, as related to Architectural Digest in their February 2017 cover feature on the property. AD described it as a, “…brilliant beach house” – and it is that in every measure.
The one-of-a-kind, 1.25 acre gated ocean view compound captures seemingly endless vistas of the coastline, ocean and islands – not to mention spectacular sunsets – from most every vantage point.
The main residence is a capacious and ethereal dwelling. Laid out on a single level, it opens to the glorious out of doors entertaining areas that surround it – all reveling in the views. Light, spacious and perfectly detailed, this home is the embodiment of California living.
The magnificent gardens ultimately lead to a secluded and private garden oasis, replete with a pool court and pavilion at its center. Carefully blended into the surrounding landscape, this is a private haven. Here one can disappear on a sunny day with nothing more than a book – or host a hundred friends for a summertime poolside soirée.
The separate guest house is comfortably appointed and ideal for family or guests. Set away at the edge of the property, it complements the main residence while expanding the use possibilities of the estate.
Vision, passion, and refined study were combined into an alchemy here, the result of which is this understated and sublime retreat. Its many favorable distinctions were not planned; rather they evolved naturally as its promise unfolded and matured. Now complete, it will undoubtedly continue to provide an exceptional setting for all who have the pleasure of spending time here.
– 1.25 acre walled and gated compound
– Two residences
– Pool court and pavilion
– Extraordinary privacy
– 270 degree views
– Walk to the beach location
– The only property of its kind in Laguna Beach
Set approximately 50 miles south of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach is a charming seaside village of approximately 20,000 people. Neighboring areas include Crystal Cove, the Newport Coast, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Balboa, and Monarch Beach. The subject property is a fifteen-minute drive from John Wayne Airport and the business district of Newport Center, and is set between Southern California’s most desirable coastal resorts.
The subject property is located in the the lower Temple Hills neighborhood, which is one of the most preferred in Laguna Beach. Homes here are prized for their ocean views as well as their proximity to the village area of Laguna Beach with its shopping, dining, galleries, and miles of picturesque beaches – all of which are just a short stroll away. Access to and from the property is convenient and pedestrian friendly.
The average lot size in the immediate surrounding area is approximately 5,000 square feet. The city as a whole has an average, usable parcel size that is similar. Originally conceived as a summer resort of bungalows and seasonal cottages, few larger parcels were ever created. The few that exist are highly sought after. The two parcels inclusive to this offering are significantly larger than most found in Laguna Beach. Together, they total nearly 54,000 square feet, or approximately 1.25 acres; all of which has been improved with structures or gardens. Replacement value of the land (if it could be found) is estimated between $8MM and $10MM.
The parcel occupies an elevated promontory with more than 270 degrees of view exposure from north-west to due south. The seaward facing perimeter of the property is over 650 feet, giving the site exceptional, multi-directional vistas. No other property in Laguna Beach offers the same parcel size, view frontage, and view quality of the subject.
The elevation is high enough to capture preferred city and ocean views, but also low enough on the hill to afford easy pedestrian access to the beach and village – a valued combination. The main elevation of the site rests approximately forty feet above the street below. This is a relatively substantial elevation change that affords exceptional privacy with minimal of view interference. Due to its elevation and positioning, the adjacent properties are virtually unseen.
The views span the coastline from Rockledge to the south, reaching up the coast to Palos Verdes to the north-west. The entire village and north coast of Laguna Beach, as well as San Clemente and Catalina Islands, can be seen from all major rooms and outdoor areas. The ocean and sunset views are spectacular as are the coastline and city light views at night. Its unique elevation on this ridge separates it from the surrounding neighbors, while opening it to uninterrupted views for miles.
While many properties in Laguna Beach have ocean views, few have the range and dynamic interest found in this specific location. The view here is exceptional in all aspects.
The subject property is a completely walled and gated ocean view compound, featuring a private and gated motor court, two legal independent residences of approximately 5,000 square feet and 2,700 square feet, a separate pool court and pavilion, as well as numerous outdoor entertaining areas and highly cultivated specimen gardens. All improvements are sited on the property to offer unobstructed ocean and coastline views. The homes were recently reconstructed and extensively renovated at the direction of Mark Singer, AIA, who also designed the newly constructed pool court and pavilion.
The main residence is a single level structure with views from all major rooms. It includes four bedrooms in total, a great room, a spacious ocean view master suite with private study, a spacious kitchen with informal dining, a half bath, a subterranean accessory use room (ideal for a theater or wine room), and a two-car garage. It features vaulted ceilings, polished concrete floors, numerous skylights, and walls of retractable glass doors that open to outdoor entertaining areas and gardens. All of the main rooms and the surrounding gardens overlook the coastline and ocean. Period details from the original mid-century design have been carefully restored and include expansive rosewood paneling and cabinetry throughout the master suite. Walls of poured in place concrete, a hallmark of the architect, were also utilized. The interior design was a collaborative effort between the owners and renown Los Angeles based designer Cliff Fong. It features a museum quality collection of early and mid-century modern and contemporary furniture, complemented by carefully selected interior and exterior artwork, sculpture and objet. The entire composition was highlighted, along with the exquisite gardens, in the February 2017 issue of Architectural Digest where it was the cover feature (click HERE to see the full AD feature). Much of the furniture and art is available for purchase under a separate agreement.
The pool court and pavilion were recently completed, along with the entirely redesigned sea view gardens. The pool court is an expansive outdoor entertaining destination that includes a private walled garden, terraces, a 43-foot long lap pool, and a two-story steel and concrete outdoor entertainment building with nearly 2,000 square feet of terraces. This pavilion has a main level covered terrace that features a fireplace, outdoor kitchen and serving areas, and pool bath. The upper level features another large partially covered terrace, with a fireplace, and a second bath. This level overlooks the entire pool court, gardens, and ocean.
The gardens are deserving of note as well. Designed by the late Bridget Hedison, they represent one her finest career achievements. Known for creating many of California’s most important gardens of the last twenty years, Hedison exhibited unique skill and ingenuity in realizing the promise of this extraordinary parcel. Over an acre in size, the multi-tiered gardens enhance the gently sloping site while maximizing views. Dozens of specimen varieties have been used throughout and include succulents, mature Canary Island palms, exotic citrus, lavender, and an allée of Ligustrom trees. Corten steel planters, antique limestone cobble stones, hand plastered walls, and decomposed granite paths are but a few of the geometric, man-made elements that define the design of this intriguing garden.
The guest residence is a two-story structure set at the edge of the property. It features an ocean view great room surrounded by walls of glass, accented by vaulted and beamed ceilings. It also has a private study, two bedroom suites, a half bath, two fireplaces, a two-car garage, and spacious outdoor terraces for dining and entertaining. One of the bedroom suites includes a kitchenette and sitting room, as well as a separate entrance.
Residential compounds along this coast are incredibly few in number. They are not frequently found in the resale market, and there is a scant record of resales having ever been offered. Of those that exist, most were built in lesser fringe locations as assembling the necessary land is virtually impossible in any desirable area. A handful of quality properties do exist, but like the subject they were created over many years by and for their current owners – at considerable expense.
By way of example, other compounds in the region are far more expensive. Two, two-property compounds have sold in the last year. One was located off-water in Corona del Mar. With two tear-down homes, the total of 3.5 acres sold for $55 million. The other was the ‘Villa del Lago’ in the Newport Coast, which was comprised of a main residence of substantial size with a detached guest house. Located on approximately 4.5 useable acres, the property sold for $45 million. Located in a canyon, the Villa del Lago has no ocean views. One multi-parcel coastal compound is currently on offer in San Clemente. Known as ‘La Casa Pacifica’, it is located on 5.45 acres and is listed at $63.5 million.
While there are few historical sales of like kind properties, it does not mean there is a shortage of interest in them. In fact, scores of local multi-million dollar properties have been purchased by their adjoining neighbors in recent years in this area for the purpose of expanding their current properties. These owners, too, have found their single parcel properties to not be sufficiently accommodating. People are buying neighboring properties for expansion projects, guest homes, pools and gardens, and other specific-use structures. In better locations these multi-property projects represent cumulative investments in the $20 million to $100 million range. Given how difficult it can be to acquire directly adjacent properties, others have elected to purchase non-adjacent properties in the vicinity for the similar purposes.
Property appreciation in the coastal Orange County region has been consistent for over two decades, aside from a temporary decline between late 2008 and early 2011. This steady increase in values has largely been driven by an increase in the number of out-of-area buyers entering this market. As the prices have risen, so too have the expectations of these buyers – leading to a shortage of product that meets their needs. As a group, these buyers are frequently looking for larger, more private properties, in turn-key condition, with exceptional views and entertaining capacities. Multiple home opportunities and compounds are especially desirable, as privacy concerns and the ability to accommodate multiple generations of families rank among the highest of considerations. Conversely, smaller and less expensive properties (ones that years ago drew the strongest interest) are now often passed by due to their limiting size and resulting functional obsolescence. Larger, private view parcels, with newer structures, are now the most sought-after properties in this market.
This property is the newest and most appealing of its kind to be offered in this market in over a decade. The estimate replacement cost of the subject is in excess of $25 million dollars. However, it is highly improbable it could be recreated simply due to the scarcity of larger, fully-usable view parcels in Laguna Beach. As such, this offering represents a one-of-a-kind assemblage of land, and therefore a one-of-a-kind property.
This property is being offered to qualified buyers, by appointment.