Manhattan Beach Real Estate Blog

Leadership Manhattan Beach

Leadership Manhattan Beach's LogoLeadership Manhattan Beach is a local organization that helps train community members for leadership roles. They believe that “leadership is not holding an organizational position; it is taking action to benefit the community.”

Vince Lombardi, arguably one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, once said “leaders aren't born, they are made. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal which is worthwhile.” Few other coaches knew leadership as intimately as Lombardi did, leading the Green Bay Packers to win two Super Bowls and five NFL championships in a span of seven years.

So, how are leaders made? Leadership Manhattan Beach thinks they have the answer, and we agree. Our very own Greg Geilman is a 2012 alumnus and he currently sits on the Board of Directors as the Director of Technology.

Founded in 1992, Leadership MB has trained 400 area residents who have gone on to become service organization officers, commission members, city council members and mayors.

About Leadership Manhattan Beach

The leadership program is nine months in duration and is held once a year. Attendees are introduced to Manhattan Beach’s community services and programs. The program emphasizes results and teamwork among the 25 to 30 adults that participate every year.

The high point of the program every year is the class project which is something all the members work on that benefits the Manhattan Beach Community. Greg’s class took on the water-guzzling landscaping at the post office on 15th Street, with a stated mission “To educate the Manhattan Beach community in environmentally-friendly landscaping...

Sunset Magazine's Idea House In Manhattan Beach!

Sunset Magazine's Idea House

Sunset magazine’s choice of Manhattan Beach as the location for their 2014 Idea House was met with surprise around the state. Most media outlets were sure to distinguish this home as Sunset’s “first-ever Los Angeles Idea House.” That’s because the magazine typically chooses northern locals, such as Healdsburg in 2012 and Seabrook and Washington in 2013. Sunset Magazine Interior

This year’s Idea House, however, is a beach house so we think choosing Manhattan Beach was a pretty easy and obvious decision for the editors.

The Idea House is a Sunset magazine concept that they undertake every year as they collude with an architect, a builder, interior design team, and a landscape architect to create what they call their “Idea Home.”

This year, the 4,600 square-foot house, situated on a 50 by 200-foot lot, is said to epitomize “the sophisticated and eclectic modern aesthetic of this Southern California beach town.”

The architects, builders, designers, etc. took their inspiration from both the Pacific and the coastline, with lots of light throughout, wide-planked oak floors, cabinetry stained black to provide a backdrop for the gorgeous soapstone kitchen counters and retractable glass doors in the adjoining great room. These retractable doors allow the outdoors to merge with the indoors.

Idea House Kitchen...

Grandma's Laundering Drug Money In Manhattan Beach?

Manhattan Beach Police Department Booth

The 1980’s were a decade of complaints, law suits, and general negativism for the Manhattan Beach Police Department, however the majority of the community thought the force was doing an excellent job. It was felt that officers were truly dedicated and professional when it came to enforcing state criminal statutes and traffic laws, exercising courtesy, and exhibiting friendliness when patrolling the city streets.

In-house, however, there was a great deal of controversy. In the fall of 1986, a Manhattan Beach officer was arrested on suspicion of raping a 23-year old female prisoner while she was incarcerated in the Manhattan Beach jail. The charges against him followed several weeks of investigation by a special task force of the district attorney’s office, which found enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. After all was said and done the officer plead no contest and resigned from the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

Budget cuts during the same time frame were another cause of concern for citizens in Manhattan Beach. Contract negotiations with the city over both pay and benefits found the 49-member Police Association frustrated and angry. There had also been a no-confidence vote of the new Police Chief. On September 20, 1988, more than two-dozen association members picketed outside City Hall as council members and city staff arrived for a city council meeting. The “angry blue line” announced a wide range of job actions, one of which included no ticket writing.

To offset the frustration of the department, promotional posters were produced to put across a positive profile of the men and women law enforcement officers. Slogans such as “A...

Are You Renovating Your Manhattan Beach Home?

Fixtures hanging in Lightopia

If you’re thinking about renovating your home in Manhattan Beach and need to purchase new lighting, Lightopia is a great local business you can support with your purchase!

Lightopia is a full service lighting retailer that represents some of the most unique and celebrated lighting designers from all over the world. They also focus on architectural lighting design for new home and remodel projects, helping clients lay out all types of lighting and educating them on the advantages of lighting's new darling technology, LED.

The owner’s interest in lighting started by being introduced to a cousin Greg Kay, who started Tech Lighting and has owned a showroom in Chicago for over 25 years. Something about the relationship between art and technology and the physics of light is what drew them in.  Also, the green part of promoting energy efficient lighting and educating the public on benefits of this technology is also great.

Fixtures in Manhattan Beach Location

Owner Kenneth Vick moved to Hermosa Beach in 1997 and worked at Sangria restaurant on the weekends while working full time at Morgan Stanley in Manhattan Beach. Their first store opened in Laguna Beach and proved to them that a smaller beach community with a clientele focused on quality lighting would work.

Lightopia is a proud member of the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and helps support all of the great projects to promote the city and business.

What the owner’s love most about their business is working with people and... Welcomes New City Manager

Mark Danaj New Manhattan Beach City ManagerAfter helping Mark & Kate Danaj find their new home in Manhattan Beach, we had the pleasure of doing a quick Q&A with Mark to learn a bit more about him and his new role as Manhattan Beach City Manager.

Mark and his wife, Kate, moved down from Northern California with their sons Gabriel, Joshua and dog Rockne. When asked why he chose Manhattan Beach specifically, Mark said he was drawn to the area because of its dynamic, urban coastal community that has an iconic past. He believes that there’s a lot to build upon as well as a lot of opportunities to do something differently. Mark and his family can’t wait to immerse themselves in the Manhattan Beach community. 

Speaking with Mark about his plan and vision for Manhattan Beach moving forward was not only exciting but incredibly inspirational as well. 

Q: What are you most excited about for your new role?
A: I’m very excited to become a part of the city organization and work with the mayor and different council members. I want to honor the past successes of physical sustainability, quality programming, environmental awareness and conserving the coastline, while at the same time exploring new ways to digitize the city and engage the community online and via apps. 

Q: What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I began my public service career as a lifeguard on a lake in suburban Chicago. Although I didn’t know it at the time, in hindsight it influenced my career greatly moving forward.

Q: How/why did you initially get involved...

Top 5 Luxury Homes in Manhattan Beach

4108 The Strand

With the Manhattan Beach real estate market on a perpetual upswing lately, we thought we’d bring you the Top 5 luxury homes that are currently on the market in Manhattan Beach.

Aside from the list below, there are also several exclusive, off-market properties that won’t be found anywhere online. If you’d like access to pocket listings in Manhattan Beach, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us a quick email.

CALL (310) 953-4754 OR [email protected]

4108 The Strand

Currently the most expensive home on the market in all of Manhattan Beach (pictured above), descriptions don’t do this oceanfront property any justice. Listed for $9,988,000, this single family home was custom built by architect Pat Killen. 

The home has wall-to-wall glass windows, allowing for spectacular ocean views. The top level has panoramic views down to Palos Verdes and as far north as Malibu. What’s pretty unique about this home is that it’s built on an oversized lot and has an additional two-bedroom rental unit that’s built above the oversized 5-car garage. 

1240 5th St. 

1240 5th st...

Manhattan Beach's High Juvenile Crime Rate...In The 50's?

Manhattan Beach's SWAT team with their k-9's

Pictured above is Manhattan Beach’s SWAT team with their k-9’s. The officers are in full gear. At the time, they trained with MP-5 sub machine guns, beanbag shotguns, AR-15 rifles, pepperballs and gas launchers. 

Throughout the 1960's and 70's, the Manhattan Beach Police Department detectives were inundated with the drug scene in town as well as the juvenile crime rate that was steadily growing.

A battle began in the late 1950's to motivate a strong advocacy for young people, who were being picked-up by the police officers at an increasing rate, from possession of drugs, sexual delinquency and municipal code violations. At this time the department had but one juvenile officer, who was the first female to be assigned the position. Up to this date the only duties women could hold in the Manhattan Beach Police Department were office staff and any female officers were refereed to as policewomen. In 1972, the classification was changed from policewomen to police officer.

In 1966, Betty Anderson, graduated from the Police Academy in LosAngeles and became the second policewoman to serve as the Juvenile Division Officer. By the end of the year, the department was experiencing an average of 700 juveniles a year with narcotics violations on the increase.

Betty quoted in an interview with "The Daily Breeze" newspaper, “we feel if we can help just one or two of them, it's worth it. We can' t change the world" she said, "but we can try to make it a little better place in which to live.” The hiring of Policewoman, Betty Andrews, opened the door for other women to be a part of the Police Department (Learn more about woman on the Police...

Cape Cod, Mediterranean & Contemporary Homes

Architectural Styles in Manhattan Beach

Architectural Styles In Manhattan Beach

When working with our clients, we always get asked about the different architectural styles in Manhattan Beach. Like fashion, popular styles change and go through ebbs and flows throughout the years. With tastes and preferences ranging from one spectrum to the next, we think it’s time to break down some of the most popular and sought after architectural styles in Manhattan Beach.

The current top 3 sought after home styles we hear about from our clients are Cape Cod, Mediterranean & Contemporary homes. In recent years, builders have flocked to these top three styles as a surefire way to get massive buyer interest.

Cape Cod

If you’ve looked at homes in Manhattan Beach lately, we’re sure you’ve taken a peak at one or two cape cod’s that are on the market. Historically, Cape Cod architecture originates from 17th Century, New England. The steep roof was a design element added to keep the snow from staying on the roof and the shutters were added as a protective measure against New England storms.

Although modern Cape Cod homes have not stayed completely true to the New England style, they still carry several elements that make them identifiable to homebuyers. The clapboard or shake shingle siding that’s added to the exterior of Cape Cod’s has become a quintessential element to the architectural design. Interiors are usually built and painted with white/light colors and stones. Cape Cod’s are distinct in the fact that all trim and doors are painted white, which helps highlight the usual Cape Cod seaside color pallet throughout the home.

Cape Cod Floor plans feature the living and common...

Tour de Pier in Manhattan Beach

Tour de Pier Logo

The Tour De Pier is back in Manhattan Beach! The upcoming May 18th event marks its second year since the inaugural event back in May of last year. The Tour De Pier is a fundraiser geared towards raising funds for the cancer community.

The event that was held last year raised $339,000 for charities and was immediately approved for the following year. The fundraiser is a spin/bike event that’s held at the Manhattan Beach Pier. Jon Hirshberg and Heath Gregory, both from Manhattan Beach, were the brainchildren behind the event that has been such an astounding success. Thanks to the events popularity, NYC is also hosting its own Tour De Pier this coming June. The event held in New York will be considerably smaller but it’s a great stepping stone to growing the events notoriety throughout the country.

To date, $367,191 of this years $500,000 goal has been raised. All proceeds are going to The Hirshberg Foundatino for Pancreatic Cancer Research, the LiveSTRONG Foundation and the Cancer Support Community. There will be over 700 participants riding in place during the four riding sessions throughout the day. There will even be a children’s cardio zone sponsored by Spectrum.  Several sponsors and exhibits will be set up throughout the area, ensuring plenty to see and explore.

If you haven’t yet registered, there’s still time and space to do so. You can also find teams to sponsor and donate to on the event website. It costs $500 minimum for all four sessions with the bike. You can either donate all $500 on your own or ride as a team, switching off team members for each session. There...

Top 5 Restaurants in Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

With seemingly endless new restaurants around the city, we thought we’d try to compile a list of the top 5 restaurants in Manhattan Beach. If you’re a Manhattan Beach local, you’ve probably been to a few from our list but we also made sure to include some lesser-known restaurants as well.

Manhattan Beach Post - What good is a restaurant list without the mention of Manhattan Beach Post? Chef and local South Bay resident David LeFevre has created an awe-inspiring social atmosphere at his restaurant. Their website describes how the restaurant was designed to maintain some of the integrity from the 1960’s post office that used to call the location home. If you’re looking for a dinning experience focused on aiding social interaction while bringing worldly dishes to the table, Manhattan Beach Post is the spot.

MB Post Food

Tin Roof Bistro - Located in the Manhattan Village shopping center, Tin Roof Bistro was established to reflect wine country for local diners. Whether you’re looking for everyday comfort foods or innovative, international dishes, Chef Anne will not disappoint. With ample patio seating, Tin Roof Bistro is the perfect lunch destination for a beautiful summer day.

Second Story Restaurant - Many locals haven’t heard about Second Story Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. Located within the Belamar Hotel, Second Story is not your everyday hotel restaurant. Executive Chef Vania Almeida uses organic produce and sustainable ingredients on...