Tearing up and tearing down in Venice


Want to make some money in L.A. real estate? All you need is a keen eye, a little imagination, and a million and a half bucks. And a very well defined ability to suspend disbelief.
Case in point: This sad little one-bedroom, one-bath Venice number with a whopping 667 square feet—none of it pretty. Neither is the selling price: $1,495,000. But is that price as insane as it sounds, at $2,241 per square foot against a $515 average price per square foot in Los Angeles?

From the sea foam green paint on the exterior, to the carpets that look they played host to a petting zoo, to the apartment blinds shrouding the place from whatever light it might be able to glean from the tiny windows, to the weed-pocked lawn, the sellers of this pad clearly knew they had a teardown on their hands. And, mind you, the current sellers have only owned this gem since March, when they purchased it for $1,080,000. Zillow’s Zestimate® is $947,648, but…grain of salt there.

And just in case you weren’t sure, the listing clearly spells out the deal (“Currently the property is leased, enjoy rental income while plan for redevelopment. Architect has been retained and consulted with the City…”).

Per the listing, two freestanding townhomes are proposed—one with 1,574 square feet and another with 1,590 square feet. Have I mentioned the lot is only 4,780 square feet? Sounds like you’ll have to shimmy to get in and out of the homes, and don’t plan on bringing any patio furniture.

The thing about tear-downs is this: as much fun as it might be to swing a hammer—or, more appropriately, bulldoze the whole thing—only to build something bigger and better and income-producing in its place, is it worth it? Not just as hyperbole, but, financially, is it worth it?

Like anything else in L.A. real estate, it all depends on what you’re looking for.



This house is the only listing in a several-block radius and the only one that’s a definitive teardown. Point in its favor. It’s also got location going for it…a block from Abbott Kinney (but a mile from “the cool part,” and “in an already desirable ‘hood,” as Curbed reminds us), plus within walking distance of Starbucks and In-n-Out and minutes from LAX.

It’s still a huge financial output to be able to get your Art Walk and Frappuccino and Double-Double on whenever you want.

Frankly, I’m shedding a tear for this teardown. Not for the loss of Kermit’s lair. But for the reality of what it means to live in the land of no available land.

Tripp Jones Real Estate for Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, Call 661-733-4555 or 818-527-6292