If you read the title and thought, “Well, if the sale was not in Manhattan Beach then it must be the $40,000,000 home on Buggy Whip Drive in Rolling Hills.” That is a good guess but nope, not even close! Hermosa Beach? Nope. Redondo Beach? Getting warmer…
The answer is Torrance.
The Record Sale
Last month, 417 Paseo de la Playa, Redondo Beach 90277 sold for a record $22,650,000. But wait, I thought you said Torrance, Richard? It is in Torrance!
The property sits in an area little written about in my blog, but very much a South Bay location, known as Hollywood Riviera. This sub-market (area 128 on the MLS) is within the city of Torrance but has a Redondo Beach post office address.
The Hollywood Riviera
This area has a storied past with old advertisements claiming, “The Hollywood Riviera, where romance at the shores brings true tove.” How could one resist a visit?
The new record sale is in a small slice of Hollywood Riviera sitting right on Torrance Beach, where the west side of Paseo de la Playa can be compared to The Strand or The Esplanade.
To make this even more of a trick question, it wasn’t the most expensive single property sale ever, but in fact two side-by-side lots (417 & 421 Paseo de la Playa) sold together.
The main house, 417 Paseo de la Playa, consists of over 10,000 sq. ft. of living space, while 421 Paseo de la Playa, dubbed the “companion house” per the listing, is a measly 5,500 sq. ft. Total up both lots and that is 62,752 sq. ft. of southern California ocean front property. There is no Strand on this part of Torrance Beach, so this property truly has direct access to the beach.
Most locals know that Hollywood Riviera sells at a discount to the other Beach Cities due to the cumbersome Torrance Hillside Overlay building restrictions and the fact that residents are required to send their kids to the Torrance School system (a fabulous public school system, just not as highly rated as Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or Palos Verdes Peninsula).
How was the Record Set?
So how in the world did it set a record? Well, it is all in the eye of the beholder.
First let’s review some history. There have been multiple home records set in the South Bay, all in 2017. The granddaddy of them all (prior to this sale) was a $21,000,000 sale at 1000 The Strand in Manhattan Beach. This 4-unit building had a prime corner lot location that is ripe for a development of epic proportions.
Not shortly after, 814 Pacific Avenue in the Manhattan Beach Hill Section sold for $20,000,000. This was basically a triple lot with a 7,200 sq. ft. main and guest house rounding out the total livable sq. ft. of this estate to 10,000 sq. ft. on almost a half-acre.
Honorable mention in 2017:
2302 The Strand, Hermosa: $13,000,000
3420 The Strand, Manhattan : $15,400,000
1540 The Strand, Hermosa: $14,150,000
104 The Strand, Manhattan: $18,400,000
Now, back to Paseo de la Playa. Most locals are very aware of this street and Torrance Beach. It is an amazing piece of southern California beach front real estate; however, the location and city are just not as desirable as the surrounding Beach Cities and the Palos Verdes Hill. The small minority of local buyers that could afford this one-of-a-kind property would likely opt for a Manhattan Strand property or a Palos Verdes estate for that kind of money. So sure enough, it was not sold by a South Bay local agent.
This property with the massive lot and ridiculous amount of square feet was sold by a West L.A. agent (some of you may know him from a popular T.V. show on Bravo). To a Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Malibu, Brentwood, or Hidden Hills buyer, this property, for what it offers compared to other areas of L.A., was a compelling purchase.
Looking at comps like 1000 The Strand, 104 The Strand, and 814 Pacific Avenue, the value has been proven no question, regardless of what locals think. When you are looking at prices of this magnitude, sometimes the dollar amount really doesn’t matter, with the exception of the actual buyer making the purchase.