The Men’s Issue REAL ESTATE MOGUL MAURICIO UMANSKY
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22 THE REAL MAURICIO UMANSKY The real estate mogul on his life and historic Encino home
32 RON CHERNEY’S LONG DRIVE
One of the country’s most prolfic golf memorabilia collections
AND THEN SOME...
HIS PLACE IN THE WORLD Architect Paul Williams finally gets his due.
66 MEN IN BUSINESS
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THE BLUE HOUR
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MID-CENTURY ULTRA MODERN
A father on his firstborn leaving for college
A guy with incredible vision and taste renovates his boyhood home.
MAKE IT MEMORABLE A couple celebrates a big birthday at Sanctuary in Arizona.
THE SAUCE 58 GOING APE FOR PIZZA Gorilla Pies in Valley Village
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From Where I Stand I’ve never seen The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so I was
knows her too, and then he talks about the couple. I found
unfamiliar with actress Kyle Richards. But I knew of Kyle’s
that noteworthy. Many successful male executives gloss over
husband, our cover subject Mauricio Umansky, cofounder of
wives. Wives don’t register; only the person perceived to be
The Agency Real Estate. I’m a real estate enthusiast who, after
scanning newspaper headlines, immediately dives into the real estate section. When I cull through my morning emails,
integrating their personalities. It is a mix of Hollywood glam
the newsletter Dirt gets my first tap. And for full disclosure,
(e.g., a striking Terry O’Neil portrait of Kyle at the Beverly Hills
another reason he is on my radar: His company is one of our
Hotel) and LA sophistication. Although three females live there
and only one male, a fair bit of testosterone runs throughout.
Over the years, I’ve read about Mauricio, how he built his
The house has a pickleball court, a putting green and a mascu-
firm, the astronomical price tags on his home sales, and how
line stone bar. The expansive structure features Colonial archi-
he and his wife purchased their historic property in Encino
tecture, but the furnishings are contemporary—an uncommon
in 2017. We’d actually featured the home in the magazine,
pairing that seems to say, We create the rules here.
when it was owned by another couple. So I was curious to meet the man—and to see what they’d done to the property. Mauricio is clearly driven, a type A, and you can feel how
who believe that he has broken some rules in his career. Maybe yes; maybe no. I’m not going to be judge and jury.
photo shoot or talking to workers on his property. He wants
True, Mauricio is a polarizing figure in the real estate com-
things done, and done correctly. Yet he has a softer side. He
munity. Why did I choose to feature him? First, we’re a life-
married Kyle 25 years ago, when she already had a young
style magazine, and I knew we’d come up with some striking
daughter. That says something about a man. The two went
images (see page 22). Also, he’s a major figure in the Valley,
on to have three daughters together. You sense that family
and I find him and his accomplishments compelling and
means a lot.
impressive. Finally, being a lifestyle mag doesn’t mean we shy away from controversial figures. Mauricio Umansky isn’t
You mention an Agency realtor whom you are friends with.
the first controversial person we’ve featured. And he won’t
Yeah, he knows him. You mention the wife, also a friend. He
be the last.
Follow me on Instagram @she_sez
Speaking of rules: When I mentioned that I was writing about Mauricio, I got pushback from some realtor friends
tightly wound he is, whether clearing off his desk for a
And he is not one who only knows and remembers players.
As for the property, the couple has done an artful job of
Linda Grasso, Editor-in-Chief
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the real mauricio umansky AS COFOUNDER OF THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE, MAURICIO UMANSKY HAS QUICKLY BECOME ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PLAYERS IN LA. HERE THE MOGUL INVITES US INTO HIS HISTORIC ENCINO HOME TO TALK ABOUT HIS LIFE AS A MEXICAN JEW, MARRIAGE TO A TV STAR, AND SOME OF THE UPS AND DOWNS OF HIS HIGHLY PUBLIC CAREER. Written by Linda Grasso | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell
The stately Encino home that real estate magnate Mauricio Umansky shares with his wife, Kyle Richards (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), is rarely quiet. But on the day after Rosh Hashanah, it is particularly abuzz. A worker is repairing a
perfectly for me. I’m suited for it, and I absolutely love it. It’s rare that they’re mad at me, but if someone’s mad at me, I can always find somebody that still loves me.”
THE CLIMB If his first love is his family, his second love is real estate. He started out as a top seller with his brotherin-law’s firm, Hilton & Hyland (Kyle’s half-sister is
is doing trim touch-up near a powder
Kathy Hilton), and in 2011, along with two cofound-
kitchen, putting away metal serving trays and china from the previous night’s dinner. “We just had the family over—about 16 people,”
ers, Mauricio kicked off The Agency Real Estate with a Beverly Hills headquarters. “We launched it on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Was that a lot of pressure? “Yes, it was,” he admits. The cofounders sought to shake up the brokerage landscape with sleek branding and marketing. The Agency offered full marketing support to its brokers, as
Mauricio quips, barefoot and clad in his “work uni-
well as access to a proprietary database they developed
form” of dark denim and T-shirt. He briefly converses
that collects and tracks information about high-net-
with Kyle in what could be described as husband-wife
shorthand each time she passes by. As the petite bru-
It is no surprise that glitz and glam are part of the
nette scurries about the Colonial-style home in workout
brand—Mauricio is not only married to a famous ac-
tights, her every step is followed by a German shepherd,
tress but is also uncle to Paris and Nicky Hilton. Those
one of the couple’s five dogs.
elements also extend to The Agency’s open houses.
“She’s getting ready for a cover shoot tomorrow here
“We wanted to create an open house experience.
at the house. This year we celebrated our 25th anni-
Instead of selling a four-bedroom, three-bath home,
versary, and The Knot (magazine) is putting us on the
we sell lifestyle.”
cover,” he explains. His pride at being married for a quarter century is palpable. “I work hard at everything I do. I try to do my very best with everything: work, family and my marriage. We’ve done everything together. We created The Agency together, and she’s very supportive of my work.”
“Being the one man in a house of all women works
fountain in the front yard; a painter room. Two housekeepers bustle in the
Agency Real Estate, as do Mauricio’s father and sister.
Agency-hosted open houses have featured celebrity chefs (one here in the Valley was a dinner for 60 prepared by Scratch|Bar chef Phillip Frankland Lee), luxury vehicles parked in the driveway, open bars, and champagne-pouring aerialists. The goal was to create a boutique firm with global reach, and that’s exactly what transpired. Over the past
The couple has four children, all girls, ranging in age
decade The Agency has become a major force in LA’s
from 13 to 32. The eldest is Kyle’s daughter from a pre-
brokerage business, having been at the helm of some
vious marriage, and the couple has three daughters to-
of the city’s priciest deals. The firm has grown to 43
gether. Two of the children work at Mauricio’s firm, The
offices with more than 700 agents in the U.S., Canada,
In the living room| of25 the couple’s Encino home.
The couple in Aspen, where they have a home, with daughters Alexia, Sophia and Portia. Mauricio also has a stepdaughter from Kyle’s ﬁrst marriage, Farrah Aldjufrie.
Mexico and the Caribbean. With offices in Calabasas and
Just half a mile away, on Casiano Drive, child actress
Sherman Oaks, the Agency recently added a Studio City
Kyle Richards lived with her family. Though Mauricio
location on Ventura Place.
and Kyle had many of the same friends, they didn’t
Mauricio shares that he holds the distinction of selling the most homes in the country priced above $20
meet until they were in their 20s. In 1996, Kyle converted to Judaism to marry
million, and his celebrity clients have included Prince,
Mauricio. He describes his wife as the keeper of the
Michael Jackson and former Dodger Adrian Gonzalez. In
family faith. “As many stories go, the one who converts
one of his most high-profile deals, he sold the Playboy
is the one who keeps the family going, and she defi-
Mansion for a reported $100 million.
nitely is the one who keeps Shabbat going. We try to do
Unlike some high achievers, he says, his motivation does not come from visual boards or goal setting. “For
it as often as we can.” Mauricio attended school at Steven Wise Temple and
me it is just a constant need to win. I learned it from my
the Umanskys proudly count themselves among the
parents, and I was that way with athletics when I was
donors who funded the temple’s Katz Family Pavilion
growing up. Now it extends to everything I do. From golf
for Athletics and Culture. He says, “We still go there,
to business, I’ve always been super competitive.”
and are a big part of that community.”
THE VALLEY FLIP
Ask him if there are any negatives about living a life in the
So how did the powerhouse LA realtor and his “Beverly
public eye and he admits, “You have to have thick skin.”
Hills housewife” wind up in the Valley? Put it this way:
That thick skin might have helped him get through
It wasn’t planned. The couple raised their family for
what was, by all accounts, a challenging time. Mauricio
several years in a cul-de-sac in Bel Air. Then, in 2017,
and his firm were accused of wrongdoing involving the
Mauricio invited Kyle to join him on a routine inspec-
sale of a hilltop property in Malibu in 2016.
tion of a new listing—a newly renovated, 10,000-plus-
The ensuing lawsuit, which spawned additional liti-
square-foot home on a sprawling flat lot in prime
gation and a fair bit of negative press, was indisputably
Encino. Both were impressed by all that the property
complex. Mauricio’s attorneys were quoted as calling
had to offer. The hook for the savvy businessman was
it “frivolous.” The case was ultimately settled out of
the price. He says, “We wouldn’t have been able to af-
court and Mauricio prefers not talk about it, except to
ford it—that house in the city would probably be a $45
say this: “As a kid, I was taught that life is not fair. And
million house. You get a lot more for your money in the
this is one of those situations where life is not fair.”
Valley. The land is amazing. We just love the comfort of living here. Shopping is easier, parking is easier, life
THE MEXICAN CONNECTION
is a bit easier. So the decision was originally driven by
Born in Mexico, young Mauricio and his family
moved to LA in 1976. The family settled in a home on
The Valley also allows Mauricio to indulge in his
Bottlebrush Drive in a neighborhood off Mulholland
love of physical activities. He enjoys golf at nearby
Drive near Beverly Glen. His dad was a clothing manu-
MountainGate Country Club, mountain biking at Balboa
facturer; his mom, who had several degrees, worked as
Park, biking along the Orange Line bike path, and ex-
ploring trails in the Santa Monica Mountains above his
property. While the family primarily eats at home, his favorite restaurant is Davenport’s, where, he says, “I’ll go alone and sit at the bar and watch a game and eat a nice meal.” It comes as no surprise that the couple bought a house with some historical cachet. “It’s one of the oldest homes in the city,” Mauricio notes. Previously known as the Smokey Robinson Estate, the house was owned by the legendary Motown singer from 1988 to 2002. Architect Elmer Grey designed the structure, which sits on a flat, 1.8-acre parcel and is dotted with mature oak trees. The architect designed such landmarks as the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Huntington Art Gallery, the Wattles Mansion and the Pasadena Playhouse. The Encino house, built in 1892, was originally on Western Avenue. It was relocated by horse and carriage to the current site in 1912—the first lot to be sold in the city of Encino. Despite the developer’s tasteful and extensive renovations when they bought the home, Mauricio jokes that it is still not move-in ready. A creek that runs through the property was recently rehabilitated, and the couple is in the process of building a pickleball court and redoing the front and side entrances to create attractive, spacious “motor courts” to accommodate more vehicles. The house that beckoned them to this side of the hill ticks all the boxes. In addition to a home gym, there is a screening room, pool, multiple outdoor entertaining areas, a vegetable garden and a putting green. The property has been a refuge for the family, especially since the pandemic. “Now, in hindsight, with COVID, it’s been one of the best decisions we ever made, because we have a compound.” Mauricio is the first to admit that he is fortunate and he has made it a point to give back. His philanthropic work includes serving as a board member for Giveback Homes, as well as supporting Children’s Hospital of Los
Mauricio and Kyle moved from Bel Air to the Encino home in 2017, naming it “18 Oaks” | 29for the mature trees that dot the property.
“FOR ME IT IS JUST A CONSTANT NEED TO WIN. I LEARNED IT FROM MY PARENTS, AND I WAS THAT WAY WITH ATHLETICS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. NOW IT EXTENDS TO EVERYTHING I DO. FROM GOLF TO BUSINESS, I’VE ALWAYS BEEN SUPER COMPETITIVE.” Angeles and the National Breast Cancer Association. While acknowledging that his life has been extraordinary in some ways, he says that these days he views his daily existence in simple terms. “I’m a Mexican Jew who came out here to the Valley to live with my family. And now I pretty much live within one square mile. I’m a Valley boy!” he laughs. ■
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Ron Cherney’s Long Drive ONE OF THE MOST PROLIFIC GOLF MEMORABILIA COLLECTIONS IN THE COUNTRY IS NOT HOUSED AT THE U.S. GOLF ASSOCIATION NOR AT AN EXCLUSIVE, PRIVATE GOLF CLUB. RATHER, IT LIVES HERE IN THE VALLEY AT THE HOME OF A MAN WHOSE LIFE IS DRIVEN BY HIS PASSION. Written by Charlie Koones Photographed by Shane O’Donnell
Some men are defined by their passions. Laird Hamilton is a surfer. Eric Clapton is a guitar player. Ron Cherney may be a dentist, husband and father, but make no mistake: Ron Cherney is a golfer. There are loads of passionate golfers, but Ron takes things to an entirely different level. He’s skilled enough to have won club championships, astute enough to have written books on the subject, and passionate enough to have assembled one of the most notable private golf libraries and memorabilia collections in the country. Let’s start with his library, which is said by some to be more comprehensive than that of the U.S. Golf Association Museum and Library. A prolific reader and a lifelong student of the game, Ron began collecting golf books some 40 years ago, amassing volumes on the game’s history, instruction, course architecture, tournaments and profiles of the greats. The collection even includes more than 500 histories
of private and public golf clubs around the world. The fact is, Ron probably knows a helluva lot more about most clubs than their members do. “I’ve always been fascinated by the history of the game. Growing up when Arnold Palmer burst on the scene hooked so many of my generation. They say the smaller the ball, the more books are written about the sport, so there was no lack of golf stuff to read.” That of course holds true for his own club, the Valley classic El Caballero Country Club, where Cherney has been a member since 1994. His pride and passion for El Cab rings clear as a bell. He recounts the history with ease, covering in detail how the founding members signed a long-term land lease with the family of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs to develop the club back in the ’50s.
“I’VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY THE HISTORY OF THE GAME. GROWING UP WHEN ARNOLD PALMER BURST ON THE SCENE HOOKED SO MANY OF MY GENERATION.”
Ron knows the course itself equally as well, having recorded three club championships and an additional three senior club championships. He also qualified for
clubs, but among Ron’s favorites are those owned by
the 2007 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. To put
past U.S. Open and Masters champion Ralph Guldahl,
that in perspective, nearly 3,000 of the best senior
with whom he was close. When the late golfer and for-
golfers in the country attempt to qualify for the Senior
mer club pro at Braemar Country Club was honored by
Amateur each year; only 156 make it to the tournament.
Jack Nicklaus at his Memorial Golf Tournament in Ohio,
This is some rare golf air.
it was Ron who accepted the award on Guldahl’s behalf.
Ron Cherney’s love for the game dates back to his
The Masters, the pinnacle of golf, is well represented
youth in Toronto. “There was a course near our house
in Ron’s collection. While he has over 20 pin flags
called Humber Valley that cost 55 cents to play for un-
signed by champions, it’s the scorecards that stand
limited rounds. Our gang of urchins would play 36 or 54
out—cards signed by every Masters champion since the
holes many times! I joined Braemar (in Tarzana) in 1991
and started getting decent, playing with some really
Warm and unfailingly humble, Ron is a pleasant guy
good golfers. Then I started entering SCGA tournaments
to be around. Perhaps that’s one reason for the success
and USGA qualifiers. The thing I used to love most
of his book, My Favorite Shot. It sounds like a daunting
about it was probably the competition. But now that
endeavor: Get the greatest golfers in the game to talk
I’m in my early 70s, it’s all about the camaraderie, the
about the shots that defined their careers. Good luck
beautiful walk in the park on some of our great courses
with that. But Ron says he simply reached out, and 130
and the good-natured ribbing of my pals.”
pros agreed to share, including Arnold Palmer, Jack
Back to Ron’s collection, which has grown so exten-
Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson. The response
sive over the years that his wife, Lisa Helfend Meyer
Ron received is a testament to his passion. A walk
(an attorney), insisted during a recent home renovation
through Ron Cherney’s collection—his books and trea-
that he build a room just to house it.
sures and his stories—is a reminder that passion can
In that assemblage are loads of old hickory stick golf
not only propel us, it can define who we are. ■
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his place in the world PAUL R. WILLIAMS CRAFTED A GROUNDBREAKING, 60-YEAR CAREER AS AN ARCHITECT BY OUTWITTING AND OUTWORKING THE RACISM HE FACED AT EVERY TURN. NOW, DUE TO THE ACQUISITION BY THE GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE AND USC SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF HIS MASSIVE ARCHIVE, HE MAY FINALLY GET THE WIDER RECOGNITION HE DESERVES. Written by Anne M. Russell Photography by Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Even if you don’t know it, you may have been in a home or building Paul Revere Williams had a hand in creating. If you’re very lucky, you live in one. An enormously productive architect, Williams designed homes, schools, civic buildings, department stores and churches all over an ever-expanding Los Angeles for six decades, from 1914 to 1973. He was also the first Black member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the first licensed Black architect west of the Mississippi. In a poignant essay written for American Magazine in 1937, when he was 43 and at the height of his career with 50+ employees, Williams noted, “It is an amusing irony that, with success, my color has a certain publicity value. I am a freak.” Highly attuned to discrimination, Williams invented ways to circumvent it at every turn.
BORN ANGELENO Williams’ life had a tragic beginning. His parents were from Memphis but moved to Los Angeles shortly before his birth in 1894. Chester and Lila Williams died of tuberculosis within two years of each other, leaving their son an orphan at the age of 4. He was adopted by the Clarkson family and showed an early fascination with drawing pictures of buildings. A family friend suggested he should consider becoming an architect—an idea that was met with resistance by his teachers. Williams recounts a formative incident in his 1937 essay: “I determined, when I was still in high school, to become an architect. When I announced that intention to my instructor, he stared at me with … astonishment. ‘Who ever heard of a Negro being an architect?’ he demanded. ‘You have the ability—but use it some other way. Don’t butt your head futilely against the stone wall of race prejudice.’” Undaunted, he continued on his path, graduating from Polytechnic High and getting a job with landscape architect Wilbur D. Cook, who designed the master plan for the city of Beverly Hills. At the same The El Mirador Hotel in Palm Springs, which Williams designed in the early ’50s.
time, he studied at the Los Angeles School of Art and
an associate at John C. Austin’s firm, he had worked on
Design and the LA workshop of New York City-based
plans for the Shrine Auditorium and the First Methodist
Beaux-Arts Institute of Design. In 1916, he enrolled at
Church. Now he would go on to define his own philoso-
the University of Southern California in architectural
phy and aesthetic. “I wanted to vindicate every ability
engineering to learn the practical and business aspects
I had,” he wrote. “I wanted to acquire new abilities.
I wanted to prove that I, as an individual, deserved a
In late 1922, after winning a number of architecture
place in the world.”
competitions (including one to design a civic center in Pasadena), 28-year-old Williams opened his own
practice. He had married Della Mae Givens five years
Various sources credit Williams with having designed
earlier and now had a family to support. Previously, as
2,000 to 3,000 buildings, but Maristella Casciato, senior
An addition to the Beverly Hills Hotel; construction was completed in 1950. |
curator of architecture at the Getty Research Institute,
LA), hotels (Ambassador, Beverly Hills Hotel renova-
says that’s just a guess. The research institute, in
tion) and civic buildings. One of the most important:
conjunction with USC’s School of Architecture, recently
the 1926 design for the 28th Street YMCA, where he
acquired Williams’ archives, which contain 40,000 to
included images of Frederick Douglass and Booker T.
50,000 original drawings that they will eventually digi-
Washington in the roofline frieze. Williams’ grand-
tize. “It’s still premature to give a grounded estima-
daughter Karen Elyse Hudson, keeper of Williams’
tion of the number of projects he designed, including
archive until its transfer to Getty/USC and author of
built and unbuilt buildings,” she says. But, she adds,
several books about him, says, “From schools and
Williams “worked nationally and internationally, with
hospitals, churches to department stores, the LA County
an average of approximately 30 to 40 new projects per
Courthouse to amazing family homes, from banks to
year, over a half-century career,” meaning that 2,000
the airport, his vision is everywhere.”
buildings are within the realm of possibility. Initially a small-home specialist by necessity,
Getty curator Casciato describes Williams’ style as “eclectic, anti-dogmatic, accommodating to his very
Williams quickly expanded his clientele to include
diverse clientele, resourceful and creative, well educated
Hollywood’s elite. He completed celebrity commis-
in the Beaux-Arts tradition.” Adds Hudson, “He led by
sions for “Overcoat Jack” Atkins, Desi Arnaz and
example—always striving to please his clients, rather
Lucille Ball, Lon Chaney Sr., Bert Lahr, Tyrone Power,
than force them to accept his singular vision.”
Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, Frank Sinatra and Barbara
A peculiarity about the architect’s work style: he
Stanwyck. Stanwyck’s estate in Northridge was origi-
would sometimes draw upside down when sitting across
nally named Marwyck Ranch. In 2009 the property—
from a prospective client. During his lifetime, he gave
now called Oakridge—was bought by the city of Los
different explanations as to why, including not want-
Angeles. The Department of Recreation and Parks took
ing to make white people uncomfortable by sitting next
over its care. The nonprofit Friends of Oakridge helps
to them. In his 1937 essay, however, he cast it more as
with its upkeep and opens it for monthly public tours.
salesmanship: “I spent hours learning to draw upside
Another accessible Williams-designed home, albeit in
down. Then, with a prospective client seated across the
ruins, is the 1952 Roberts Ranch House. Also known as
desk from me, I would rapidly begin to sketch the liv-
Tropical Terrace, the Solstice Canyon property is in the
ing room of his house. Invariably, his interest would be
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in
excited by the trick. But it was more than a trick, for, as
Malibu. If you hike in, you will be able to see what re-
the room developed before his eyes, I would ask for sug-
mains of the extraordinary structure that was built into
gestions and for approval of my own ideas. He became a
a rocky hillside and burned in a 1982 wildfire. Photos
full partner in the birth of that room.”
displayed at the site help visitors envision the home’s unique grandeur.
Williams loved designing both exteriors and interiors, making him somewhat of an anomaly among architects. Having gotten his initial experience in landscape
BEYOND THE MANSIONS
architecture, he was sensitive to what has become a
Williams’ “architect to the stars” sobriquet discounts
Southern California hallmark—the interplay of interior
the breadth and depth of his other work. Although
space and exterior features, such as gardens, pools and
Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, La Cañada Flintridge and
terraces. Because he often worked with spare-no-ex-
Santa Monica host many of his residential designs,
pense clients, he came to value elegance and simplicity
Williams also worked on public housing (including
over baroque flourishes. “The most important lesson
Nickerson Gardens in Watts and Pueblo del Rio in South
I learned was restraint,” he wrote in a retrospective
essay in 1963. “A room should have a single focal point, regardless of how much money goes into it.”
MID-CITY DREAM HOME Williams remained acutely aware that he wasn’t welcome to live in many of the neighborhoods where his homes were built. Until struck down in 1948 by the Supreme Court, restrictive deed covenants barring Blacks, Asians and Jews from certain areas were commonplace. “Today I sketched the preliminary plans for a large country house which will be erected in one of the most beautiful residential districts in the world,” Williams wrote in 1937. “Sometimes I have a dreamed of living there. I could afford such a home. But that evening … I returned to my own small, inexpensive home in an unrestricted, comparatively undesirable section of Los Angeles. I know that, for the preservation of my own happiness, I must always live in that locality, or another one like it.” In 1951, however, Williams built his dream home in the Mid-City neighborhood of Lafayette Square. Williams and his wife loved to entertain, and the austere, Mid-Century Modern, International Style home he designed had a large garden surrounded by a curving wall for that purpose. Always a perfectionist, Williams traveled to an Indio tree farm to personally select each palm for the space. Adhering to his own motto of simplicity, the home has clean lines and is free of froufrou ornamentation such as decorative columns. With eyesight failing from complications of diabetes, Williams retired in 1973. The disease ultimately killed him in 1980 at age 85. “As a man, as an architect, Paul Revere Williams left a legacy of excellence, above all,” his granddaughter Karen Hudson proudly states. “He was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923, its first African American Fellow in 1957, and its first Gold Medalist in 2017.” Despite the joy she takes in chronicling her grandfather’s impressive legacy, she tempers her pride with this: “Today, 98 years after he joined, the number of African American architects in the AIA remains about 2%. This is
A home Williams designed in Palm Springs for actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, built in 1954-55.
inexcusable. It is certainly not for lack of talent.” ■
designed to inspire RUBEN ROJAS IS ON A MISSION TO SPREAD HIS MESSAGE OF HOPE THROUGH ART. Written by Hadley Hall Meares | Photographed by Monica Orozco
“There’s no right way to love,” the artist Ruben Rojas says, spreading his muscled arms wide. “It’s art. It’s
he partnered with Westfield Topanga to create a fivepiece art installation called “Summer of Love,” which
time. It’s storytelling. You name
included both murals and sculptures. If you visited the
doesn’t matter.” This inclusive ethos has been a guide for Ruben’s
outdoor mall this past summer, you may have seen the towering, Instagram-worthy heart scrawled with the word “love.” Ruben hopes these works serve as a form of motiva-
life and may account for his success in so many areas.
tion. “It seems like the world is in chaos and out of
Rueben has been working as a muralist and sculptor for
control, but you can do something. You have the pow-
nearly a decade, and by selling his creations and mer-
er,” he says. “No, you don’t have to be the president.
chandise from his website, he has also become an en-
You don’t have to be a great inventor or a celebrity. You
trepreneur. It’s a radical departure for a man who once
can just be you and effect change in your life, with your
focused his life on climbing up the cooperate ladder.
kids, with your friends, and then go from there. It’s a
Ruben grew up in working-class Panorama City as a three-sport athlete. Although he always had an
ripple effect.” In 2018, he put his belief in the healing power of art
artistic impulse, he aimed toward a career in medicine
to the test, working with inmates at the state prison
and graduated from Cal State Northridge with a degree
in Lancaster to create a mural that reads “Forgive/
in kinesiology. After school, he focused on financial
Forgiven.” “We have to forgive ourselves before we can
success and dove into the freewheeling pre-2008 real
ask for forgiveness,” he says. “That just came about in
conversations with these inmates.”
But Ruben lost everything in the recession and was
This past year Ruben has seen his practice expand
forced into bankruptcy. He rebuilt his life, working as a
in new ways as a result of the pandemic. He focused
financial advisor for 10 years. Then he suddenly realized
on pieces with informative, inspirational slogans like
he wanted something more. “I was just miserable,” he
“You Can’t Quarantine Love” and “Love is Standing
recalls. In an effort “to heal,” he began tapping into his
Six Feet Apart.”
creative side and was soon moonlighting as a muralist throughout the Southland. In 2013, Ruben realized it was time to cut the corpo-
To grow his message of hope through art, Ruben has also been cultivating his business via his website (rubenrojas.com), where he sells branded clothing, sportswear,
rate tie off once and for all. “I’m like, ‘I just can’t go to
inspiration boxes and commemorative prints, includ-
the office anymore,’” he says. “Even my clients were
ing a striking piece dedicated to Kobe Bryant. “I started
telling me, ‘You need to go do that and stop doing this.
making my art as accessible as I could for everyone. A
We’ll be fine.’ Those were all the hints and the signs.
T-shirt is easy, you know—$40 for a T-shirt. And then
And I finally just did it. I had to bet on myself.”
we are walking billboards of what we believe in.”
The artist’s signature works are colorful, large-scale
Today his endeavors can be found everywhere, from France to Florida to the San Fernando Valley. This year
cooking. It’s hugging. It’s quality it. Boy-girl, boy-boy, who cares? It
An entrepreneur at heart, the artist is intent on mak-
pieces, which often repeat an affirmative mantra—the
ing “the love logo as big as the Nike swoosh slogan.”
word “love”—in bright, swirling script. “I use the ur-
Instead of saying “Just Do It,” he hopes people will say
ban landscape as my canvas. Beige and gray is boring,”
“Live Through Love.” ■
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the blue hour PHOTOGRAPHER DIMA OTVERTCHENKO’S RIVETING SHOTS OF VALLEY LANDMARKS ARE GETTING RECOGNITION—LESS FOR WHAT HE PHOTOGRAPHS, AND MORE FOR WHEN HE PHOTOGRAPHS. Written by Hadley Hall Meares
Photographer Dima Otvertchenko grabs his camera at almost the same time each day. “For about half an hour, there’s a push and pull between the daylight that starts to fade and the man-made light that starts to come on in buildings, called the blue hour,” Dima says. “This window is the sweet spot where you can capture the experience of a place you wouldn’t expect during the daytime, where there’s a contrast between cool daylight and warm artificial lighting.” Dima’s Instagram account @bluehourvalley paints the Valley’s icons and obscurities alike with the pensive, moody blue wash of light that comes at twilight. The result is a catalogue of Valley architecture both quietly lovely and challenging of preconceptions of the region. “Because it’s such a short window of the day, a lot of people could’ve lived in the Valley their whole lives and not seen those places during that window, even if they’ve been to those places a lot,” he shares. The photographer came to work here in 2006 after graduating from Vassar College with a degree in film. While working at Pie Town Productions in Valley Village, as part of his job, he maintained an array of cameras, including SLRs, and began experimenting. Soon he was taking portraits of friends and then architectural structures. Now he works as an assistant to professional photographer Douglas Kirkland and does Blue Hour Valley in his spare time. His side hustle began in 2018, when Dima was living in the heart of the NoHo Arts District and started going for walks around his neighborhood and taking photos. “Everything started looking more interesting right after sunset,” he said. “It was really pretty outside, and I happened to have my camera, so I started taking pictures.” The photos were a hit. “I was kind of surprised by how many people responded to it,” he said. “The more I heard the feedback, the more I realized there’s a lot of Valley pride, with lots of history and interesting things going on here, from
Pink Motel, built in 1946, in Sun 53 Valley. Opposite page: Studio| City Hand Car Wash
movie history and pop culture history to mom-and-pop shops. The Valley is overlooked. Everyone on Instagram
to California or even America, I was watching these movies
I thought if I’m going to make a project, I want to spot-
about California, and by proxy the Valley, and internaliz-
light something that isn’t being shown enough.”
ing—without realizing I’d end up living here someday.” He heads to a different location every day, from a post
walk, looking for his perfect Blue Hour Valley photo of
office in Toluca Lake to an overlook at Stoney Point in
the day. His choices are partially influenced by what
Chatsworth—which he calls a “mini Joshua Tree valley.”
he calls a “pop-culturally relevant childhood” soaking up films like The Terminator, Wayne’s World, Fast Times at
Originally from Russia, Dima says, “Even before I came
shoots LA beaches, downtown, the highways and palms.
Most days, Dima heads out for a half-hour sunset
Ridgemont High and Back to the Future.
Whether capturing the facades and signs of bagel shops or grocery stores, he tries to infuse his photos with
Dima’s shot of the 101 Freeway as it passes through Universal City heading toward downtown LA.
the character of the people behind them. He has even
Sometimes a post intensely resonates with his audi-
begun to include the stories of the owners of businesses
ence. His post of a Fry’s Electronics about to shut down
in his posts, like Milt and Edie’s Drycleaners & Tailoring
at midnight ended up being an inside scoop for people
Center in Burbank and Cupid’s Hot Dogs in Simi Valley.
who shared the Instagram post with friends. “I became
“The people behind these shops are what Blue Hour Valley is all really about, but it’s ironic that my loneli-
a little bit of a reporter,” Dima says. For Dima, it is especially rewarding when follow-
est project has the biggest appeal,” he says. “I’m a very
ers leave comments, and his IG becomes something
social person and fascinated by people, who are to me the
of a Valley forum. “People come in and share their
most interesting thing to shoot. I love things that connect
stories—I love reading that stuff. But I’m just a guy
people, like rail lines, train stations and town squares.”
with a camera.” ■
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TOP CHOP A New Orleans-born-and-raised private chef shares one of his favorite fall recipes. More on page 60.
Going Ape for Gorilla Pies WHAT PIZZA LOOKS LIKE WHEN THE CHEF IS A “MAD SCIENTIST” TRAINED BY NOBU. Written by Joshua Lurie | Photographed by Alex Varsa
A gorilla wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap holds
with over-the-top flavors to appease their hard-work-
a pizza. Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine swerves to
ing, blue-collar appetites,” Benjamin says. At Gorilla
avoid a lizard as big as the groovy van. Nearby, an action
Pies, “deliciousness” is the only criterion, beginning
figure battle royale rages in a plastic diorama. This is
with California-grown Bianco di Napoli tomatoes and
Gorilla Pies in Valley Village on Burbank Boulevard—no
naturally fermented, instant yeast-assisted dough that
ordinary pizzeria, and not just because of the decor.
proofs over 24 hours.
Another reason: its culinary mastermind. Benjamin Osher, previously a sous chef for Nobu in Los Angeles
Hollywood street Benjamin lived on as a kid. “I grew up
and Moscow and executive chef at Mama Shelter in
grazing on nasturtiums in Wattles Garden and suck-
Hollywood, describes his creations as “Pittsburgh-style
ing on wild fennel in the hills, so the pie is a love letter
pizza with a California soul.” The gorilla name and motif
to my childhood.” He matches nasturtiums and pickled
are an homage to “the guerilla tactics that launched
fennel with mozzarella, marinara, caramelized onions
the brand,” initially as an underground pop-up in his
Sherman Oaks apartment. Benjamin lived in the LA area until he was 12, but spent his teen years in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, home to “pizza hero” Joe Aiello. After attend-
caraway seeds and smoked kraut. Gorilla does offer some basic pizzas. He named the Kitten for Marguerite “Kitten” Kenner, “a dearly de-
City and cofounded the popular art magazine Beautiful/
parted family friend who was a major influence.”
cook. Eventually cooking won out. “I owe the majority of my formal training and devel-
There is plenty of fare for less-adventurous diners: pizzas, salads, “monkey bars” (garlic bread) and truly unique “dry & spicy” wings. The wings are drenched in
opment as a chef to my experience at Nobu,” Benjamin
potato starch, fried twice, seasoned with a tangy mix that
says. “The Japanese ideal of sourcing and buying the
includes yogurt powder, Tajin, and Indian chili powder,
highest-quality ingredients and presenting them simply
and served with house-made ranch dusted with pepper
and beautifully is essential to my approach.”
and paprika. “I’m a bit of a mad scientist,” he explains.
“Pittsburgh-style pizza uses Provolone in the cheese
Gorilla Pies is a family business. Younger brother Jake
mix, which leads to a significantly more cheesy pie,” the
is co-owner, running the front of house and handling
chef says. Many Steel City pizzerias use deck ovens for
marketing. Their mother curated the fun wall hangings,
a “thin bottom crust with a pillowy outer crust.” Gorilla
including childhood photos. Many people in the commu-
Pies relies on an Earthstone brick oven that runs hotter
nity are Jewish, including the Oshers, but the Oshers play
and produces more char.
by their own rules. As a sign in the window says, “It’s
“Yinzers (people from Pittsburgh) like lots of toppings
He found inspiration for the Rabbi in a Reuben sandwich, combining mozzarella with Swiss, pastrami, onion,
ing college in Maryland, Benjamin moved to New York Decay while working as an Apple technician and line
One pie variety, the Sierra Bonita, is named for the
Osher Not Kosher.” ■
Showing Off His Chops WOODLAND HILLS-BASED CHEF RYAN RONDENO MAY COOK FOR CELEBRITIES, BUT WHAT HE REALLY WANTS TO DO IS BRING HIS BOLD FLAVORS INTO YOUR HOME. Written by Kara Mickelson
| Photographed by Shane O’Donnell
When he is in the kitchen, amid the soft sounds of R&B
naturally. At the age of 9, he started cooking with his
and jazz, professional chef Ryan Rondeno is the quiet
grandfather, also a chef and well known to locals for his
behind the storm. He is totally focused on creating
gumbo and Southern soul food.
beautiful food with ease and precision. It’s the result
After graduating from Chef John Folse Culinary
of years of culinary experience, Southern charm and
Institute in Thibodaux, Louisiana, he worked in New
attention to detail.
Orleans’ competitive food scene. Immersed in Haute
“I’m inspired by traditional French, Italian, Southern,
Southern and Cajun-Creole cuisine, he learned large-
and Cajun-Creole flavors and techniques, but I like to craft
scale food production (500 to 600 covers a night) at the
each dish with my own signature style,” Ryan explains.
renowned Commander’s Palace. Eventually, Ryan went
He likes to focus on “hyper-seasonality”—cooking
on to work as a saucier, butcher and sous chef with
with the freshest ingredients available. Staples always
Emeril Lagasse’s corporation in Atlanta. He then moved
within his arm’s reach include: Poche’s Andouille sau-
to LA to launch his own business.
sage, crunchy garlic-chili sauce, high-end olive oils and a bountiful selection of vinegar and honey. Working for celebrities including Ben Affleck,
Ryan hopes to broaden his reach by sharing his recipes with his new app, Food-Culture, as well as his line of spices, which are available at rondenoculinarydesigns.com.
Common, and Will Smith, the New Orleans native
Here he shares one of his favorite pork chop recipes.
brings a sunny disposition and Southern charm to
“The compote is tart and tangy as the vinegar and acid
his culinary endeavors. You might say he comes by it
from the plums create a pickled quality to the dish.”
“I’M INSPIRED BY TRADITIONAL FRENCH, ITALIAN, SOUTHERN, AND CAJUN-CREOLE FLAVORS AND TECHNIQUES, BUT I LIKE TO CRAFT EACH DISH WITH MY OWN SIGNATURE STYLE.”
Xxxxxx Xxxxxx XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Written & photographed by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
PORK CHOPS WITH PICKLED TOMATO PLUM COMPOTE Prep and cook time: 25 minutes. Serves 4 Bone-in pork chops are perfectly paired with a tomato-plum compote adding a bold burst of flavor. 4 bone-in pork chops 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (dried and ground into granules rather than powder) 1 teaspoon cumin, ground 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Pickled Tomato Plum Compote 1 cup cherry tomatoes ¼ cup red wine vinegar ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 ripe, medium-firm red plums, pitted and sliced into wedges 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper Preheat oven to 375°. Combine smoked paprika, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Arrange pork chops on a sheet pan and coat each side evenly with the spice mixture. In an ovenproof or cast-iron skillet, add olive oil, and heat to high. When the olive oil starts to smoke, carefully add the pork chops to the hot pan. If the pan is smaller, cook two at a time. Cook chops for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chops over and continue to cook another 4 minutes until evenly brown. Put all chops in the skillet and place in the oven. Cook for 4 to 8 minutes or to an internal temp of 130°. Remove from the oven and allow to rest on a plate for 5 to 10 minutes. Reserve the pan drippings. For the “pickled” tomato-plum compote: In the same pan, add olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add tomatoes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until skins are blistered. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly add red wine vinegar and sugar to the pan to deglaze. Add plums. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter to the compote and stir until fully incorporated. Season to taste. Spoon equal amounts of the compote onto each pork chop before serving. Enjoy! ■
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MEN IN BUSINESS One of the secrets to succeeding in any business is solid leadership. Leaders have the drive, diligence and dedication to get the job done—and get it done well. On the following pages you’ll meet some local professionals who are leading the way at their respective firms. They are smart, ambitious and committed. Discover the stories behind their success in this special Profiles section: Men in Business.
GEORGE OUZOUNIAN THE AGENCY STUDIO CITY
DENNIS CHERNOV CHERNOV TEAM
ANDREW MANNING BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES
WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY TAMEKA JACOBS
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
MEN IN BUSINESS
GEORGE OUZOUNIAN Director, Estates Division, The Agency Studio City
ealtor® George Ouzounian has worked in real estate for 17 years. He was previously a mortgage broker who dealt with large banks and worked on short sales and foreclosures. Together with his partner, Gina Michelle, he specializes in the Los Angeles luxury market and has achieved almost $1 billion in sales.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR LINE OF WORK? “That it’s all parties, fun, glamorous and easy! We do get to create and attend some pretty incredible events and creative open houses, and we certainly meet a wide variety of interesting people. However, if your goal in real estate is to be successful and establish a credible reputation leading to long-term career stability, it is constant work and being on the go—networking, marketing, showings, open houses and long nights of paperwork. It takes dedication and love for the business. My day is never the same as the day before, and I enjoy that aspect a lot. It’s an amazing profession that I feel very blessed to be a part of.”
PHOTOGRAPHED BY FRANDJIAN / OPEN HOUSE FOTO
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU AND YOUR TEAM HELP CLIENTS FEEL THEY ARE IN GOOD HANDS? “I am a true believer in the American Dream and love nothing more than helping families achieve the goal of owning their own home. I believe strongly that it is my inherent duty to not only represent them to the best of my ability but to educate them through every step of the process so they can make the most informed decisions possible. Therefore I approach transactions from a myriad of angles—not only with an eye for the best deals but with diligence and care to ensure my clients are protected. With attention to their needs and detail, I am adept at overcoming obstacles during escrow, devising solutions that satisfy all parties and take the deal to a smooth close. Prior to securing my real estate license, I spent nearly a decade as a mortgage broker, working with multiple large banks as well as on short sales and foreclosures. As a result, I am able to quickly run numbers for my clients and accurately assess all sides of a deal, while my development experience left me with a keen eye for quality and value.” WHAT ARE YOU ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR TODAY? “My wife and I just had our first child, born August 24. They are both happy and healthy, and we are all overjoyed. My team is succeeding beyond our expectations, and with all the challenges in the world today, we feel so very blessed.”
12080 VENTURA PLACE #D, STUDIO CITY | 818-900-4259 | THEAGENCYRE.COM/AGENT/GEORGE-OUZOUNIAN SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
MEN IN BUSINESS
DENNIS CHERNOV CEO/Owner, Chernov Team
hernov Team specializes in San Fernando Valley real estate. Owner Dennis Chernov started the team in 2009 after the market crash of 2008. Before transitioning to real estate, Dennis worked in mortgage loans. WHAT FULFILLS YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER? “The excitement of a family starting a new chapter in their life, the look that people have when they are moving into their new home, and the risk they take by buying or selling and changing their life completely bring me great joy.” WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR LINE OF WORK? “I think one of the biggest misconceptions about real estate agents is that we are lazy or don’t ever work. We work from the second we open our eyes to the second we go to sleep. It is a job you have to be passionate about to succeed because it will consume your day-to-day.” WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE PROFESSIONALLY OVER THE NEXT YEAR? “Create a better system to assist our clients more effortlessly and establish ourselves as a great resource for the local market.” WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU AND YOUR TEAM HELP CLIENTS FEEL THEY ARE IN GOOD HANDS? “Our team is extremely hands-on and we really do our best to communicate with our clients each step of the way. Buying and selling a home can be stressful and nerve-racking, and we do our best to make sure all parties are confident in each step of the way.”
WHAT SERVICES DO YOUR CLIENTS APPRECIATE MOST? “Professionalism, knowledge and knowing that we have several thousand transactions and scenarios under our belts give a sense of comfort to our clients that not every agent or team can offer.” IS YOUR WORK BACK TO A “NEW NORMAL” YET? “Real estate is nowhere near normal. We are still seeing record-breaking sales at all-time highs. We were shut down for about three months when COVID-19 first hit but have been nearly nonstop since then.” TELL US SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOURSELF OR YOUR WORK THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW. “My college education was in fire technology. I always wanted to be a fireman and somehow, someway ended up doing loans and then doing real estate.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. “Our team really takes pride in social media. We believe that one of the best ways to connect with future and past clients is through the internet and social media. We not only share our listings but also show a little glimpse into our team each day. Give us a follow on Instagram or TikTok @chernovteam.”
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SECRETS FOR SUCCESS? “My best secrets for success are consistency, mindset and understanding that every business is a marathon and not a sprint.” DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY. “A typical day starts with the gym. I am a regular at Fitbox in Sherman Oaks and F45. It’s the best way to put me in a great mood for the rest of the day! I then head home to have breakfast with my two sons and wife, drop the boys off at school and head into the office. In real estate, every day is different—from full days of showings to days in the office on the phone. I am grateful for an ever-changing schedule to keep me on my toes.” WHAT ARE YOU ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR TODAY? “Health. With COVID-19 still ever-present, we are thankful for good health in this season.” HOW DOES BEING A FATHER MAKE YOU BETTER AT YOUR WORK? “I would say being a father teaches you responsibility, how to nurture a transaction, and patience. It has helped me a lot when communicating with clients.”
WHOM DO YOU SEEK OUT FOR ADVICE? “I like to brainstorm a lot with my wife, as she is the co-owner of this company. I also have a few close colleagues who have been very supportive.”
4061 LAUREL CANYON BLVD., STUDIO CITY | 818-432-1524 | CHERNOVTEAM.COM
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
MEN IN BUSINESS
ANDREW MANNING Realtor , Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties ®
ealtor® Andrew Manning joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in 2013, where he was a founding member of the Luxury Property Division. Now serving as a designated Luxury Property Specialist, he continually achieves the ranking of #1 individual agent in the San Fernando Valley and top 10 in the country and has brokered more than $2 billion in closed transactions. Andrew grew up in Sherman Oaks and Tarzana and had an early interest in real estate, attending open houses as a teenager because design, style and architecture fascinated him. He majored in political science/ communications at UCLA and earned his broker’s license during his junior year of college. He began working full time in real estate and also worked as an assistant manager at a family law firm for more than three years during that time. After getting the Rookie of the Year award at his brokerage in 1986, he quit law and focused solely on real estate.
WHAT FULFILLS YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER? “I truly enjoy the matchmaking process of finding the perfect buyer for one of my listings or the perfect home for a great buyer. There is no greater feeling than having a client tell you, ‘We really love our new home’ or ‘Thanks you for all you did to get us so seamlessly from our old home to our new home.’ I have had the great pleasure of selling multiple homes to the same families/buyers and watching families grow over the years. I have helped people upsize, downsize and ‘rightsize’ to the perfect home many times.” WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR LINE OF WORK? “Many people think Realtors are only concerned about making a commission and moving on to the next deal. My philosophy since day one is to create ‘clients
for life.’ I still have clients calling me 10 to 15 years later asking for referrals for painters, contractors, window cleaners, etc., and am always happy to help. We have developed an ever-changing list of curated professionals to help smooth out the homeownership experience.” WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU AND YOUR TEAM HELP CLIENTS FEEL THEY ARE IN GOOD HANDS? “We continually get positive reviews from both new and past/repeat clients. At this point in my career I am about 80% referral, which is every agent’s end game. When meeting with clients, it is important to listen. Find out what their goals are and work to help them achieve or hopefully surpass their expectations. We assist with both premarketing preparation for homes as well as staging, repairs, cosmetic improvements and advice on what to do prior to presenting your home for sale. In these times, 99% of first views are online so staging and professional photography have never been more important. If your home does not show in its best light online, you are limiting your audience as well as your pricing potential. In pricing we are aggressive without being overly so. Pricing remains key in any market, but overpricing can damage your potential and lead to an eventual lower sales price.” WHOM DO YOU SEEK OUT FOR ADVICE? “My partner, Steve, is my best source of advice and an integral part of our team. He has run a small company and has been a Realtor for even longer than I have. He is my go-to for discussing both positive and negative situations.” WHAT ARE THE KEY TRAITS OF A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR? “Self-care and time management. You have to take care of yourself first mentally and
physically to be able to service your clients at a continually high level.” IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU PURSUE HAPPINESS? “I truly love helping others—friends, clients or even the occasional stranger in need. Doing good for others and working to find something nice to say to everyone you meet is so important with all the negativity that surrounds our daily lives.” WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST JOB? “Scooping ice cream at 31 Flavors in Tarzana at 14. I knew I was destined for bigger things when they made me staff leader at 16 and I was in charge of people in their 20s!” WHAT ARE YOU ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR TODAY? “I am a glass-half-full person and find that my sense of humor and positive attitude help me and others through their days. Making people laugh, more than ever, is a crucial goal every day for me. I am grateful for my health and that of my family most importantly.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. “We have the ultimate modern family. Steve and I have helped raise two amazing kids who are now in their 30s, and we have two amazing grandsons ages 4 and 7. We are friends with Steve’s wonderful ex-wife and her husband, and we all enjoy spending time together. Everybody gets along and has each other’s backs.”
Disclaimer: ©2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.
14141 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 8, SHERMAN OAKS | 818-380-2147 | ANDREWMANNING.COM
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
mid-century ultramodern A NASCENT DESIGNER AND BUILDER RENOVATES HIS BOYHOOD HOME IN SHERMAN OAKS WITH STELLAR RESULTS. Written by Dakota Kim | Photographed by Roy Gelbart and Assaf Rinde
When Eric Steven Stahl and his brother, Robert, inherited their parents’ 1956 Sherman Oaks home, designed by famed midcentury modern architect Edward Fickett, they vacillated between two approaches: a minor renovation to sell the valuable property, or a restoration to its original glory, as the architect conceived it. Robert, being the older brother, had fond childhood memories of growing up in the house and wanted to prevent it from ever being torn down by a developer for the considerable land value. But Eric, an ad agency creative director, filmmaker, and screenwriter, had a third vision in mind. He convinced his brother that he could reimagine the mid-century home, updating it to a contemporary, even futuristic, smart home that still honored its aesthetic past. “People say they love mid-century modern, but they really love the romance of it, not the reality,” Eric says. “These homes weren’t built all that well, frankly. My idea was to stay true to the post-and-beam bones that Fickett was famous for, but do a Back to the Future—as if I could offer Fickett the opportunity to time travel to the 21st century and rethink his home with today’s technology.” The biggest risk, however, wasn’t in trying to make an old home contemporary. It was that Eric, who had never designed or built anything, decided to take on the revamp as designer and general contractor. At the center of the house is a hybrid green and yellow Ficus benjamina tree, framed by two Japanese-style rock sculptures.
“I saw doing this as not for me, but as part of a legacy piece for my family and an homage to my parents,” he says. “My father had the vision to buy the place when Sherman Oaks was avocado and orange groves,
and my mother had the good sense not to sell it for all those decades.” Driven by passion and a dedication to precision, Eric devoted four years to reconstructing what he came to call the Stahl House—a tribute to Pierre Koenig’s famous 1960 Stahl House (no relation) in the Hollywood Hills. Eric’s project ultimately became a success story, selling off-market for just shy of $1,200 per square
PHOTOS COURTSEY OF STAHL FAMILY ARCHIVES
foot, one of the highest prices ever in Sherman Oaks.
In addition to the standard, luxury homeentertainment amenities (streaming multi-channel music system and wireless connections to electronics), the LED lights, sprinkler heads, tankless water heaters, heating and air, video security cameras, garage door and the pool/spa can all be 77 in controlled by either a flat screen| panel the entrance or from an iPhone.
From the largest columns to the tiniest lights, Eric was driven to honor the past while innovating new designs. He updated the exterior roofline cladding with a custom-engineered, powder-coated, one-foot high metal band that preserved the iconic ’50s Fickett butterfly roofline. “I like a beefier look. The scale of things in the ’50s felt wimpy to me and dated,” Eric says. The nascent designer also stripped away the exterior’s redwood planks, common at the time, and replaced them with a smooth, custom-colored stucco broken up by a series of aluminum reveal reglets, which were mathematically spaced out and precisely calculated
Eric commissioned expressionist painter 16-year-old Anna-Maria Nikolova to create several paintings for the home. The one in the master bedroom portrays a woman swimming out of the pool and into the house.
in CAD by friend and interior designer Deb LonguaZamero. She also assisted Eric with advice, renderings and permitting documents in the early stages of construction planning. In keeping with the classic SoCal lifestyle, he also ensured that the indoor and outdoor flow would be seamless. “The large glass sliders were conceived and engineered to be ‘sub-silled’ so as to create a flow from the indoor to outdoor with no step up or down,” he says. “You can literally roll a bowling ball from the living room out to the concrete pads in the back.” In the backyard, Eric kept the general shape, but
“PEOPLE SAY THEY LOVE MID-CENTURY MODERN, BUT THEY REALLY LOVE THE ROMANCE OF IT, NOT THE REALITY.”
enlarged the pool coping and wraparound and added a 12-person spa. By carefully constructing a geometric resonance between the multiple square concrete patio
moments at every turn, where the right buyer would
to the minimalist backyard. A 250-pound, ultramodern
say, ‘Oh my god, I get it; I want it.’” The kitchen was
steel framework crowns the property, floating above the
reconceived for the modern “entertainer cook.” No ap-
cinder block chimney, covering up the spark arresters
pliances are visible other than the range and the hood.
that are required by code.
Eric aimed to make everything sleekly minimalist.
glass and aluminum wrap around the house, interrupted only by Fleetwood casement argon gas windows,
Using only real stone and marble, the goal was to create a natural vibe. The home’s pièce de résistance is in the entrance. To
replacing energy-inefficient, 1950s louver windows.
conceal all the smart-home automation systems that
As a result, despite the vast amount of glass, the home
bring the house up to date, Eric cleverly created what he
remains a temperature-controlled bubble.
calls “the 2001 monolith,” a massive, Kubrick-inspired
Eric was not a fan of how Fickett bisected the
structure. It has a stone-like patina that hides the
house with mid-century concrete blocks, which he
smart-home servers and fiber optics within. “It looks
calls “mental institution cinder blocks.” More fond
like it was carved from alien stone,” Eric says. “People
of board-form concrete, he came up with the idea of
think it’s natural basalt, but it’s literally 16 layers of
covering the blocks with a proprietary, multilayered
hand-rubbed plaster with a patina containing a silver
combination of pigmented Portland cement and sand,
glaze.” It was the apotheosis of Eric’s dedication to
resulting in a completely unique and original surface—
bringing the mid-century home into the new century.
a look that is at once ultramodern yet perfectly retro. Because the home had no attic, the 62 museum-grade lighting fixtures were created to be ultra-shallow,
“I was aiming to create these ‘wow,’ high-drama
pads and a concrete wall, he brought harmony and flow
Walls of energy-efficient, dual-glaze storefront
glints of sunlight.
For Eric, selling his beloved family home to the right person was key to its survival. “Only one buyer ever saw this house and it was not
with no protruding trim. The result is that the fixtures
even yet on the market. She made the decision within
and the drywall are seamlessly aligned and invisibly
an hour and a half of seeing it,” he shares. “This lady
recessed into the ceilings. He also installed futuristic,
got it instantly—she understands and loves the mini-
hotel-style cove lighting at the entrance that gives off
malist ethos, and I sense she will cherish it forever.” ■
An Uncommon Perspective
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make it memorable A WEEKEND AT SANCTUARY MOUNTAIN RESORT AND SPA PROVES TO BE A SUPERB EXPERIENCE—A BALANCE OF MINDFUL RELAXATION AND HEIGHTENED ACTIVITY. Written by Staness Jonekos | Photographed by Michael Becker
What do you give a husband for a
Valley. Nestled against Camelback Mountain, popular
milestone birthday when he insists
for hiking and rock climbing, the resort sprawls across
he doesn’t “need or want anything”?
cozy crib. The contemporary-decor living room was
but nothing fit. What about a way
complete with a wet bar, glass fireplace and pri-
to de-stress? I shifted my focus
vate patio. The tranquil bedroom had luxurious Fili D’oro linens and an enormous bathroom with signature Molton Brown products in Japanese Orange and
answer at the luxurious Sanctuary
Kumudu scents. I booked this room for the freestand-
Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
ing, oversized, two-person soaking tub in a private
in Scottsdale, Arizona, a six-hour drive from LA. The resort seemed to check every box. Low on
Our 1,500-square-foot spa suite was the ultimate
I googled “amazing gifts for men”
from a gift to a place and found my
53 acres surrounded by palm trees—a desert oasis.
patio, perfect for stargazing. One of the highlights of our stay was the exceptionally broad array of daily fitness activities. My husband, Michael (the birthday boy), is a stand-up paddleboard
stress; high on ways to relax. An infinity-edge pool
(SUP) enthusiast, and they held a yoga/SUP class in
surrounded by private cabanas, award-winning spa,
their infinity-edge pool. Other unique offerings: classes
and an elegant restaurant launched by celebrity chef
with a Pilates reformer, and “aerial yoga” using a soft
Beau MacMillan, all with spectacular views of Paradise
fabric trapeze sling suspended at hip height.
“Bar chef” Christiian Röllich creates his signature Cardoon cocktail with the Italian bitter aperitif Cynar and amber beer.
Lemon and blood orange custard served with honey meringue, olive oil and thyme streusel topped with white chocolate. Above: Chilean sea bass served over avocado mousse, along with fresh pea and lobster salad.
We also spent time at the 12,000 square-foot, Asianinspired Sanctuary Spa. Michael booked a custom deeptissue massage, and I booked a HydraFacial treatment for some much-needed nourishing and purifying. After a day lounging at the pool, we headed to the Jade Bar to meet the award-winning mixologist (or “bar chef” as they call him) Christiaan Röllich. He says he gets “inspired by the ingredients in his kitchen” for his homemade syrups. And when it comes to selecting alcohol brands, he isn’t a snob, noting he selects them based on flavor, not cost, so “everyone can enjoy my cocktail recipes.” Michael is a bourbon and rye whiskey fan, so Christiaan made him his cardoon cocktail with the Italian bitter aperitif Cynar, rye and amber beer. The smooth, creamy cocktail was a win. In yet another unique resort offering, guests can book Christiaan’s two-hour mixology session that includes cocktail tasting. We celebrated Michael’s birthday at elements restaurant. Chef MacMillan, an Iron Chef America winner, believes that his farm-focused food “should not be overworked, but rather appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection.” He has held sous chef positions at Hotel Bel Air and Shutters on the Beach. We relished artfully presented chilled Island Creek oysters followed by Chilean sea bass served over avocado mousse, along with fresh pea and lobster salad and decadent desserts. On our final day, we went off-campus to enjoy Old Town Scottsdale. Just five minutes away, it is a charming slice of pioneer history with restaurants, shops and art galleries. Though we enjoyed the experience, we didn’t last long. After a quick tour we rushed back to our hideaway to spend our last afternoon chilling out in our sublime relaxed state. On the drive home Michael quipped, “This was the perfect, peaceful, age-defying getaway!” We both sighed. Him—of satisfaction. Me—of relief. Indeed, Sanctuary turned out to be all that. sanctuaryoncamelback.com ■
CELEBRATING THE BEST OF CALIFORNIA
R E A L E S TAT E
Gated Modern Estate Gated new construction modern estate with unobstructed views. Boasting over 7,600 square feet of incredible quality and scale, this home features a gorgeous open floor plan, infinity pool/spa, rooftop deck, outdoor fireplace + sunken fire pit, home gym, movie theater, glass enclosed wine cellar, gourmet kitchen with double island & butlers pantry, Control4 smart home automation system and high tech security. Located South of the Blvd in Encino Hills, close to the best shops, restaurants, schools. 4046 Strawberry Pl, Encino
Dennis Chernov & Adi Livyatan
6 Bed | 8 Bath | Apx 7,602 SqFt | 19,398 Lot
818-432-1524 Dennis | 818-919-4060 Adi
Price Upon Request
Top Team for 2020
Kevin Pane | Brian Pane DRE#02007794
424.535.0550 | info@PaneREGroup.com #1 Ranking is Based on 2020 Sales Volume at Wish Sotheby’s International Realty, Encino Office (Broker DRE#01916623). © 2021 Wish Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. The Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Wish Properties, Inc. fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.
Featured Listing | 4158 Elm View Drive, Encino | $4,095,000
Kevin Pane | Brian Pane info@PaneREGroup.com 424.535.0550 Wish Sotheby’s International Realty (Broker DRE#01916623) © 2021 Wish Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. The Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Wish Properties, Inc. fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.
THE DINSKY TEAM JUST SOLD
4222 IRVINE AVE | STUDIO CITY 4 BD | 5 BA | 3,134 SQ. FT. | 10,318 SQ. FT. LOT
3174 DONA CHRISTINA PL | STUDIO CITY
4026 VAN NOORD AVE | STUDIO CITY
3742 WRIGHTWOOD DR | STUDIO CITY REPRESENTED BUYER
11520 DONA PEPITA PL | STUDIO CITY
5418 CALHOUN AVE | SHERMAN OAKS
14261 MCCORMICK ST | SHERMAN OAKS
11110 HORTENSE ST | TOLUCA LAKE
5460 WHITE OAK #A319 | ENCINO
11934 HARTSOOK ST | VALLEY VILLAGE
LET US SHOW YOU WHY WE TRULY ARE THE BEST VALUE IN REAL ESTATE.
ANDREW DINSKY 310.729.3393 Andrew@TheDinskyTeam.com Ranked Top 1.5% Nationwide as seen in RealTrends
Each Keller Williams Realty office is independently owned and operated. The information contained herein has been obtained through sources deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Buyer to verify accuracy of information. DRE #01724985 & #01811831
25305 PRADO DE LA FELICIDAD CALABASAS
PRESENTED BY REALTORS®
© 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Afﬁliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway afﬁliate.
MICHAEL BERGIN |
LUXURY ESTATES DIRECTOR
LO S A N G E L E S | N E W YO R K | H A M P TO N S | U K | F R A N C E | M I A M I | S PA I N | I TA LY S A N F R A N C I S C O | P O R T U G A L | F T L AU D E R DA L E | R U S S I A | D U BA I | A S P E N
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
East Hampton, New York
New York, New York
Saint Petersburg, Russia
L O CA L
10502 Bloomfield St, Toluca Lake $1,399,000 2 Beds 1.5 Baths Original 1947 Mellenthin Traditional
5115 Encino Avenue, Encino $8,995,000 7 Beds 7.5 Baths Representing Buyer
6002 Allott Avenue, Valley Glen $1,930,000 5 Beds 6 Baths Media Room Huge Basement
4907 Valjean Avenue, Encino $3,300,000 5 Beds 6 Baths Represented Buyer
Michael Bergin Luxury Estates Director 310.600.0715 Michael@MichaelBergin.com DRE 01845572
Your #1 Real Estate Expert Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed.
4046 Strawberry Place ENCINO, CA 91436
B AT H S
DENNIS CHERNOV CHERNOVTEAM.COM 818.432.1524 DRE# 01850113
ADI LIVYATAN A D I L I V YATA N . CO M 818.919.4060 DRE# 01892750
15680 HIGH KNOLL RD | ENCINO
15515 HESBY ST | ENCINO
12050 GUERIN ST #302 | STUDIO CITY
5242 VESPER AVE #10 | SHERMAN OAKS
4184 COLFAX AVE | STUDIO CITY
WOODHILL CANYON RD | STUDIO CITY
SOLD OFF MARKET
13001 GREENLEAF ST | STUDIO CITY
12221 VALLEYHEART DR | STUDIO CITY
4330 TEESDALE AVE | STUDIO CITY
18018 MEDLEY DR | ENCINO
4919 LAUREL CANYON #5 | VALLEY VILLAGE
4222 RHODES AVE | STUDIO CITY
12486 VIEWCREST RD | STUDIO CITY
12502 RYE ST | STUDIO CITY
SOLD OFF MARKET
14261 MCCORMICK ST | SHERMAN OAKS
5523 LONGRIDGE AVE | SHERMAN OAKS
818.432.1524 INFO@CHERNOVTEAM.COM WWW.CHERNOVTEAM.COM DRE #01850113
SOLD IN 2020
#1 TEAM IN THE VALLEY | #6 IN LOS ANGELES | #16 IN CALIFORNIA
Each ofﬁce is independently owned and operated. If your property is listed with another broker, this is not a solicitation. Keller Williams Realty does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records or other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information through personal inspection with appropriate licensed professionals.
CLOSED TRANSACTIONS Lifetime Sales Volume
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5,500+ CLOSED SALES Lifetime Estimated Sales Transactions
SATISFIED CLIENTS Andrew was the #5 Agent Nationwide for BHHSCP Network in 2020 Proud to be Named Among “The Thousand” Winners as One of the Nation's Top 1,000 REALTORS® Curious to Know What Your Home is Worth? Call Andrew for a Complimentary Market Evaluation Anytime
22512 Zaltana St l Chatsworth Stunning Estate in Gate & Private Indian Springs Estates l 6BD l 9.5 BA l Apx. 9,089 SqFt l 2+ acre Lot l Price Available Upon Request
3610 Dixie Canyon Ave l Sherman Oaks 5BD l 6.5BA l Apx. 6,911SqFt Home l Expansive Gated Private 1+ Acre Lot l Price Available Upon Request
ANDREW MANNING l REALTOR® Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties 14141 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks CA 91423
818 380 2147 PH l email@example.com DRE LIC #: 00941825 © 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting this information. Based on information obtained from the MLS as of (include the date data was obtained). Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. Listing status may have changed by the publication date. Buyer is advised to verify current status at the time of publication.
MATTEPSTEIN.COM SOMATT@AOL.COM 818-681-2000
Matt Epstein #1 #2 #5
Agent San Fernando Valley Agent Los Angeles Agent Nationwide for
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Top one-half of 1 percent of more than 1,250,000 REALTORS® nationwide
Follow me on Facebook: MattEpsteinRealty Follow me on Twitter: @SoMattEpstein Follow me on Instagram: @MattEpsteinRealEstate
With proven results from the market leader, why call anybody else?
Dreaming about getting away from it all, and yet it’s difficult during these unprecedented times. Just an hour away in Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara the dream of long luxurious days by the ocean, kayaking through a harbor, bicycling near the beach and watching sea lions, dolphins and pelicans sounds pretty good - doesn’t it? I’ve been assisting many of our clients who are now buying weekend/ vacation homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara County. Call me if you’re interested, and I’ll show you how that feeling of vacation can be yours more than just once a year!
Jane Kaplan Epstein Dre#01922991
3550 Alana Dr. – SC- $1,999,999 3Br+2.5Ba in 2,680 SqFt on a 14,326 SqFt Lot- Beautiful one story mid century ranch home in Sherman Oaks. Situated on a 14,000 sq ft lot. It features lots of natural light, hardwood floors, open floor plan, fireplace, and much more. The backyard has a covered patio that overlooks the manicured and lush backyard.
11690 Laurelcrest Dr - SC- $1,986,562 5Br+4.5 Ba in 3,371 SqFt on a 8,541 SqFt LotThis stunning & sophisticated home in Studio City features 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms Features include picture windows and a fireplace in the living room and french doors that lead to the backyard that has a spa & patio area that is ideal for endless summer BBQs, al fresco dining under the stars.
13328 Galewood St.– SO- $1,725,000 3Br+3 Ba in 1,854 SqFt on a 9,258 SqFt Lot– This beautifully landscaped one-story home located in one of the best neighborhoods in Sherman Oaks. It features a large open living room w/ a fireplace & floor to ceiling windows with a view of the valley, dining area & a modern kitchen. The backyard has heirloom roses, lemon, olive, & apple trees that add to the beauty and joy of California living. This 1953 home is GreenPoint Rated, highly insulated with a new, hyper-efficient HVAC, level-2 electric car charger, and new, energy-efficient washer dryer.
4712 Park Encino Ln Unit #221– EN$1,499,000 3Br+3Ba in 2,500 SqFt on a 338,373 SqFt Lot – Here’s your chance to own one of the hardest to obtain and most desired units in the valley. 24-hour security guard gated complex. This unit features a view, lots of natural light, recessed lighting and much more. The ResortStyle Amenities include Landscaped Grounds, Pool & Spa, Waterfalls, Tennis Courts, TreeTop Views. Each Floor Contains Only 2 Units Maximizing Even More Security And Exclusivity.
11680 Sunshine Ter.– SO - $1,225,000- 2Br+2Ba in 1,484 SqFt on a 6,686 SqFt LotCharming 2 bd 2 ba home in prime Studio City neighborhood s. of Ventura Blvd. Hardwood floors run throughout this beautiful home which is filled w/ windows & lots of great natural light. Very large living room w/ brick fireplace & a fantastic wood-paneled vaulted ceiling dining room/ family room. And to top it off there’s a beautiful backyard with multiple sitting areas w/ room for a pool. Also includes a two-car garage.
Call for your FREE market analysis! © 2019 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information.
THE LIVYATAN GROUP FEATURED
16041 Woodvale Rd | Encino 9 Bed | 13 Bath | Approx: 19,500 sq ft | 55,103 sqft lot Offered at: $26,000,000
5115 Encino Ave | Encino 7 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Approx: 9,000 sq ft | 28,301 lot Offered at: $8,995,000
15601 Meadowgate Rd | Encino 7 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 10,420 sqft | 15,751 Sold: $10,350,000
12225 Gorham | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft Sold: $3,695,000
3951 Royal Oak | Encino 6 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 10,902 sqft | 23,296 sqft lot Offered at: $10,530,000
5155 Paradise Valley Rd| Hidden Hills 7 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Approx: 11,000 sq ft | 43,855 lot Offered at: $13,495,000
4422 Camelia | North Hollywood 5 Bed|8 Bath |Approx 5,198 sqft | 6,751 sqft lot Sold: $3,465,000
3950 Royal Oak | Encino 6 bed | 10 bath | Approx: 10,902 sqft | 23,296 lot Offered at: $13,750,000
16766 Bosque Drive | Encino 5 bed | 9 bath | Approx: 8,500 sqft | 25,607 lot Offered at: $6,800,000
4926 Petit | Encino 5 bed | 7 bath | Approx: 4466 sqft | 8,249 lot Sold: $3,145,000
12223 Gorham Ave | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft lot Offered at: $3,695,000
New Construction and Luxury Home Specialist Wall Street Journal Ranked #15 in CA | #28 in the Nation Mobile: 818.919.4060 • Office: 818.285.3220 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DRE# 1892750
SOLD OVE R $25 0 M I LLION I N 2 0 2 0
T H E # 1 A G E N T AT W I S H S O T H E B Y ’ S I N T E R N AT I O N A L R E A LT Y
3100 Doña Clara Place (in escrow)
4133 Camellia Avenue
11130 Blix Street (in escrow)
4053 Laurelgrove Avenue
14558 Valley Vista Blvd (in escrow)
4132 Wilkinson Avenue
MICHAEL J. OKUN B R O K E R A S S O C I AT E DRE#01430979
81 8 .41 5. 1 819 Michael@theMJOgroup.com theMJOgroup.com
Find out why we’re the best choice in Real Estate!
Michael J. Okun, Broker Associate DRE#01430979, is the #1 agent at Wish Sotheby’s International Realty (Broker DRE#01916623) by sales volume for the 5-year period preceding July 2021. All of the above properties are listed and/or sold by Michael J. Okun. © 2021 Wish Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Wish Properties, Inc. fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.
ACTIVE 4650 FORMAN AVENUE, TOLUCA LAKE | $5,195,000
23 TOLUCA ESTATES DR, TOLUCA LAKE $4,495,000
3621 SHADY OAK ROAD, STUDIO CITY $3,995,000
10338 WOODBRIDGE ST, TOLUCA LAKE $3,199,000
PENDING 10339 WHIPPLE ST, TOLUCA LAKE $3,099,000
1 TOLUCA ESTATES DRIVE, TOLUCA LAKE $3,100,000
12221 VALLEYHEART, STUDIO CITY $3,400,000
CRAIG STRONG DRE # 01450987 VP, Luxury Home Sales Top 1 % Nationwide #1 Individual Agent Companywide 1.3+ Billion Total Sales Volume strongrealtor.com
Compass does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. CalBRE 01450987
Nobody does it better...
16957 Encino Hills Drive, Encino $2,500,000 Encino Hills
4903 Woodley Avenue, Encino $2,399,000 Encino – Hesby K-8 School
18164 Chardon Circle, Encino $2,335,000 Lake Encino
5212 Lubao Avenue, Woodland Hills $2,300,000 Woodland Hills So. of Blvd.
17177 Adlon Road, Encino $2,200,000 Encino Hills
17035 Oak View Drive, Encino $2,001,000 Encino Hills
16397 Mandalay Drive, Encino $2,000,000 Encino Hills
5414 Genesta Avenue, Encino $1,799,000 Amestoy Estates
16411 Otsego St., Encino $1,575,000 Encino Woods
17130 Clemons Drive, Encino $1,399,000 Encino Hills
5814 Graves Avenue, Encino $1,007,000 Encino Village
4411 Gloria Avenue, Encino $1,700,000 Encino Cul-De-Sac
COMING SOON - Amestoy Estates (New Construction) $4,999,000
818.285.3688 www.CarolWolfe.com DRE #00477745
WALL STREET JOURNAL
17143 ADLON ROAD
EN CIN O HIL L S | $ 7, 499,90 0
6310 MIRROR L AKE
L A K E H O L LY W O O D | $ 6, 299,0 0 0 | C O MIN G S O O N
6 BEDS | 7.5 B AT HS | 8, 4 0 0 S Q . F T. | 23, 493 S Q . F T. L O T
6 BEDS | 8.5 B AT HS | 6,50 0 S Q . F T. | 10,14 3 S Q . F T. L O T
4533 GENTRY AVENUE
5750 KES TER
S T UDIO CI T Y | $ 4 ,699,90 0 | S O L D
VA N NU YS | $ 3,98 0,0 0 0
6 BEDS | 8 B AT HS | 6,50 0 S Q . F T. | 10,079 S Q . F T. L O T
16 BEDS | 12 B AT HS | 8, 4 0 0 S Q . F T. | 6, 249 S Q . F T. L O T | IN E S CR OW
6207 MEL BA AVENUE
4177 FAIR AVENUE
W O O D L A ND HIL L S | $1, 4 0 0,0 0 0 | C O MIN G S O O N
S T UDIO CI T Y | $1, 299,0 0 0
3 BEDS | 2 B AT HS | 1,596 S Q . F T. | 6,320 S Q . F T. L O T
DANIELLE PERE T Z
DANIELLE.PERE T Z@THE AGENCYRE.COM 818.644.1477 LIC. #01897529
Oren David Mordkowitz ESTATES DIRECTOR | REALTOR ®
818-933-5866 JUST LISTED
CalDRE License #01246402
email@example.com JUST LISTED
17218 Rancho St. | Encino | $2,489,000 16813 Ivyside Pl. | Encino | $2,890,000 4714 Park Granada #202 | Calabasas | $618,000
17711 Corinthian Dr. | Encino | $1,699,000 4721 Alonzo Ave. | Encino | $2,520,000 17821 Twilight Ln. | Encino | $3,589,000
4149 Adlon Pl. | Encino | $2,100,000 4944 Garden Grove Ave. | Tarzana | $1,189,000 16456 Westfall Pl. | Encino | $1,989,000
4915 Rupert Ave. | Encino | $2,499,000 4239 Hayvenhurst Ave. | Encino | $3,485,000 15146 Hartsook St. | Sherman Oaks | $1,299,000
Curious what your home is worth? Contact Oren for a complimentary home analysis!
You’ll be ready when your dream home is With a SureStart Pre-approval , you’ll benefit from: ®
• Confidence throughout your home search • A competitive advantage over other homebuyers without a pre-approval • The ability to act quickly with a complimentary pre-approval letter
Ask how you can get ahead in the home buying process. John Musso Home Lending Officer 818-518-1008 firstname.lastname@example.org citi.com/johnmusso NMLS# 448606 Terms, conditions and fees for accounts, programs, products and services are subject to change. This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Certain restrictions may apply on all programs. This offer contains information about U.S. domestic financial services provided by Citibank, N.A. and is intended for use domestically in the U.S. 1
Final commitment is subject to verification of information, receipt of a satisfactory sales contract on the home you wish to purchase, appraisal and title report, and meeting our customary closing conditions. There is no charge to receive a SureStart® Pre-approval. However, standard application and commitment fees will apply for the mortgage loan application. ©2021 Citibank, N.A. NMLS# 412915. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and other marks used herein are service marks of Citigroup Inc. or its affiliates, used and registered throughout the world.
She’s Leaving Home FATHERLY MUSINGS ON WHEN THE REAL TRAINING WHEELS COME OFF. Written by Steve Seidel | Illustrated by Nikki Smith
I just dropped off my daughter for her freshman year
cafeteria food. Just like when those bicycle training
at college. Moving her in brought me immediately back
wheels came off, there comes a moment when you’ve
to my own college experience, leaving me wondering if
gotta let go and hope that all of the Yoda-esque wisdom
they bottled the essence of dorm room atmosphere and
imparted on my young Jedi soaked in. She seemed to
sprinkled it throughout college living facilities every-
get it. I’m not too naive to think that boundaries aren’t
where. Eau de dormitory toilette. That scent was oddly
going to be challenged, but her “I know, Dad” responses
triggering. I vividly remembered standing in the hallway
were delivered with reassurance, not an eye roll. Hey,
of my dorm room on move-in day and meeting my
it’s a start.
new next-door neighbor. Seemed like a pretty cool guy.
My baby girl has moved on. Sure, she’ll come home again
Little did I know that he would become my best friend,
for school holidays and summers, but once she’s spent time
marry my wife’s best friend, and our kids would become
in the real world—even one with training wheels—it will
great friends decades later.
be like that time I loaned a friend my leather jacket. When I
Is this some sort of time warp? My college experience couldn’t have been more than a few years ago. How
got it back, it never fit quite right again. As difficult as pandemic living has been, I loved
could it be that my daughter is going through it already?
every minute of wearing matching Comfys, bingeing on
I feel like I just taught her to ride a bike.
Breaking Bad, enjoying to-go sushi from Little Izaka-
For all the irrational pressure being placed on the
ya, and discussing the comedic merits of the latest dank
college experience, this is what I know to be true: There
meme. It’s not just that my firstborn has moved away;
is more to college than simply getting an education;
so has a good friend, my concertgoing sidekick and
you don’t need to waste money on all those “essential”
spiritual panacea who—quite honestly—kept me feeling
dorm supplies that won’t fit in 100 square feet of living
young. In the blink of an eye she’ll graduate, land a job,
space; and there will be excessive partying and regret-
move into a crappy apartment, and carry on with her
table late-night decisions.
own journey of life. I’ll be left with the consolation prize
As I told my daughter, college is real life with training
of turning her old bedroom into my man cave.
wheels. It’s living on your own, but with roommates, a meal plan and minimal expenses. Hard for the protec-
Steve Seidel, a proud graduate of UC Santa Barbara, lives with
tive father in me to say it, but now is the time to screw
his wife and son in Sherman Oaks. ■
up, oversleep, study for the wrong test, eat questionable
EXCELLENCE THROUGH EXPERIENCE
15990 High Knoll Road, Encino
13044 Dickens Street, Studio City
4331 Meadowview Place, Encino
5142 Gaynor Avenue, Encino
© 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Afﬁliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway afﬁliate. BHH Afﬁliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be veriﬁed by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. DRE #01317331
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