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WeHo’s bringing up baby

Will rising real estate values make Boys Town the next Larchmont?

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The International Male store on Holloway was recently razed to make way for high-end loft condos — and family-friendly retail below.

It will be a while before West Hollywood becomes the next Larchmont Village. However, Saturday morning may become the new Saturday night.

West Hollywood Park is home to the weekly Saturday Morning Kids Club. There’s also monthly programs for families with young children, Saturdays in the Park (sponsored by the City of West Hollywood) and Family Day in the Park (sponsored by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center). And the 11th annual Healthy West Hollywood Kids Fair will be held at the park on April 22.

Although Santa Monica Boulevard is still home to adult bookstore Circus of Books and the Gold Coast Bar, Corey Roskin, a social services specialist for the City of West Hollywood, says he’s seeing an influx of couples with kids moving into the area.

“Parents who are interested in living in the urban environment find West Hollywood appealing due to its walkable enclaves, central location, social services, public safety programs and village-within-a-city atmosphere.”

At 40% of the local population, gay singles still form a core community and the real estate reflects that condo-culture mindset.

“There are 1,400 units on Kings Road between Santa Monica and Melrose,” says Jory Burton of Sotheby’s International Realty in Beverly Hills. And one waggish local realtor describes Kings Road’s massive Courtyards complex as “a clown car with gay people coming out of it.”

Dominic Middono of Regal Estates in West Hollywood notes that high-end condos and the new construction lofts are developed with a sophisticated, urban professional single or couple in mind. However, there is also family inventory, with three-bedroom homes that start around $1.2 million.

For some couples, that’s a bargain: Middono just sold a home to a family who had been renting in Beverly Hills. Both the husband and wife work in the entertainment industry and were delighted to get more house for the money while maintaining a short commute.

Single-family homes fetch more than $2 million in prime pockets such as the “West” streets (West Knoll, Westmount and Westbourne) and realtors often cite figures showing that homes south of the Sunset Strip have the highest price per square foot in L.A. However, with modest dimensions that average around 1,200 square feet, that figure is somewhat inflated. After all, the homes were originally built for neither families nor swinging singles but for movie extras and railroad workers.

“It’s now less desirable to live in the hills than the flats,” says Middono. “You have the proximity to coffee shops and grocery stores.” That goes double if you’re pushing a stroller.

The homes

8906 Ashcroft Ave. 1400 N. Hayworth Ave. #27
1210 North Kings Rd. #301
8906 Ashcroft Ave.
West Hollywood
1400 N. Hayworth Ave. #27
West Hollywood
1210 North Kings Rd. #301
West Hollywood
Three-bedroom, 2.75-bath single-family home with dark hardwood floors, open floor plan, crown moldings, large eat-in kitchen and master suite. Remodeled bathrooms feature wainscoting, built-ins and claw-foot bathtub. Two sets of French doors lead to covered decking and landscaped backyard. “Hollywood Riviera” designed by Edward Fickett, AIA- 1954. Top floor studio condo, with vaulted ceilings and sandblasted exposed beams. Incredible use of space, hardwood floors. Quiet back location. Central air, huge walk-in closet. Redone bath and updated kitchen. Property has a pool and a Palm Springs feel. Low HOA and earthquake insurance. 2,500-square foot, two-bedroom, 2.5-bath “designer done” corner penthouse. Foyer features a custom mosaic tile inlay and original water feature. Living room includes 50″ plasma screen and custom mosaic tile fireplace; gourmet kitchen with Bosch stainless steel appliances. 1,200-sq. ft. master suite has dual closets and master bath with spa tub. Surround sound throughout.
Listing price: $1.425 million
Contact: Norm Ferland
Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills
(310) 432-6488
Listing price: $469,000
Contact: M. Kathryn Shafer and Lynn Hermanson
Windermere Properties
(310) 271-0500
Listing price: $1.25 million
Contact: Dominic Middono
Regal Estates
(310) 360-1161

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