Bird Streets Blog

Garage

Los Angeles has great weather, so having a garage here is not a necessity like other parts of the country, especially places that get snow. In my younger years, I grew up in Minnesota. Waking up on cold winter mornings, after scrapping the snow and ice off my car was the worst! You really appreciate having a garage then.

Los Angeles is car obsessed, so even though we don’t need garages, many people want them. Fun Fact: There are more cars in Los Angeles then people! Over 6M cars where registered with DMV in 2016 and the populations for greater Los Angeles area is 4M people. For at least one or two of my clients, the first thing they look at when buying a house is the garage. 

The primary function of a garage is to store cars. By housing cars in a garage- it protects the paint from fading, and provides security from scratches, dents, and dings or theft. Getting your car off the street will save you money from parking tickets!

Since real estate has become so valuable in Los Angeles, many people are converting their garages to living spaces and parking their cars on the driveway. For $10,000 or less you can convert a garage into a 300 sqft to 400 sqft living space. I call these “stu-ages” because they are studios turned out of garages. Converting your garage is one of the most inexpensive way to add sqft to your house. If you convert your garage without permits, one piece of advice- leave the garage door on, especially if it faces an alley. That way it won’t arose undue suspicion.

Assuming you are still using your garage as a garage, it does other things too, like provide storage for tools, lawn and sport equipment, and bicycles. One way to free up more space in your main house is to move the laundry into the garage.

Steve Jobs in front of his parents garage where he started Apple

Garages can wear many hats- they can be an incubator space for a startup company, or a rehearsal space for a band, a workshop, or just about anything else you can think of.

From a construction standpoint, building a garage is pretty much the same as building the exterior shell of a house, except there are no finishes inside. If you are building a new garage make sure you permit it with the building department.

After the kitchen, the garage is the second room in the house with the highest fire risk. Building codes have specific provisions for fire prevention in garage construction. Most fires can be avoided by using some common sense, by storing flammable liquids, and not overloading power outlets.

 

 

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Los Angeles Height Districts

Building Height is one of the main variables zoning codes control. Building Height is a key factor in the planning for any building design.  

§ Section 12.21.1 of Los Angeles Municipal code deals with Building Heights. 

Here is a table of Max Heights for Residential Zones:

If only it were this easy! Unfortunately the Los Angeles Zoning code is messy. There are a number of zoning provisions that can change the Maximum Building Height for a property, which makes things more complicated.

ZIMAS

What is the heck is Zimas? Zimas is an acronym for “Zone Information and Map Access System”. Pretty boring full name if you ask me, but I like Zimas (reminds me of the clear vodka like drink from the nineties). You will hear a lot of planners at the zoning counter talking about Zimas- they spend most of the day on the website.

Zimas is the first place you want to check to determine the property’s Height Limits:

http://zimas.lacity.org/

Type in your address and open up the “Planning and Zoning Tab” 

The Zoning Tab contains all the properties zoning information. Don’t be intimidated by the huge drop down menu, most of the fields are blank for most parcels.

One feature I love about Zimas is that the Zoning Information is linked to the related zoning documents. Any field that is a “No” or “None” you don’t care about.

In the example above the Property :1720 Winmar- is an “RS” Zone, and it has modifications “ZI-2462”, and it is in an Enterprise zone ZI-2129. Since this is a residential property and enterprise zones deal with commercial properties this doesn’t have any affect. You can also see there is a General Plan Footnote, good to check that also. The big one here, is that it is in a hillside zone, which means it falls under the baseline hillside zoning ordnance. That is going to change the rules for max height dramatically.

 

Height Modifiers:

-Special Height Districts (L, VL, XL, SS)

-Overlay Zones: HPOZ, Baseline Hillside Ordinance, Coastal Zone

-Community Specific Plans

-General Plan footnotes

 

SPECIAL HEIGHT DISTRICTS

If you see a dash and L, VL, XL, or SS after the zone this indicates a special height district. For R1, if you see R1-L, or R1-VL, or R1-XL this means that even though R1 Zone is 

 

Lets take an example so you can see how this can change things.

Let’s suppose you have a R1-1XL Zone Lot. For the R1 Zone the Max Height is 33 feet. However for R1-1XL the max height is now reduced to 30 Feet. 

OVERLAY ZONES

Baseline Hillside Ordinance

§ LAMC Section 12.21C.10-4

 

 

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128 N Swall Dr | Le Chambord

Le Chambord
128 N Swall Dr
Los Angeles CA 90048

128 N Swall is a newer construction 30 unit low rise condo development in Beverly Center. Built in 1991 by developers Goldrich & Kest, the complex has an Old World European styling with symmetrical columns, balustrade balconies, French doors, and hard-stone Marble & Granite. 

 Cedar Sinai Hospital is right around the corner. Many doctors and nurses from the hospital live in 128 N Swall, because they can walk to work. Beverly Hills condo buyers take an interest as well, since there are not many condos in Beverly Hills, and this nearby location, is a great alternative.

Location

128 N Swall is located in prime Beverly Center, within a short walk to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, the mega shopping mall the Beverly Center, and the nearby cities of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. There are so many dining options! Celebrity Hotspot the Ivy is a block away. Trendy Lemonade is on Beverly. Bristol Farms grocery is on the corner of Doheny and Beverly. Both 3rd St and Melrose have a number restaurants as well as the Beverly Center.

If you need to shop for furniture to decorate your condo the best of the best furniture retailers in Los Angeles are located in the area. The Pacific Design Center with the great blue whale is up Robertson. Restoration Hardware’s new “RH Modern” store is across the street from the Ivy. Italian Furniture maker Minotti has a store on Beverly. Basically every company you see in Architectural Digest has a show room in the area.

Robertson offers high end retail clothing stores such as Chanel, Michael Kors, The Kooples, Jovani’s, All Saints, and Greg Chapman’s

Are you a Starbucks person or a Coffee Bean Person? Both coffee shops are across from each other at Beverly and Robertson. 

Real Estate

Turnover Ratio? 3.5% or about 1 condo a year.

 Record sale: $1,050,000 8/25/2016

 Appreciation: 4%

128 N Swall is 4 stories, with the Condos on the 4th Floor being the Penthouses. There are 8 condos on each floor, except for the first floor which only has 6 condos to make room for the entry (‘02) and the gym and conference room (‘04).

All of the floor plans are single level and have 2 bedrooms + den and two and a half bathrooms.

Square footage ranges from 1,350 sqft to 1,762 sqft. Bedrooms are split layout. Condos have grand formal entries flanked by four vertical columns, marble floors and raised ceilings. This is a great opportunity to decorate with an intricate stone inlay. A circular patter would align with the cove ceiling above. If a new marble flow is out of the budget, a circular rug also does the trick, if you want to add some Oomph to the Entry. 

Off the Entry is a Powder Room and Laundry Room. The Laundry room has space for side by side washer and dryer with some cabinets above. 

The Main Room has three spaces the work with each other- the Living Room, Dining Room and Den. Den’s can work for a bedroom but they won’t be very private. The dens work great for libraries, offices, play areas, and hobby rooms. The formal dining Room comfortably seats 6. Living Rooms are about 250 sqft to 300 sqft and have a huge stone mantel fireplace as a focal point. The fireplace can be set up to burn wood or use gas.

Connected to the living room are french doors that lead out to a private Balcony. Condos in the ‘01, ‘02, and ‘03 stacks have street facing views of Swall. Stacks ’04 and ’05 face the interior courtyard with the pool and spa, and ’06, ’07 and ’08 are street facing to Clark.

Kitchens are galley style, and have granite countertops. There is a nice breakfast area room for a round table and two chairs that is a nice place to sit and have your morning coffee while reading the paper. The Stove is gas. 

Bedrooms have a split layout. Each bedroom has a full en suite bathroom. The Master bedroom is larger in size then the other bedroom suite and has a walk-in closet and large master bathroom. The master bathroom has a separate tub shower and double vanity. 

Penthouses have a large round skylight in their foyers. 

For the time being the HOA does not allow wood flooring on the 2nd, 3rd and fourth floors, but they have been talking about revising the CCRs. 

Amenities

Pool

-Rec Room (has a kitchen)

-Gym (new equipment in last 5 years)

-Lobby

Storage Unit

(2) Elevators

Parking and Laundry

Each condo has two deeded parking spaces in a subterranean garage that you enter from Swall. Parking spaces are mixed between side by side and tandem, but mostly side by side. There is plenty of guest parking. The building has 15 guest parking spaces. 

Laundry is inside each condo in a Laundry Room located off the main entrance. Side by side washer and dryer with gas hook up and some cabinet space for linens and detergent and a door that closes to block sound when machines are running. 

Home Owners Association

The homeowners association is very active- they meet once a month. 

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $685/mo. per condo

HOA dues cover? Water & Trash, Common Area Maintenance, Building Insurance, EQ Insurance, Reserves

Owner Pays? Electric, Gas, Internet, Cable, Condo Insurance

Any special assessments? None

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy? Lease must be at least 1 year or longer.

EQ Insurance? Yes (15% deductible)

Building Reserves? $250,000

Special move in instructions? $250 Move in Fee

Can you have BBQ on balcony? NO

Management Company:

Manhattan Mgmt Inc
16350 Ventura Blvd # 309
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 907-6047

Manager: Cookie Valente
818-990-4436

 

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2220 & 2222 Avenue of the Stars | Century Towers

Century Towers
2220 & 2222 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles CA 90067

Century Towers is a 27-story luxury high rise in Century City. It has two towers: 2220 & 2222 that combine for a total of 320 condos. Built in 1964 by developer and Century City founding father William Zeckendorf at a cost of $13M- Century Towers was Century City’s first residential building.

The towers were designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei, although Pei wasn’t famous yet at that time.

Century City Development meeting, L-R: I.M. Pei, Minoru Yamasaki, Pierto Belluschi, Frederick J, Welton Beckett

I.M. Zeckendorf and Pei went way back. Zeckendorf hired Pei fresh out of Harvard and gave him his first architect job. Pei and Zeckendorf then became friends and had a prosperous relationship for two decades building public housing projects all over the country. The two were quite the odd couple- Zeckendorf was a larger than life character, loud and gruff, while Pei was short, soft-spoken, and an architect who could have just as easily been artist instead. Pei was the perfect ying to Zeckdorf’s yang.

I.M. Pei is a modern architect and was profoundly influenced by Le Corbusier in his youth (who he met briefly during college), Bauhaus, as well as free thinker Frank Lloyd Wright. I.M. Pei designed Century Towers in the midcentury modern style. Pei is most well-known for his glass pyramid addition to the Louvre. You can see some of Pei’s other works right here in Los Angeles with the US Bank Tower Downtown, and the Former CAA Headquarters in Beverly Hills, now occupied by Sony. 

1966 Advertisement for Century Towers Apartments.

Century Towers were originally built as apartments. Advertisements at the time said that the towers offered the “utmost in Luxury”, and were “Beautiful to look at, beautiful to live in!”.

Welton Beckett showing his Masterplan to Fox Studio Execs Edmond Herrscher and Lew Schrieber (1958)

Welton Beckett’s masterplan for Century City envisioned a space-age metropolis with a full time population of 12,000 residents.  The ambitious plan called for a 18 modern high-rise towers to be spread out on the southern residential portion of the site. Becket is pointing to one of those planned residential towers above. Century Towers was suppose to be the first of many residential highrise towers in Century City. The next Highrise that was built was Century Park East (CPE) which was finished two years later in 1966. Condos in Century Park East are smaller in size than Century Towers, have no in unit laundry, but are more affordable. Beckett passed away in 1967, before he could see the final build out of Century City. After Beckett’s passing, the path of development for Century City changed directions and no more of the residential towers were ever built.

In 1972, Century Towers was converted into condominiums by S Jon Kreedman & Company, a prolific real estate syndicator and financier, who would later go on to develop Le Parc. At about the same time, Century Park East was undergoing a condo conversion by Urbanetics Financial Corp. There was a condo conversion craze in the 70’s. It wouldn’t be until 2009 that another highrise condo was built in Century City, the newest addition to the residential skyline- The Century. 

Location

Century Towers is located at the intersection of Avenue of the Stars and Pico Blvd. Le Parc condominiums were built around it. To the south is the great public park the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center and Rancho Park Golf Course. 20th Century Fox still occupies lot across the street. Walkability is low, so most of errands will need to be delivered or driven.  There is a Ralphs and CVS at the corner of Pico and Beverwil for everyday needs as well as the Gelson’s in century city mall. Westfield Century City has a great AMC movie theater as well as shopping galore. Century City is squeezed inbetween Beverly Hills and Westwood, so residents of Century Towers have all the amenities that these cities have to offer close at hand.

Real Estate

Century Tower’s floorplans are all single story. There are 27 floors, prices rise on higher floors as views improve. Floorplans range in bedroom count from 1 Bedrooms to 3 Bedrooms and vary in size from 850 sqft to 2,200 sqft. The larger condos are about 300-500 sqft larger than nearby Century Park East.

(54) 1 Bedrooms
850 sqft – 1,000 sqft
$500,000 to $750,000             

(180)  2 Bedrooms
1,300 sqft -1,600 sqft
$1,000,000 to $1,400,000

(64) 3 Bedrooms
1,600 sqft – 2,200 sqft
$1,000,000 to $1,800,000

(7) Penthouse (28th floor)
2,400 sqft – 3,000 sqft
$2,500,000 to $3,500,000

(25) Maids (all on 1st floor)
250 sqft
$250,000

Every condo has at least one balcony, some condos on the corners have two balconies. Many owners over time have enclosed their balconies to add additional interior space.  Century Tower floorplans have an open concept with combined living room (~400 sqft) and dining room (~150 sqft) areas so you get a big open room effect. This effect is really awesome in conjunction with City and Ocean views that condos on the higher levels possesses. On clear days you can see Catalina or Mount Baldy. You can see everything from floor to ceiling glass windows. Dining rooms comfortably seat six dinners. Bedrooms in the two and three bedroom floorplans are side by side. There is a master suite that has its own private master bathroom and closet. The original floorplans have small master closets. Many owners have modified their condos layout to create a larger 8×6 master walkin in closet. They do this by taking space from the 2nd bedroom nextstore. 

Original Kitchens in Century Tower where galley style, which some owners have kept. The advantage of the wall between the kitchen and the living room is that you don’t see cluttered counters or the dirty dishes. A lot of owners who have modern tastes just do away with the wall between the kitchen and living room and add a big island. The wall is not structural so it can easily be removed. This makes the living room area feel even bigger, and add an informal eating area with some bar stools around the island counter. Kitchen appliances are all electric- electric stoves and ovens. Laundry is in unit. Central Heat and air. 

Turnover: 4% or about one a month

Appreciation: 4%

Record Sale: $4,000,000  2/4/2016 (Penthouse)

Amenities

Olympic Size Heated Swimming Pool (Pool hours 7am to 10 pm)

(2) Elevated and Lighted Tennis Courts

Fitness Center

Guard House & 24 hour Valet Parking

Jetted Fountain

Lobby

Storage Unit

Parking & Laundry

Each condo gets 2 parking spaces in an underground parking garage. Parking is Assigned by management and not deeded. Valet is available.  Guest Parking?

In Unit Laundry. Space for a stackable machine in the kitchen or in a hallways closet by entry door.

Home Owners Association

HOA Website
http://www.century-towers.com/
310-277-0800

HOA dues Monthly Cost? approximately $1/sqft. Ranges from $1,000/mo. -$2,000/mo.

HOA dues cover? Water, trash, Time Warner Basic Cable, common area maintance, buiding insurance, Reserves, staff salaries

Owner pays? Electric, Condo Insurance, Internet

Any special assessments? No

Pet Policy? 1 pet, 25 lbs weight limit.

Rental Policy? Must owner-occupy for a minimum of 1 year prior to leasing

EQ Insurance? None

Building Reserves?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? No

Magement company?

*HOA doesn’t allow weekend open houses, showings are by appointment

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Los Angeles High Schools

Finding a “Good” High school for your teenager in Los Angeles is a challenge. The challenge is that there are very few good public high schools and private schools are expensive. If money is not an issue, then there are plenty of great private & religious high schools in Los Angeles to choose from. The average tuition cost for a private school is $40,000 a year. Religious Schools are more reasonably priced at $20,000 a year, and provide valuable extra choices for parents that have multiple children, or who also have college tuition to consider.

Public schools are Free. Locating your family in a neighborhood with a great public school district can mean significant savings.

My ranking of the Top 20 public highschools in Los Angeles.  

If you viewed the list you will notice, most of the top Public High Schools are located in multi-million-dollar neighborhoods: Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes, La Canada, and Pasadena. Keep in mind that if you cannot afford to buy in these neighborhoods, you may also rent.

There is a common story. Many of the neighborhood highschools in great LA neighborhoods, that you would expect to be great also, are not. A few examples that come to mind are: Hamilton High School (Beverlywood), Hollywood High (Hollywood), Fairfax High(West Hollywood), Los Angeles High School (Miracle Mile), Venice High School (Venice), University High (West LA), and John Marshall High School (Silverlake). None made my top 20 public school rankings. I am not saying all public high schools in Los Angeles are bad. Or that these high schools are bad. Los Angeles has some of the Top 100 high schools in the country. Every school will have great students, great teachers, great parents. When a school has large numbers of students not graduating (I consider anything below 90% drop out rate bad), or large numbers of students not meeting state standards (only about 30% of California students meet state standards in math, 50% in English and science), and the socioeconomic disadvantage level is more than 25%- these schools need to improve if it is possible.

Tanya Anton of the gomamaguide.com recommends that you always visit your local school in your neighborhood first and judge for yourself. Don’t listen to what other people say, go and see for yourself. See if you feel comfortable.

Here are some resources to do some research online

-California Dept of Education: School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/sa/

-Los Angeles School Report Cards

http://sarconline.org/

-Visit the schools website and take a tour

Factors that contribute to Great High School education:

Teachers: Teachers are the front line. They interact directly with students. Inspire, educate, inquire. Schools are made up of teachers. Good teachers bring out the students true potential. If I were evaluating any school, I would pay the most attention to its teachers.

High Expectations: A school that challenges its students creates it’s own recipe for success. I like to see at least 20 Applied Placement (AP) classes. AP classes are nice because you can earn college credits while in highschool! Homework expectations of students- 1 hour/ night minimum for the average school, and an average 2-3 hours each night from the best schools.

Parents: Parent involvement is closely linked to students success in school. Parents set the stage by providing a stable home environment, where the student gets regular sleep, good nutrition, and is reasonable free from stress. It’s corney but bears mentioning. Hunger is a barrier to education. You can’t focus or listen when you are hungry and you put your head down.

Diversity: I feel like the world we live in is becoming ever more adaptable, and more global. Change is happening faster, and the walls are coming down. Exposing children to diversity allows them to socialize. Private schools sometimes struggle to have diversity. Public schools are typically more diverse.

Discipline: Technology has brought the most distracting thing into the classroom- The cell phone. Schools need to keep student behavior in line as more and more things compete for our attention.

Extra curricular activities- I believe that extracurricular activities are a key component of a well balanced education. For physical sports, they encourage life long fitness and the enjoyment of exercise, and for team sports (also academic), working well in groups. Students should have reasons to enjoy school. Just one afterschool activity can be the difference. High schoolers get into the most trouble in the time between when they get out of school (3pm) and when their parents get home (5 or 6pm). After school Activities give children something constructive to do during this time. Unfortunately, when the legislature is cutting budgets, these are the first programs to go.

Public Schools Vs Private Schools

Some parents wonder which kind of high school is right for their young adults: public high school or private high school?

There are some key difference between private High schools and public high schools. Public High Schools are usually much larger than private schools. Big LA Public High schools have 2,000 – 3,000 students. Private School enrollment is usually between 500 – 1,000. That means graduating class size on a private school is about 100-200. For public schools its 400-500. The student teacher ratio is 30 to 1 in public schools and 20 to 1 in private schools. Some private schools are co-ed and others are Boys or Girls only. Some private schools have a traditional education approach while others are progressive. In a private school, you might see a celebrity dropping off their kid in the school’s parking lot- won’t ever seen that in a public school- except maybe Malibu High. Private schools can be a lot more “cliché” because they have smaller class sizes and student bodies. If you are an outsider coming from a public school into the private school system, it might take a year or so to adjust. People who haven’t been in the private school system since kindergarten, will not have any longterm relationships with other students in the class. After one year, the student will have made their group of friends and fit in. Private schools have less diversity than public schools because they cater to upper class and upper middle class, whereas public schools must educate students of all means- including students that are handicap or disabled. Some private schools offer scholarships to help diversify their school. Private school teachers usually have high degrees of education- masters and phd’s. 

My personal experience was that I have been to both public and private schools. I have a learning disability called dyslexia and I went to 

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Los Angeles Top 20 Public High Schools

Los Angeles Best Public High Schools

  1. Palisades HS Charter, Pacific Palisades
  2. Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach
  3. La Canada High School, La Canada
  4. Palos Verdes Peninsula, Palos Verdes
  5. Beverly Hills HS, Beverly Hills
  6. Palos Verdes HS, Palos Verdes
  7. Santa Monica HS, Santa Monica
  8. Crescenta Valley HS, La Crescenta
  9. South Pasadena HS, Pasadena
  10. Malibu HS, Malibu
  11. Calabasas HS, Calabasas
  12. Redondo HS, Redondo Beach
  13. El Segundo HS, El Segundo 
  14. Culver HS, Culver City
  15. South HS, Torrance
  16. West HS, Torrance
  17. El Camino Real HS, Woodland Hills
  18. LACES, Miracle Mile
  19. SOCES, Sherman Oaks
  20. Marshall Fundamental, Pasadena

 

Palisades Highschool

15777 Bowdoin St
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Located in one of the most expensive residential estate districts in Los Angeles, Palisades Charter Highschool has a very active parent community. Per pupil spending is one of the highest in the city. Has active extra curricular and AP classes. 95% Graduation rate with a very diverse student body. A large school with enrollment at 2,970. 

Mira Costa Highschool

Brand new facilities and a 95% graduation rate. There is only 6% of students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Very active school and consistently ranks one of the best in country. 

La Canada Highschoool

99% graduation rate, only 2% of students socioeconomically disadvantage, very diverse student body, scores the highest on standard tests. Per Pupil spending is $10,179. 16 AP classes offered. Total enrolment is 2,075

Palos Verdes Peninsula Highschool.

27118 Silver Spur Rd
Rolling Hills Estates CA 90274

99% graduation rate, with very high scores on standards tests. Only 4% of students socioeconomically disadvantaged. The per pupil funding is low at $5,822, but they manage to accomplish a lot.

Beverly Hills Highschool

241 Moreno Drive
Beverly Hills CA 90212

Beverly Hills Highschool, might as well be a private school for the ambiance. 97% graduation rate, very affluent student body and parents are very generous in giving to the school. I feel like for the resources this school has it is surprising the test scores are not higher- I would think this has something to do with indifference. 

Palos Verdes Highschool

600 Cloyden Rd
Palos Verdes Estates CA 90274

99% graduation rate and only 2% socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Test scores are very high- this is an excellent public school. Total enrollment 1,716. 30 AP Classes.

Santa Monica Highschool

Santa Monica Highschool is greatly improved lately. I expect this school to start climbing higher in the ranks in coming years. 95% graduation rate, socially disadvantaged 30%. Total enrollment 2,950. Expenditure $5,764 per pupil. 

Crescenta Valley HighSchool

 

South Pasadena Highschool

1401 Fremont Ave
South Pasadena CA 91030

Malibu Highschool

30215 Morning View Dr
Malibu CA 90265

Calabasas Highschool

22855 Mulholland HWY
Redondo Highschool

One Sea Hawk Way
Redondo Beach CA 90277

El Segundo Highschool

640 Main Street
El Segundo CA 90245

Culver Highschool

4401 Elenda Street
Culver City CA 90230

South Torrance

West Torrance

El Camino Real Highschool, Woodland Hills

 

LACES

5931 W 18th St
Los Angeles CA 90035

SOCES

Marshall Fundament

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10100 Empyrean Way | Le Parc

Le Parc
10100-10128 Empyrean Way
Los Angeles CA 90067

Le Parc is a walled and guard gated luxury condo community in Century City. It’s the most prized low-rise development in Century City.

The architecture of Le Parc is French Regency style inspired by the rolling fields and farms of the French countryside. Steeply pitched mansard roofs, quoins, and balustrades lend Le Parc that European ‘je ne sais quoi’.  

The name “Le Parc” is French and translates in English to “the Park” which is very fitting because Le Parc has the best grounds in all of Century City (sorry the Century!). The 10 acre grounds are absolutely beautiful! There are waterfalls, fountains, streams and ponds, that intertwine and wind with walkways and meander through gardens of vibrant blooming flowers. Full time maintenance crew keep Le Parc looking resplendent. It is one of the best run buildings on the Westside.

Built in 1979, by developer S Jon Kreedman, who converted Century Towers to condos earlier in 1973, the original development cost was $50M. There are 176 condos in Le Parc that are grouped in 15 different Chateaux buildings.

Century Hill, next store, was developed at the same time. These two complexes share some similarities. Both are Low Rise developments in Century City with similar size condos. Century Hill is a larger complex with 100 more condos than Le Parc. Century Hill has a mix of  Floorplans both Single Story and Townhouse, whereas Le Parc’s floorplans are all single story. Le Parc condos are priced at a 20%-30% premium over Century Hill condos. Nearby Park Place offers the lowest entry level prices.

Fun fact: Le Parc is located on Empyrean Way. Empyrean means “highest heaven”, but before you go thinking Le Parc is getting big headed, remember that Century City street names (Galaxy, Ave of Stars, Constellation, and Empyrean) refer to stars in the sky; not stars on the ground.

Location

Le Parc is close to the Bel Air Hotel (love their bar and lounge), UCLA’s Royce Hall, the Wilshire Corridor- including places of worship, and the bon vivant’s dream shopping and dining destination Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Le Parc is close to all the best the Westside has to offer, but far enough away that you don’t feel like you are living in the middle of it. Safety in Century City is a 10 out of 10. These condos make a great second home for owners who are bi-coastal or travel a lot. 

For groceries, Beverly Hills Whole Foods is five minutes, and the Westwood Bristol farms is also close, although I like the parking lot better at Beverly Hills Bristol

Real Estate

Le Parc has 15 separate buildings numbered from 1-15. Each building is 3 stories with the penthouse level on the 3rd floor. There are 12 condos in each building and 4 on each floor.  The penthouses have the highest ceilings available at 14 feet. 

 

Address Building Number Name
10100 Empyrean Way #7 Chateau Fontainebleau
10102 empyrean way #8 Chateau Cannes
10104 Empyrean Way #9 ???
10106 Empyrean Way #5 Chateau Cartier
10108 Empyrean Way #6 Chateau Moulin
10110 Empyrean Way #10 Chateau Rive Gauche
10112 empyrean way #11 Chateau St. Laurent
10114 empyrean way #14 Chateau Deschamps
10116 Empyrean Way #15 Chateau Nimes
10118 Empyrean Way #12 Chateau Dijon
10120 empyrean way #13 Chateau Marseille
10122 empyrean way #3 Chateau St Tropez
10124 Empyrean Way #4 Chateau Versailles
10126 Empyrean Way #2 Chateau Nice
10128 Empyrean Way #1 Chateau St. Raphael

Turnover Ratio? 4.5% or about 8 condos a year 

Record Sale: $3,500,000 7/22/2016

Floorplans in Le Parc are all single story and range in size from 2 bedrooms to 3 bedrooms. The condos are quite spacious starting at 1,750 sqft and going all the up to 3,300 sqft.

(30) 2BR
1,750 sqft – 2,000 sqft
$1,400,000 – $1,500,000

(124) 2BR + Den
2,200 sqft – 3,000 sqft
$1,600,000- $2,500,000

(20) 3BR
3,000 sqft – 3,300 sqft
$2,500,000 – $3,000,000

All floorplans have a formal entry through a paneled front door and an adjacent powder room. You can have a lot of fun decorating the powderoom- I personally like moire silk wallpaper, and chinoise or kohler artist edition sinks but possibilities are endless! The foyer opens up to an oversized Living Rooms with a regency marble fireplace and airy 10’ ceilings. There are plenty of wall space for displaying art. Every condo has two balconies, with one leading out from the living room- some owners install French windows which look great. Owners who are decorating that stick with the period theme put in ornate crown moldings and hang chandeliers and drapes. Owners with more contemporary tastes, install recessed lighting in the ceilings, do away with any crown moldings, and add plantation shutter window coverings.

The Original kitchens in Le Parc had a French country style with drop ceiling and boxy raised panel wood cabinets of medium stain. The countertops and floor were square handmade ceramic tile. Some owners when remodeling their kitchens recreate the Oven hood feature that gives these kitchens a country look. I have seen other owners do them modern with quartz counters and contemporary cabinets/pulls. The cooktops were originally electric, but you can change them to gas if that is your preference. I really love the breakfast nook that all kitchens have- it’s a great informal space to read the newspaper and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. The formal dining room area comfortable seats 8.

Special attention was given to the bedroom placement in the layout. The bedrooms have a good amount of separating so they are private from one another. The master suites do no disappoint, with his and her bathrooms and massive walk in closets.

Bedroom suites work great for an in-home office, many owners who use them as an office build out panels and shelving.

Amenities

2 Swimming Pools & Spas

2 Lighted championship Tennis courts

Fitness Center

24/Hr Security

Meeting Room/Party Room

Storage Room

Parking & Laundry

Laundry is inside, in a laundry room just off the kitchen, There are cabinets above the laundry machines which provide additional storage for detergent, fabric softeners, linens and things. Laundry is side by side.

2 deeded spaces for 2brs, 3 deeded parking spaces for 3brs. There is plenty of guest parking with 6 guest parking spaces per building. Parking is underground in a subterranean garage. The developers designed for the autos to be parked underground to preserve the pedestrian nature of the development

Home Owners Association

Le Parc’s Home owner’s association likes to keep a low profile. They do not have a website.

On-site Management Office Number:
310-557-8400

General Manager
John Burton
leparc@pacbell.net

Hoa Dues monthly cost? $1,800/mo. to $2,500/mo.

HOA dues cover? Common Area Maintenance, Water & Trash, Building Insurance, Earthquake insurance, Reserves, Basic Cable, 

Owner pays? Electricity, Gas, Condo Insurance

Cost, any special assessments?

Showing Instructions? No Saturday or Sunday open houses. No weekend private showings. Weekday showings limited from 9am – 5pm M-F . Tuesday Brokers caravan ok from 11am -2pm on Tuesdays.

Pet Policy? 1 dog and/or 1 cat allowed with 25 lb weight limit

Rental Policy? Buyer cannot lease condos until a 3 year period after purchase.

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? Balconies off kitchen ok for BBQ but not off living room.

Management company

Le Parc Management (only manages Le Parc)

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10100 Galaxy Way | Century Hill

Century Hill
2150-2471 Century Hill
Los Angeles CA 90067

Century Hill is a 280 condo, guard gated, low rise condominium complex in Century City.

Built in 1980 by Raymond A Watt Development, who also built Watt Plaza, Park Place, and Century Woods, Century Hill’s original construction cost was $90M.  Architect Richard Stoddard designed Century Hill in a transitional European/Modern style. The Angular Metal roofs are a modified mansard shape, accented with semi circular chimney caps.

This property has an abundance of trees, hedges, gardens (including a beautiful rose garden) and grounds. It is spread over about 20 acres, of which 60% is reserved as open space. Century Hills has the best walking paths in all of Century City! Century Hills is a step up in Size, Price, and Quality from Park Place– You can get a 3BR for the same price in Park Place that you can get a 2BR in Century Hill. The entry price in Century Hill is $900,000 whereas Park Place is $750,000. Century hill sells at slightly less $/sqft than nearby neighbor Le Parc, which was built at around the same time (1979) but by a different developer.

Location

Century Hill has no busy streets nearby- Pico to the South and Olympic to the North do not affect it’s location. So you will not see a big differences in prices on different sides of the development. Century City is primarily an employment center- so the office skyscrapers attract most of the daily traffic. Westwood (including Westwood Village) and Beverly Hills are five minutes away and offer more entertainment options. Century City does have it’s highlights, such as the Westfield Mall and the Annenberg Space for Photography. 

There are two nearby Grocery Shopping options: Ralphs on 10309 Olypmic Blvd or Gelson’s in Westfield mall. 

Real Estate

Century Hill floorplans range from 2 – 4 Bedrooms. 2 Bedrooms are the most common floorplan (202 condos) and there are (38) 3 Bedrooms and (40) 4 bedroom penthouses that have elevators and are 3 floors. 

2BR: 2,000 sqft – 2,600 sqft
Price Range: $950,000- $1,300,000

3BR: 2,600 sqft – 3,200 sqft
Price Range: $1,500,000 – $1,800,000

4BR Penthouse: 3,300 sqft – 3,600 sqft
Price Range: $2,000,000 – $2,500,000

Turnover Ratio? 3.5% or about 10 condos a year

Appreciation: 3.5%

Record Sale: $2,700,000 4/5/2007

Floorplans are a mix between single story and townhouse style with stairs. The condos have high ceilings, that range from 12 feet to as high as 20 feet for the penthouses. The original finishes in the condos were pretty “retro”. Kitchens had varnished wood cabinets, ceramic tile countertops, tile flooring, and drop ceilings. Many owners have remodeled once, twice, or even three times since then. The bathrooms had brass fixtures, corian vanities, carpet, and bulb lights all over the place around the mirrors. Hopeful the condo you look at will be updated since then! There are some original features that I really like- the front Doors I think are just awesome- they would probably cost $7,500 if you wanted to buy one new today. I also really like the old parquet wood floors in the living room- if you are looking at a condo, hopefully you are lucky and they are still there. 

All these condos are incredibly spacious- starting at 2,000 sqft, these are luxury condos. The floorplans include a formal entry, step down oversized living room with a marble woodburning fireplace, and eat in areas in the kitchen and a pantry. Every condo has a generous size balcony- the Penthouses have rooftop balconies. Every condo has laundry inside. Masterbedroom suites have his and her walk in closets, double vanity, and seperate tub and shower. The Masterbedrooms are so large, they have a sitting area also- so fitting a king is no problem. For the Penthouse condos they have private garages for their cars with direct access, and a bonus room that many owners convert into a game room or home movie theater. 

Amenities

24/Hr Guard Gated

5 Pools with spa, Heated year round

2 Lighted Tennis Courts

Racquetball Court

Golf Driving Range

Fitness Center

Club House (11,000 sqft, max capacity 250 people)

Storage Unit (4’x8′)

Parking and Laundry

Every condo has 2- 3 parking spaces. The Front Entrance on Galaxy way is for residents and guests. There is another service entrance off Empyrean for Deliveries, Workman, and Moving Vans. The Subterranean garage was the largest ever built in Southern California at the time. It is 500,000 sqft and fits 980 cars! 60,000 tons of concrete- the equivalent of six miles of two lane highway, were poured to form this garage. There are over 100 guest parking spaces.

Laundry is in a laundry room inside the condo. Space for side by side washer and dryer, with linen cabinets and a utility sink. 

 Home Owners Association

HOA Website
http://www.centuryhill.org/

Onsite Management Phone:
310-557-9000

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $1,400/mo. -$2,400/mo.

HOA dues cover? Building insurance, Earthquake insurance, basic cable, water, trash, Common Area Maintenance, Reserves

Owner pays? electric, gas, internet

Any special assessments?  YES

The HOA has a $12M assessment in 2012- approximately 30K-60K for each unit

The Assesment cannot be transfered upon sale so it must be paid off at time of sale

Owner’s had Three options to pay:

  • Pay upfront and recieve 3% discount
  • 2 year no interest loan
  • 5 year loan with interest

Pet Policy? 2 pets, no weight limit

Rental Policy? No restrictions

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony?

Property Management:
Management Professionals Incorporated
310-802-4808
4030 Spencer St #104
Torrance CA 90503

 

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10101 Galaxy Way | Park Place

Park Place Century City

Park Place
2102 – 2142  Century Park Lane
Los Angeles CA 90067

6343334

Park Place is a prestigious and upscale gated community in Century City. There are 416 condos in 6 different buildings. Each building is a 4-story mid-rise centered around two courtyard atrium. The property has almost 14 acres of grounds, and the onsite maintenance staff keep Park Place impeccable.

Built between 1985-1989 by developer Watt Luxury Housing, who also developed nearby Park Hill and Century Woods, Park Place original construction cost was $150M. Nadel/Shapiro architects designed Park Place in a contemporary Mediterranean style.

Location

Century City’s office Skyscrapers are always looming in the background.  Many of the buildings, roads, sidewalks, bridges, in Century City are beyond the human scale which inspires feelings of awe and importance. Century City is quite at night, which attracts a lot of retirees, second home owners, and professionals, that’s the way they like things. Nearby Westwood and Beverly Hills offer plenty of exciting entertainment options so you don’t have to travel far for a big night out. Nights out in Century City are usually low key.

Within Century City the Century Plaza hotel has always been a cultural landmark. The Westfield Century City mall which was recently expanded, has plenty of restaurants, AMC movie theater, and shopping.

Century City is a Golfer’s paradise. Both the Los Angeles Country Club and the Rancho Park Golf Course are less than 5 minutes away. Park Place residents have no problem staying active with resort like onsite amenities for tennis, swimming, and fitness center.

The Ralphs at 10309 Olypmic Blvd or Gelson’s in Westfield mall are your best bet for groceries.

Real Estate

 

 

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All the condos are either 2 Bedroom (320) or 3 bedroom (96) and all are single level floorplans.

2BR: 1,300sqft – 1,700sqft
Price Range: $750,000 – $950,000

3BR: 1,800sqft – 2,400sqft
Price Range: $1,000,000 – $1,200,000

Turnover Ratio? 4% about 16 condos a year

Appreciation: 3%

Record Sale: $1,545,000  Sale Date 1/6/2006

There are 6 buildings. Each building is numbered in the order that it was built. Buildings #4/#5/#6 have slightly larger square footage because the atriums are smaller and they have different “classic edition” floorplans. Each building has two Atriums that are open area courtyards that let in light and have tropical landscaping features such as palm trees and fountains.

park place atrium

The 4th floor or each building is the penthouse level. The floorplans are the same except penthouses have extra high ceilings. All condos in Park Place have 9 foot high ceilings, however the penthouse level ceilings are 22 feet!

North facing Condos in Building #4 get street noise from Olympic. Otherwise condos are very quiet.

Kitchens are galley style or square with large pantry cabinet. The original kitchens came with whirlpool appliances and ceramic tile counter tops. Many owners have completely remodeled the kitchens.  Condos have no gas, so the stove is electric.

All floorplans have an open living room/dining room area. There are two wood burning fireplaces in each condo, one in the living room and the other in the master bedroom. Masterbedroom suites have their own private bathroom with large roman soaking tub and double vanity. Master bedrooms also have large walk in closets. The builder used a lot of marble, brass, and mirror accents that were popular in the 1980’s.

The HOA is very strict about installing wood floors. They are not allowed on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor. Only condos on the 1st floor are allowed to install them. Many home owners install very expensive berber carpets in the living room/dining room and bedrooms. This is another reason this building is really quite!

Every condo has a balcony, but they can vary greatly in size.

 Amenities

24/hr Gate Guard

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park place lap pool

Lap Pool

3 Pools w/ spa (1 Lap Pool) Hours 7:30 am to 10:00 pm

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4 Lighted Tennis Courts

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6 Gyms (one in each building)

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Lobby (one in each building- all furnished differently)

 

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Club House

Parking & Laundry

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Side by side Laundry is inside every condo in a laundry closet in the hallway.

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Deeded Parking, each condo (both 2br and 3br) have two parking spots in gated parking garage. Parking spaces can be tandem or side by side. Each building has 18 guest parking spaces. Columns that are painted blue indicate guest parking spaces. The guest parking spaces never fill up.

Home Owners Association

HOA website: http://www.centuryparkplace.org

 HOA Dues Monthly Cost? $900/mo. – $1,200/mo.

HOA dues cover? Water, Trash, 200 Channel Basic Cable, Building insurance, Common Area Maintainance, Reserves

Owner Pays? Electric (no gas), Condo Insurance, Internet

Special assessments? No

Pet Policy? Pet weight limit is 25 lb.

Rental Policy? Must be owner of record for two years before unit can be leased. Not for investors!

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? No

Management company:

Management Professionals Inc
4030 Spencer St #104
Torrance CA 90503
310-802-4808

Front Gate Phone Number: 310-556-3128

Onsite Management Office 
Hours: 8 am to 10:30 pm daily
Phone: 310-556-3185

 

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Angelino Heights

 Angelino Heights Neighborhood los angeles

Angelino Heights
Zip Codes: 90026

Luckel house 1308 calumet ave

Many of the Victorian Homes in Angelino Heights were built without garages because at this time horse drawn carriage was main form of transportation

Angelino Heights is one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods. Developed by Everett Hall and William Stilson during the Land rush of the 1880’s, they named the streets – Carroll, Marion, Allison, Helen, Wallace, and Everett— fater their family members. Iona was the home town in the midwest of the Hall family. The neighborhood has been on the way up in recent years.

160 Lots for homes to be built on

Only $500 for a lot in 1902!

Most of the development in Angelino Heights happened between 1900-1910. These homes were large two story properties built for the upper middle class. With the passing of time, some of these 19th century properties have fallen into great disrepair. If you are a homebuyer looking for an opportunity to buy a big historic house to fix up, this is a great place to find one.

Angelino Height fixers

Angelino Heights Fixers

Every Lot in Angelino Heights is zone R2, which is a multifamily apartment zone. The Neighborhood fell on hard times at least twice in its 100-year history. During those times, large houses were converted into boarding houses, and many historic properties were torn down to building apartment buildings. Of the 760 Properties in the neighborhood, about 60% are apartments, and 40% are homes. There are virtually no condos. With high rents and lower prices, this is an attractive area for cash flow investment or for live in one and rent the other(s) landlords.

The community is a hillside community, so building and parking can be difficult. Homes on the top of the hill have sweeping city views.

Angelino Heights is probably best known for its Victorian era homes that lay on charm with a trowel. Take a stroll down Carroll Avenue and enjoy these magnificent and rare gems.

Angelino-Heights-Carroll-Avenue-sign

Angelino Heights was the first neighborhood to be designated as an HPOZ in 1983. In addition to Victorians, the area has some great Craftsman houses that were popular in 1910-1920.

This LA neighborhood is a colorful and eclectic mix of historic homes, income property, and people.

Location

Angelino Heights Map

Angelino Heights is a neighborhood within the city of Echo Park. It’s boundaries are Echo Park Avenue on the west, that runs along the wonderful Echo Lake. Sunset Boulevard to the North, and the 101 Freeway.

Lago_Vista_View

View of Angelino Heights from Lago Vista Condos

The main activity areas for Angelino Heights are Sunset Blvd and Echo Lake Park. Sunset Blvd has a host of café’s, record and book stores, bar 1, bar 2, bar 3, restaurants (including vegan options), art galleries, and music venues- I personally love the echoplex. There is even a bike shop! Once a year the neighborhood has a weekend festival called echo park rising that is quite well attended.

In addition, Downtown Los Angeles is only 15 minutes.

echo park vons

The Vons at 1342 N Alvarado St will probably be your regular spot for groceries. I love this place!

Every Friday there is the Echo Park Farmers market from 3PM-7PM.

Architecture

VICTORIAN- Angelino Heights is one of Los Angeles’ last remaining bastions of Victorian architecture. It’s hard to believe that at the turn of the century Victorian architecture was one of the city’s most popular styles. You kind find the Victorian homes in the oldest part of the neighborhood on Carroll Ave, Kellam Ave and Calumet Ave. The owners on Carroll paid to bury electric powerlines and install vintage streetlamps.

CRAFTSMAN- In the teens of the 20th century Craftsman architecture was really starting to take off. Many Craftsman homes were built in Angelino Heights during this period. Some were even built as residential income properties.

Income Property- Unfortunately, with a few exceptions (like the beautiful 7u streamline modern @ 1000 W Edgeware), the income property in Angelino Heights only a mother could love. You will never turn vinegar into jam. As a landlord, have a beautiful building is nice, but the most important thing is the rent. This area is a extremely strong and robust rental market.

Real Estate

Prices:

Bungalows $600,00 -$800,000

Large Houses $1,000,000 – $1,400,000

Single Family Record Sale: $1,520,000  Date 11/25/2015

Turnover: 3% (Very Low!)

Appreciation: 5%

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