Up-and-coming neighbourhood : the Valley Glen

Delighted to see the wonderful neighbourhood of The Glen LA Homes, Valley Glen, profiled in the Los Angeles Times. A great overview of its rich history and a forecast that we couldn’t agree more with – indeed, Valley Glen is “really starting to take off” with new home construction, restaurants and retailers on the way. We are so proud to take part of this great neighbourhood’s growth – contact us to learn more about the new The Glen LA Homes at info@theglenla.com and visit http://www.theglenla.com/ for more information.

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Reading LA with Eve Babitz

 

It’s  always a special pleasure to read books set in Los Angeles and realize, time and time and again, how lucky we are to live in this mythical and storied city. The 1960’s and 70’s LA in particular has a special aura about it, an atmosphere that Eve Babitz, whose work was recently reissued by New York Review Books Classics, captured so well. The tomes in question are “Eve’s Hollywood”, first published in 1974 is a fictional memoir, and the essay collection “Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, the Flesh, and L.A.,” which originally saw light in 1977.  Both books draw on Babitz’s  glittering  coming of age in the post-war Los Angeles: born in 1943 to a musician father and an artist mother and with a Igor Stravinsky as a godfather, Eve was the muse that inspired Jim Morrison to write LA Woman , a romantic interest of Ed Ruscha and a belle de jour that gained notoriety when photographed while playing chess with Marcel Duchamp au naturel at Duchamp’s retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art in 1963. Babitz’s prose is brilliant and cool –  get a taste of it over at the Curbed LA’s amazing “Eve Babitz’s guide to Los Angeles” , which they describe as a “tour of the writer’s sexy, smoggy city of the 1960s and ’70s”.

 

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In the News!

So pleased to have our Silver Lake listings showcased on CurbedLA this week. You don’t want to miss seeing this stunning historic Craftsman in person – stop by our Open House this Sunday, from 2-4PM at 1149 Manzanita St., 90029.

We’ve actually been fortunate to appear in Curbed on numerous occasions lately: Tracy recently returned to Open Thread to answer questions and comment on the state of LA Real Estate market (find some helpful tips on bidding alongside all-cash buyers and suggestions for the first time home buyers at the link), and COVO, our listing of 10 small lot homes in Silver Lake, was the topic of a CurbedLA feature just 2 weeks ago.

Meanwhile, COVO and its builder, Planet Home Living, also enjoyed a mention in the LA Times:

Last weekend, builder Planet Home Living held a grand opening for a Silver Lake 10-home subdivision built on small lots. Before any prospective buyers showed up, six of the $1-million houses were already in escrow after the Newport Beach firm contacted people who signed a list of interested buyers.
“Four hundred people on an interest list, that’s a lot for 10 homes,” said the company’s chief executive, Michael Marini. “Anything in L.A. that we build, it sells out immediately.”

The response has indeed been tremendous, so if you are interested in COVO, do let us know – only 2 homes remain at this time. We’ll be open this Saturday, May 6 & Sunday, May 7 from 2-5PM, find us at 1433 Waterloo St. 90026.

 

 

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Density and Sustainability

Rush hour on 110, by Gerald Forbes, 1972.

Most of LA housing was built in relationship to the picturesque and expansive landscape that it inhabits – spreading wide across the hills and valleys. It would seem that building sparsely would have resulted in a scenario where both urban and natural environments could co-exist peacefully and harmoniously. Alas, that did not turn out to be the case and nature is making its displeasure known – a case in point is the recent multi-year drought. Now is the time to explore other urban models and strategies, ones that would lead to mitigating the potentially devastating effects of climate change, so it was very exciting to come across an intriguing study conducted by the Bay area thinktank Next 10; this study focuses on the effects of greater density on neighborhoods where “compact housing in already urbanized land near transit, jobs, and services” is added.

This research suggests that living in these “infill areas” would lessen the effects of climate change: by living closer to the workplace, school and public transit, the average Angeleno’s drive would be shortened by 18 miles per weekday, meaning an annual reduction of 1.79 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions, which, according to our friends at CurbedLA, equals to taking 378,000 cars off the road and helps the state meet its emissions-reduction goals. Take a look at the Next 10 study here or catch the analysis over at ConstructionDive.

Our takeaway from the study is that small lot homes are definitely one of the ways of the future, and we are proud to be working with new communities like TheERB and TheGlenLA  that espouse an eco-conscious small footprint approach to building.  Interest lists for both developments are growing fast, which is exciting! You can sign up at the links above and, as usual, if you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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wellness spaces

Here’s a great piece from Construction Dive discussing the rise of the wellness-minded spaces. As environmentally friendly approaches to design and architecture have become more wide-spread, the next big trend in residential development that’s certain to affect the real estate industry is a new kind of smart home, a domicile designed to sustain the inner wellbeing.

Tracing the origins of wellness spaces to the holistic work-life balance lifestyles that prevail among millennials, the editorial touches upon the emergence of corporate cultures that explore the link between wellness and productivity by structuring work environments with atmosphere of wellness (this might include features like relaxation areas, high quality lightning, gyms etc). Once a healthier workspace is a given, it makes sense that a similar expectation from the domestic space would follow suit. Aligning personal wellness strategies  to habitation choices might look like this:

Through the state-of-the-art systems that can, for example, introduce and circulate probiotics in the air, diffuse homeopathic scents throughout the home at the push of a smartphone button, coax residents into a natural circadian rhythm and create stepped water purification systems, homeowners can create a space that connects the dots of their attempts at a healthier lifestyle.

Sounds incredible, but there is just one thing: to even begin connecting the dots, one first needs a quality space. Our new listing, an eco-conscious, energy-efficient build, fits the bill exactly. A suite of six contemporary homes, these beautiful residences in Los Feliz Village feature sustainable energy-saving systems like Hydrostop cool roofing, water-conserving faucets, and built in electrical conduits for future solar panel installation and future EV charge station. A perfect setting for all your smart home ideas- join our Broker’s Open this Thursday from 6-8PM and Open House this weekend from 2-5PM. 1759 N. New Hampshire Avenue, 90027.

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The Return of Angels Flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bit of lovely news about the Angels Flight, the very short and steep Los Angeles funicular: it is scheduled to resume operations in just a few months, on Labor Day. It seems an appropriate date, given the railway storied past of ferrying thousands of working Angelino’s from downtown to Bunker Hill. Over at the LA Times, David Ulin  writes about the history of the railway and shares a personal account of his relationship to this cultural landmark, astutely capturing the powerful role that architecture, and by extension, real estate, play in our lives:

When my son, Noah, was little — 3, 4 and 5 — we rode Angels Flight all the time. We would take the Purple Line downtown from Wilshire and Western, get off at Pershing Square, walk a block or so down Hill Street and ride the funicular up and down. Those excursions are part of what Angels Flight represents, at least to me.

In part, this is a matter of nostalgia, but it is also something more. Cities are built of memories as much as they are constructed out of steel and stone. When I walk by the orange arch on Hill Street, with its Beaux Arts flourishes, I recognize that Angels Flight remains a relic of the city as it was in 1901, but I’m mostly reminded of my own history in the place, all those Saturdays and Sundays with my son.

It’s amazing how much history is packed in just one bit of city infrastructure. Looking forward to making new memories come Labor day – though can only hope to be as stylish as the fashionable commuters in 1965.

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Solar-powered architecture

More exciting news from the front lines of sustainable design that only a few years ago would seem futuristic. Elon Musk, the founder of innovative Tesla, promises that the recently developed materials and technologies would bring the cost of electricity-generating solar roof down to a point where it would actually be cheaper to install a roof of solar panels than go with the good ole traditional structure. Musk then specified that this cost would include the labor costs and not take in subsidies for solar.

In Musk’s own words:“It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof actually cost less than normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account. So the basic proposition would be ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, last twice as long, cost less and by the way generates electricity’ why would you get anything else.”

The other great thing about the Tesla solar roofing concept is the decided improvement in the aesthetics department  – rather than taking the usual form of an unwieldy solar panel, the Tesla solar cells would be encased in glass and shaped like tiles, allowing for easy integration into the residential architecture and helping grow the popularity of environmentally friendly building practices. Check out the story and take a look at the design gallery here.

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our future homes (maybe)

Hirsuta/Arch Out Loud

This undulating, gently rotating capsule fits right in the LA futuristic architecture canon.  Devised in response to the site-specific “Hollywood” design competition put out by architectural research group Arch Out Loud, the proposed structure answers the call to “demonstrate the use of innovative technology, integrative environmental strategies, and capitalize on the iconic prominence of its site beneath the famed Hollywood sign”.

The contest came about when the owner of the land, Steve Alper, recognized the potential of the location as a space for new iconography; indeed the architecture along Mulholland drive is very much defined by 20th century architectural thought, and what better place to set a beacon of the future than beneath the letters spelling out the word that came to stand for the world of dream and fiction.

The winning proposal was put forth by LA based firm Hirsuta, that “privileges the role of matter in design process” and focuses on the sensory experience of space ie how the space feels rather than what it is. The design, while tackling sustainability and addressing the senses of inhabitants – the house would be powered by solar panels and the ( very slow) rotation would provide a different view each season, also takes the idea of a smart home to a new level: with a photovoltaic “breathing” skin that responds to the environment and movement synched with the motion of earth, it’s almost a creature in it’s own right,  with something approaching an agenda that seeks to harmonize the environment and the human.

Whether we are ready for such radical redefinition of residential housing remains to be seen, but “The Ambivalent House” is certainly a curious foray into a technological utopia. Imagining seeing this home in the MLS database made us smile.

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Our Atwater Village listing in the news

Very honored to have our Atwater Village listing at 3134 Glenmanor Place featured as the Home of the Day in the LA Times. A beautiful home, this stylishly updated Spanish Bungalow also boasts an amazing location – an easy commute toHollywood, Glendale, Burbank and Downtown LA, plus all the neighborhood favorites from Proof Bakery to Bon Vivant Market & Cafe are practically at your doorstep.

The renovated bungalow maintains its Spanish-style roots in the exterior arches and red tile roof. (Charmaine David)

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