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Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • The best things to do with kids in LA that aren’t Disneyland
    by Megan Barber on December 6, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Shutterstock From Griffith Park to the Natural History Museum, these are the top spots for families in LA There are so many kid-friendly places to see in Los Angeles, where do you begin? As the second-largest urban region in the United States, LA offers families more activities and adventures than many small countries, but that doesn’t mean they are all worth the time. Sure, you could spend a week at Disneyland, but that’s not really what the city is all about. Take some pointers from the locals and see Los Angeles County as they do: Full of vibrant cultural opportunities, art, amazing outdoor spaces, and yes, even public transportation. The weather in LA also means that a family vacation is worth the trek at any time of year. The city is a dream for kiddos who love to run and play outside in the sunshine. And even in places that are designed for kids—like Griffith Park or the children’s garden at the Huntington Library—adults will find plenty to pique their interest. Whether you’re age two or 62, behold, the 30 best destinations in Los Angeles for families and kids. Traveling to other cities with your kiddos? Don’t miss Curbed’s maps of the best family activities in Washington, D.C., Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, and New York City.

  • Three-bedroom Village Green condo with outdoor space seeks $799K
    by Bianca Barragan on December 6, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    You had us at fireplace The historic and verdant Village Green garden apartment complex in Baldwin Hills offers more than 40 acres of green space, and this three-bedroom condo unit looks directly out onto some of that acreage. The emerald green backdrop appears out the windows of the living room, bedrooms, and dining area. Inside, the residence features comely parquet floors, paned casement windows, a brick fireplace, a retro kitchen, and two outdoor spaces—a front porch and a spacious, enclosed back patio. The dwelling’s two bathrooms appear to be original, and like the rest of the home, meticulously maintained. Plus, having two stories means you are your own upstairs neighbor—eliminating an oft-repeated reservation about condo living. Built in 1942 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Village Green is eligible for tax breaks under the Mills Act, though the condo buyer would have to do the work to get them. Located at 5471 Village Green, the nearly 1,600-square-foot condominium is well-located for getting to work on the Westside, in the South Bay, or in Downtown. It’s listed for $799,000. plus monthly HOA fees of $519, with Stephen Shiu of BRC Advisors. Well, that’s great view. The first floor has handsome parquet floors, plenty of windows, and a fireplace. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: This kitchen is bright and has good counter space, plus the Orange Julius-color scheme works. It’s no wonder the owners kept it! Two bedrooms upstairs, one below, all of them with good light, wood floors, and room to get comfortable.The historic Village Green has over 40 acres of green lawns and tree-shaded space. The front porch is inviting.

  • 6 open houses to check out around LA this weekend
    by Pauline O'Connor on December 6, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Ranging from a former hunting lodge in La Crescenta to a Palmer and Krisel-designed midcentury modern in Encino Welcome to another edition of our weekly series rounding up open houses to check out over the weekend, because who doesn’t love a little real estate gawking? This week’s options include a former hunting lodge in La Crescenta, a 1930s Spanish-style bungalow in Vermont Vista, and a hill-hugging midcentury treehouse in Montecito Heights. Charmaine David, courtesy of Carrie Bryden/Deasy Penner Podley Where: 3877 Latrobe Street, LA 90031When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8Specs: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms; 1,426 square feetSelling points: Located within walking distance of lovely Debs Park, this sharp mid-century treehouse was designed by USC-trained architect John L. Pugsley in 1964 for the modernist development known as The Cliffs. Features include hardwood floors, skylights, walls of glass, an updated kitchen with quartz countertops, a freestanding fireplace, and a whimsical stairwell mural by Guatemalan muralist Cache.Asking price: $789,000 Courtesy of Donna D’Aurio/Berkshire Hathaway Where: 3707 4th Avenue, La Crescenta 91214When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,829 square feetSelling points: One of the original river rock houses of the La Crescenta-Highlands neighborhood, this rustic residence was built in 1927 to serve as a hunting lodge. Highlights include peg and groove hardwood floors, wood moldings, and a handsome stone fireplace. The 3,962-square-foot lot contains mature fruit trees and a newly permitted 126-square-foot ADU with bathroom and laundry room. Asking price: $850,000 Courtesy of Billy Chacon Where: 749 West 101st Street, LA 90044When: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 8Specs: 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms; 2,320 square feetSelling points: This Spanish-style home is located on a 5,400-square-foot lot within walking distance of the Weingart YMCA Wellness and Aquatic Center. Built in 1931, its charming original details include hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, a plaster fireplace, artfully detailed sconces, built-ins, and colorful period tile. The property also contains a two-bedroom, one-bath back cottage and a detached garage. Asking price: $650,000 Photos by Ming Lo, courtesy of Stephen Shiu Where: 5471 Village Green, LA 90016When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,583 square feetSelling points: One of the rare three-bedroom units in the 64-acre urban oasis known as Village Green, this residence also boasts parquet hardwood floors, a brick fireplace, steel casement windows, and two private patios.Asking price: $799,000, plus monthly HOA dues of $519 Photos by Zach Cluxton, courtesy of Allie Riley and Michael Collins/Coldwell Banker Where: 1400 N Hayworth Avenue, #36, West Hollywood 90046When: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 8Specs: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom; 843 square feetSelling points: One of only a few condos in West Hollywood’s historic, Edward Fickett-designed Hollywood Riviera with two bedrooms, this top-floor unit features lofty beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, walls of windows, ample storage space, central AC, and a private patio. It comes with two parking spaces and Mills Act tax benefits.Asking price: $699,000, plus monthly HOA dues of $461 Courtesy of Dennis Chernov and Kevin Silver/Keller Williams Where: 17401 Rancho Street, Encino, 91316When: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 8Specs: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms; 2,494 square feetSelling points: Designed in 1957 by Palmer and Krisel, this remodeled south-of-Ventura modern features interior and exterior stone walls, sliding glass doors, built-ins, and a generous .38-acre lot with a swimming pool, built-in barbecue, and trees galore.Asking price: $1.799 million

  • Are buyers in LA still competing with all cash offers? And more questions from readers.
    by Jenna Chandler on December 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Compass agent Jennifer Okhovat works primarily around West Hollywood and Silicon Beach. | Getty Images/EyeEm She signed into Curbed LA to answer questions from readers about buying and selling in Los Angeles Are buyers in LA still competing with all cash offers? How many buyers on the Westside work in tech or entertainment? Compass agent Jennifer Okhovat answered these questions and more form Curbed LA readers this morning during a live one-hour Q&A. Courtesy of Jennifer Okhovat Jennifer Okhovat. The chat is now closed, but scroll down to the comments section below, where the chat took place, to read through the questions and responses. Okhovat works primarily in West Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, Culver City, Miracle Mile, Beverly Grove, and Silicon Beach. But she’s familiar with a wide swath of the region. Okhovat grew up in Beverly Hills and attended Cal State Northridge before becoming a licensed agent in 2009.

  • Because of unauthorized demo, Eva Gabor’s former home too ‘ruined’ to landmark
    by Bianca Barragan on December 6, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The house at Delfern Drive in September. | Courtesy of Save Iconic Architecture Commissioners were outraged, but the owner says he didn’t intend to sidestep the landmarking process Eva Gabor’s former house in Holmby Hills isn’t eligible to become a Los Angeles landmark, a city commission decided Thursday—mainly because some of its potentially historic elements were demolished without permits two months ago. “It’s been ruined,” said commissioner Richard Barron, speaking of the home’s historic value. The vote was split 3-2 and came after heated discussion, with commissioners expressing outrage at the owner’s actions. The facade of the actress’s longtime home was gutted in September, and the property owner did not have the permits required by the city to do the work. In response, the city issued a stop-work order. But it was too late. By then, Jessa Ross, of the city’s office of historic resources, said the owner had already razed the architectural elements that most connected the dwelling to its famed architect, Paul R. Williams. She said the property owner knew there was a pending landmark nomination for the home at 100 Delfern Drive, and must have known the work violated city code. But the owner, Philip Rahimzadeh, “one of the most active local developers” in Downtown LA’s Arts District, told commissioners he wasn’t aware of the landmarking effort because it was initiated through an “emergency nomination” by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. Property owners are usually alerted about landmarking efforts on their property once an application is deemed complete by the city, but in this case, the application came later. Even if a landmarking application hadn’t been filed, Rahimzadeh would still have needed a permit. He applied for a demolition permit in August, but started work before it had been approved. Rahimzadeh and his representative, Daniel Freedman, downplayed the work, saying they were only trying to remove lead and asbestos in the house. If it was an abatement effort, it was also “demolition in disguise,” Barron responded. The unpermitted demolition became a flashpoint for some preservationists, many of them in the audience at Thursday’s hearing, who wanted to see the residence landmarked as a punitive measure. At one point a woman in the audience yelled: “Is there nothing illegal about what’s happening here?” Adrian Scott Fine, director of advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, urged the commission “to send a strong message” to Rahimzadeh and property owners who turn to unpermitted demolitions in an attempt to avoid landmarking. But Freedman said the city’s ineffective communication about the nomination set them up to fail. “This is not the case to make an example of someone,” Freedman said. Throughout their impassioned discussion, commissioners were reminded a number of times that their task was merely to determine whether home’s condition merited landmarking. Commissioner Gail Kennard noted that in terms of the architecture, the house was “basically gone.” In the end, they conceded that, tasked with evaluating whether the house at present was historic, there was really no choice. “It’s not our job to determine what’s criminal or not,” said commissioner Pilar Buelna.

Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • The best things to do with kids in LA that aren’t Disneyland
    by Megan Barber on December 6, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Shutterstock From Griffith Park to the Natural History Museum, these are the top spots for families in LA There are so many kid-friendly places to see in Los Angeles, where do you begin? As the second-largest urban region in the United States, LA offers families more activities and adventures than many small countries, but that doesn’t mean they are all worth the time. Sure, you could spend a week at Disneyland, but that’s not really what the city is all about. Take some pointers from the locals and see Los Angeles County as they do: Full of vibrant cultural opportunities, art, amazing outdoor spaces, and yes, even public transportation. The weather in LA also means that a family vacation is worth the trek at any time of year. The city is a dream for kiddos who love to run and play outside in the sunshine. And even in places that are designed for kids—like Griffith Park or the children’s garden at the Huntington Library—adults will find plenty to pique their interest. Whether you’re age two or 62, behold, the 30 best destinations in Los Angeles for families and kids. Traveling to other cities with your kiddos? Don’t miss Curbed’s maps of the best family activities in Washington, D.C., Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, and New York City.

  • Three-bedroom Village Green condo with outdoor space seeks $799K
    by Bianca Barragan on December 6, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    You had us at fireplace The historic and verdant Village Green garden apartment complex in Baldwin Hills offers more than 40 acres of green space, and this three-bedroom condo unit looks directly out onto some of that acreage. The emerald green backdrop appears out the windows of the living room, bedrooms, and dining area. Inside, the residence features comely parquet floors, paned casement windows, a brick fireplace, a retro kitchen, and two outdoor spaces—a front porch and a spacious, enclosed back patio. The dwelling’s two bathrooms appear to be original, and like the rest of the home, meticulously maintained. Plus, having two stories means you are your own upstairs neighbor—eliminating an oft-repeated reservation about condo living. Built in 1942 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Village Green is eligible for tax breaks under the Mills Act, though the condo buyer would have to do the work to get them. Located at 5471 Village Green, the nearly 1,600-square-foot condominium is well-located for getting to work on the Westside, in the South Bay, or in Downtown. It’s listed for $799,000. plus monthly HOA fees of $519, with Stephen Shiu of BRC Advisors. Well, that’s great view. The first floor has handsome parquet floors, plenty of windows, and a fireplace. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: This kitchen is bright and has good counter space, plus the Orange Julius-color scheme works. It’s no wonder the owners kept it! Two bedrooms upstairs, one below, all of them with good light, wood floors, and room to get comfortable.The historic Village Green has over 40 acres of green lawns and tree-shaded space. The front porch is inviting.

  • 6 open houses to check out around LA this weekend
    by Pauline O'Connor on December 6, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Ranging from a former hunting lodge in La Crescenta to a Palmer and Krisel-designed midcentury modern in Encino Welcome to another edition of our weekly series rounding up open houses to check out over the weekend, because who doesn’t love a little real estate gawking? This week’s options include a former hunting lodge in La Crescenta, a 1930s Spanish-style bungalow in Vermont Vista, and a hill-hugging midcentury treehouse in Montecito Heights. Charmaine David, courtesy of Carrie Bryden/Deasy Penner Podley Where: 3877 Latrobe Street, LA 90031When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8Specs: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms; 1,426 square feetSelling points: Located within walking distance of lovely Debs Park, this sharp mid-century treehouse was designed by USC-trained architect John L. Pugsley in 1964 for the modernist development known as The Cliffs. Features include hardwood floors, skylights, walls of glass, an updated kitchen with quartz countertops, a freestanding fireplace, and a whimsical stairwell mural by Guatemalan muralist Cache.Asking price: $789,000 Courtesy of Donna D’Aurio/Berkshire Hathaway Where: 3707 4th Avenue, La Crescenta 91214When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,829 square feetSelling points: One of the original river rock houses of the La Crescenta-Highlands neighborhood, this rustic residence was built in 1927 to serve as a hunting lodge. Highlights include peg and groove hardwood floors, wood moldings, and a handsome stone fireplace. The 3,962-square-foot lot contains mature fruit trees and a newly permitted 126-square-foot ADU with bathroom and laundry room. Asking price: $850,000 Courtesy of Billy Chacon Where: 749 West 101st Street, LA 90044When: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 8Specs: 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms; 2,320 square feetSelling points: This Spanish-style home is located on a 5,400-square-foot lot within walking distance of the Weingart YMCA Wellness and Aquatic Center. Built in 1931, its charming original details include hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, a plaster fireplace, artfully detailed sconces, built-ins, and colorful period tile. The property also contains a two-bedroom, one-bath back cottage and a detached garage. Asking price: $650,000 Photos by Ming Lo, courtesy of Stephen Shiu Where: 5471 Village Green, LA 90016When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,583 square feetSelling points: One of the rare three-bedroom units in the 64-acre urban oasis known as Village Green, this residence also boasts parquet hardwood floors, a brick fireplace, steel casement windows, and two private patios.Asking price: $799,000, plus monthly HOA dues of $519 Photos by Zach Cluxton, courtesy of Allie Riley and Michael Collins/Coldwell Banker Where: 1400 N Hayworth Avenue, #36, West Hollywood 90046When: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 8Specs: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom; 843 square feetSelling points: One of only a few condos in West Hollywood’s historic, Edward Fickett-designed Hollywood Riviera with two bedrooms, this top-floor unit features lofty beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, walls of windows, ample storage space, central AC, and a private patio. It comes with two parking spaces and Mills Act tax benefits.Asking price: $699,000, plus monthly HOA dues of $461 Courtesy of Dennis Chernov and Kevin Silver/Keller Williams Where: 17401 Rancho Street, Encino, 91316When: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 8Specs: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms; 2,494 square feetSelling points: Designed in 1957 by Palmer and Krisel, this remodeled south-of-Ventura modern features interior and exterior stone walls, sliding glass doors, built-ins, and a generous .38-acre lot with a swimming pool, built-in barbecue, and trees galore.Asking price: $1.799 million

  • Are buyers in LA still competing with all cash offers? And more questions from readers.
    by Jenna Chandler on December 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Compass agent Jennifer Okhovat works primarily around West Hollywood and Silicon Beach. | Getty Images/EyeEm She signed into Curbed LA to answer questions from readers about buying and selling in Los Angeles Are buyers in LA still competing with all cash offers? How many buyers on the Westside work in tech or entertainment? Compass agent Jennifer Okhovat answered these questions and more form Curbed LA readers this morning during a live one-hour Q&A. Courtesy of Jennifer Okhovat Jennifer Okhovat. The chat is now closed, but scroll down to the comments section below, where the chat took place, to read through the questions and responses. Okhovat works primarily in West Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, Culver City, Miracle Mile, Beverly Grove, and Silicon Beach. But she’s familiar with a wide swath of the region. Okhovat grew up in Beverly Hills and attended Cal State Northridge before becoming a licensed agent in 2009.

  • Because of unauthorized demo, Eva Gabor’s former home too ‘ruined’ to landmark
    by Bianca Barragan on December 6, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The house at Delfern Drive in September. | Courtesy of Save Iconic Architecture Commissioners were outraged, but the owner says he didn’t intend to sidestep the landmarking process Eva Gabor’s former house in Holmby Hills isn’t eligible to become a Los Angeles landmark, a city commission decided Thursday—mainly because some of its potentially historic elements were demolished without permits two months ago. “It’s been ruined,” said commissioner Richard Barron, speaking of the home’s historic value. The vote was split 3-2 and came after heated discussion, with commissioners expressing outrage at the owner’s actions. The facade of the actress’s longtime home was gutted in September, and the property owner did not have the permits required by the city to do the work. In response, the city issued a stop-work order. But it was too late. By then, Jessa Ross, of the city’s office of historic resources, said the owner had already razed the architectural elements that most connected the dwelling to its famed architect, Paul R. Williams. She said the property owner knew there was a pending landmark nomination for the home at 100 Delfern Drive, and must have known the work violated city code. But the owner, Philip Rahimzadeh, “one of the most active local developers” in Downtown LA’s Arts District, told commissioners he wasn’t aware of the landmarking effort because it was initiated through an “emergency nomination” by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. Property owners are usually alerted about landmarking efforts on their property once an application is deemed complete by the city, but in this case, the application came later. Even if a landmarking application hadn’t been filed, Rahimzadeh would still have needed a permit. He applied for a demolition permit in August, but started work before it had been approved. Rahimzadeh and his representative, Daniel Freedman, downplayed the work, saying they were only trying to remove lead and asbestos in the house. If it was an abatement effort, it was also “demolition in disguise,” Barron responded. The unpermitted demolition became a flashpoint for some preservationists, many of them in the audience at Thursday’s hearing, who wanted to see the residence landmarked as a punitive measure. At one point a woman in the audience yelled: “Is there nothing illegal about what’s happening here?” Adrian Scott Fine, director of advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, urged the commission “to send a strong message” to Rahimzadeh and property owners who turn to unpermitted demolitions in an attempt to avoid landmarking. But Freedman said the city’s ineffective communication about the nomination set them up to fail. “This is not the case to make an example of someone,” Freedman said. Throughout their impassioned discussion, commissioners were reminded a number of times that their task was merely to determine whether home’s condition merited landmarking. Commissioner Gail Kennard noted that in terms of the architecture, the house was “basically gone.” In the end, they conceded that, tasked with evaluating whether the house at present was historic, there was really no choice. “It’s not our job to determine what’s criminal or not,” said commissioner Pilar Buelna.

  • State climate agency signs off on fast-tracking plans for Inglewood Clippers arena
    by Jenna Chandler on December 5, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    The Clippers will likely get a leg up in their bid to build an 18,000-seat an NBA arena on 22 acres of city-owned land off Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue. | Courtesy of LA Clippers The state’s climate agency signed off on fast-tracking plans—but some residents are mad The state’s climate agency has signed off on a plan to reduce carbon emissions generated by a potential Clippers arena in Inglewood. But some residents and environmental experts say the Clippers aren’t doing enough, with one calling the plan “pretty much a joke.” The California Air Resources Board last week said it was satisfied with the mitigation plan, which calls for installing 1,350 electric vehicle charging stations, planting 1,000 trees, and purchasing carbon offset credits. The determination is key to securing streamlining during the arena’s state-mandated environmental review, and the Clippers’ request will now be sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom for final approval. If the governor signs it, any environmental lawsuits filed over the arena plans, as well as any lawsuits filed over the city’s potential approval of the plans, would have to be resolved in 270 days. That would give the Clippers a leg up in their bid to build an 18,000-seat NBA arena on 22 acres of city-owned land off Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, less than a half mile from the NFL stadium that will open in the summer. Among other measures designed to encourage game-goers not to drive, the Clippers are also promising to provide direct shuttles from the downtown Inglewood stop on the future Crenshaw Line and the Green Line’s Hawthorne Station. That plan has come under scrutiny from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Senior attorney David Pettit has called the the traffic management component “pretty much a joke.” Other provisions include: providing 93 bike parking spaces, offering parking discounts to drivers who carpool, and ticket discounts to fans with TAP cards. “How many people will want to get out of a game at 10 or 10:30 p.m. and get a shuttle to get on a train? That doesn’t seem very likely to me,” Pettit said. “People will probably just get in their cars that they park near the stadium and take off—and the people of Inglewood will have to breathe the exhaust.” It’s not just the NRDC. In a letter to the state, Public Counsel said the traffic plan “does not contain any actual commitments to invest in traffic reduction.” Inglewood resident Erika Pineda told the state: “Even if every car is an electric car—and they won’t be!—that would still create a nightmare of traffic for us.” And Inglewood resident Oscar Macedo said: “The impact of climate change is very damaging, and so is the pollution it will bring to our community, but this application does not take it very seriously.” If the Clippers wanted to encourage more environmentally-friendly options, the owners would do more than provide charging stations; they would provide incentives for local residents to buy or lease electric cars and they would invest in additional or more robust bus lines, Petit said. But the fundamental problem, he says, is that Clippers want to build in an area that he calls a “transit desert.” When the Crenshaw Line opens next year, it will bring three stations to Inglewood—but the nearest will be 1.8 miles away. The Clippers expect the privately-financed arena to open in 2024, when the team’s lease at the Staples Center in Downtown LA expires.

  • Artist’s former home atop Mt. Washington comes with lovely garden for $1.1M
    by Pauline O'Connor on December 5, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    At the center of the property is a koi pond with bridge. | Photos by Darwin Nercessian, courtesy of Dan Mancinelli and Brian Moore/Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California The former home of noted artist and landscape architect Benji Okubo in 1953 Just around the corner from the Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters and down the road from A. Quincy Jones’ Pilot House in Mt. Washington is where you’ll find this unique property. Built in 1953, it was originally the home of Benji Okubo, an accomplished painter and illustrator whose ascendant art career was sadly derailed by World War II, when he was sent to internment camps. Following the war, Okubo worked as a landscape architect, “designing gardens for prominent businesses and celebrities,” per the Densho Encyclopedia. A moon-shaped doorway leads to the open-plan living and dining room, which is lined with sliding glass doors on the canyon-facing side.The kitchen looks out to a sizable rock waterfall, and features professional-grade appliances.Okubo’s former home has been heavily altered by subsequent owners, but some of the artist’s original touches, including a sizable boulder in the home’s entryway and a rock waterfall in the master bedroom, are still in place. Multiple bromeliad plants add color to the master bedroom’s rock fountain.One of the two bonus studios.Features include bamboo flooring and two skylights.Other notable features of the 1,412-square-foot residence include cherry wood floors, a moon-shaped doorway, oversize glass sliders, an Aga stove, a double-size refrigerator-freezer, and two freestanding fireplaces. There’s also a 9-by-20-foot basement. A shaded daybed nook offers dramatic canyon views.Outside on the 9,478-square-foot grounds, there are multiple waterfalls, Okubo’s rockscapes, a koi pond with a bridge, abundant fruit trees, an outdoor daybed positioned for enjoying bucolic canyon views, a massive sculpture made from part of a tree that had fallen nearby, and two separate bonus studios. 3931 Rome Court is listed with Dan Mancinelli and Brian Moore of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services for an asking price of $1.098 million. Open house is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

  • Metro to spend $27M studying 405 toll lanes through Sepulveda Pass
    by Elijah Chiland on December 5, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    The toll lanes Metro is developing would convert carpool lanes on the 405 into “ExpressLanes,” similar to those already in place on the 10 and 110 freeways. Metro will spend $27 million studying 405 toll lanes Since 2016, when Los Angeles Voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase funding new transit projects, adding toll lanes in place of existing carpool lanes through the Sepulveda Pass has been on Metro’s long to-do list. Today, the agency’s Board of Directors took the first step to make that happen, agreeing to spend more than $27 million on a detailed study that will guide design and implementation of express lanes on the 405 freeway. The project is being developed at the same time as a proposed rail corridor through the Sepulveda Pass, which Metro officials say will eventually ferry riders from the San Fernando to the Valley in under 30 minutes. Both the rail line and the toll lanes are on a list of 28 projects that Metro aims to complete by the 2028 Olympics, though the former—expected to cost at least $9 billion—could be tougher to expedite. The $260 million toll lanes project is now scheduled to open in 2026. Congestion on the 405, particularly through the Sepulveda Pass, has been a persistent problem for decades. In 2014, after five years of construction, Metro opened a northbound carpool lane between the 10 and 101 freeways (a southbound carpool lane was added 12 years earlier). Since then, peak-hour traffic delays have only worsened, according to traffic analyst Inrix. The toll lanes Metro is developing would convert those carpool lanes into “ExpressLanes,” similar to those already in place on the 10 and 110 freeways. Drivers with compatible transponders—even those traveling alone—would be able to pay a per-mile fee to use the lanes. Vehicles with either two or three occupants would be exempted from the toll. Traffic in the carpool lanes now moves nearly as sluggishly as the general purpose lanes, according to a report on the project released earlier this year. Average vehicle speeds in the carpool lanes range between 25 to 35 miles per hour during peak periods, below the 45 mile per hour average mandated for carpool lanes by the Federal Highway Administration. Those delays also slow down the express bus that Metro launched in 2014, which uses the 405 carpool lanes when traveling between the Valley and the Westside. A trip from Van Nuys to Westwood takes less than 20 minutes just prior to the morning rush and nearly an hour in peak traffic. The Metro report released earlier this year details several scenarios for the ExpressLanes, including the possibility that the existing lanes could be re-striped to make two toll lanes in either direction. Even with just a single toll lane in either direction, the study projects an increase in peak-hour travel speeds of up to 31 miles per hour for those who pay the fee. Traffic speeds in general purpose lanes are also predicted to rise by up to 9 miles per hour in peak congestion, if fees are imposed on vehicles with two occupants. Metro spokesperson Rick Jager says the more comprehensive study approved today will shed more light on whether such projections are realistic, given the potential demand for the toll lanes from solo drivers fed up with gridlock. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” he says.

  • What $2,400 rents in Los Angeles right now
    by Jessica Flores on December 5, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Options include a studio near Abbot Kinney and a one-bedroom in West Hollywood Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five rentals within $150 of today’s price, $2,400. Vote for your favorite below! Via Tracy Van Leeuwen/LRS Realty and Management Venice This bright and charming studio is just a walk away from the shops and restaurants on Abbot Kinney. The 1,186-square-foot unit features a large tub with a shower, kitchen with ceiling sunlight, wood floors, and lots of windows. It also includes a bright sunroom perfect for an office area or dining room. It’s renting for $2,495. Via Sonya Coke/Compass Carthay Sitting along Crescent Heights Boulevard, near Pico Boulevard, lies this 1,015 square-foot unit. The two-bedroom, one bath features spacious rooms, carpet, a bay window, and a kitchen connected to a small patio. It’s centrally located, just south of West Hollywood and north of the 10 freeway. It’s renting for $2,300. Via Kika/Zillow Fairfax For a more contemporary apartment, there’s this sleek studio in a duplex near La Brea and Santa Monica boulevards. It comes fully furnished and features a kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and a full bathroom. Plus, there’s a sitting area in the front yard covered by an old growth hedge. It’s renting for $2,490—all utilities included. Via Rynn Vogel/Zillow West Hollywood This one-bedroom, one bath apartment features an in-unit washer and dryer, stainless steel appliances, bamboo floors, and lots of closet space. Pets are considered and underground parking is available. Located just south of the cafes and shops on Melrose Avenue, it’s renting for $2,450. Via P.A.C. Properties/Zillow Mid-Wilshire This two-bedroom, one-bath is centrally located near Little Ethiopia. The unit includes wood floors, a kitchen with subway tile and new quartz counters, crown molding, and spacious closets. Just a short walk away from the museums along Wilshire Boulevard, it’s renting for $2,395.

  • Here’s how LA’s transit network changed over the last decade
    by Elijah Chiland on December 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    The Expo Line, which travels from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, quickly became one of Metro’s most ridden lines. | Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images New rail and rapid bus projects—including the Expo Line It’s been a wild decade for anyone getting around Los Angeles. A $1 billion widening project on the 405 opened—and produced disappointing results. Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft shook up the travel habits of many Angelenos, while navigation apps led drivers on increasingly circuitous routes. And, of course, electric scooters began popping up on sidewalks, roadways, and in the Pacific Ocean. But one of the most significant developments of the last decade is the expansion of the region’s rail network, which local leaders have billed as the eventual fix to LA’s notorious traffic congestion. In 2008, LA County voters approved a sales tax initiative funding construction of new transit lines; in 2016, they doubled down on that commitment, approving a second and more far-reaching measure. It will still be many years before Los Angeles has a truly comprehensive web of trains and rapid buses, but the maps below show the progress that’s been made in that direction in the last 10 years. Via Metro A 2009 Metro system map Via Metro A 2019 Metro system map The most significant change is the arrival of the E (formerly Expo) Line, which opened between Downtown and Culver City in 2012 and was extended to Santa Monica in 2016. The light rail route quickly became one of the most ridden lines in Metro’s system, and carried more than 60,000 daily riders before temporary station closures began this summer. Ten years ago, the Gold Line’s northern terminus was the Sierra Madre Villa Station, in Pasadena. Now the rail route extends all the way to Azusa, with a farther addition to Pomona getting underway. The San Fernando Valley’s Orange Line and the South Bay’s Silver Line—bus rapid transit systems that travel along a dedicated roadway, so they don’t share lanes with cars—have also been extended in the last decade. The Orange Line now reaches Chatsworth, while the Silver Line extends to San Pedro. These developments have opened up new travel options for those trying to get around without a car. But so far, that hasn’t translated to more ridership. Metro trains and buses carried more than 300,000 additional passengers on a typical weekday in 2009 than in the first half of 2019. Looking at Metro’s more comprehensive bus and rail map, it’s clear to see why a handful of rail and rapid bus projects haven’t been enough to drive up ridership. Via Metro A 2009 Metro bus and rail map Via Metro A 2019 Metro bus and rail map Los Angeles County’s transit network is overwhelmingly dominated by bus routes, and buses still carry the vast majority of overall riders. Though Metro has succeeded in boosting rail ridership since the Expo Line opened, bus riders are leaving the system in droves. To address this issue, the agency is now working on a major reconfiguration of its bus network. Called NextGen, the project will include adjustments to routes and schedules to capture riders poorly served by the existing system. With LA’s transit network set to expand much further in the decade ahead, it will be doubly important that Metro attract the ridership needed to make it work longterm.

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