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VENTURABLVD.GOLDENSTATE.IS

The Men’s Issue REAL ESTATE MOGUL MAURICIO UMANSKY

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OCTOBER 2021

22 THE REAL MAURICIO UMANSKY The real estate mogul on his life and historic Encino home

32 RON CHERNEY’S LONG DRIVE

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One of the country’s most prolfic golf memorabilia collections

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AND THEN SOME...

HIS PLACE IN THE WORLD Architect Paul Williams finally gets his due.

66 MEN IN BUSINESS

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Meet some esteemed local professionals

DESIGNED TO INSPIRE

who are at the top of their game.

Meet artist Ruben Rojas.

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REAL ESTATE

THE BLUE HOUR

Spectacular local listings

Discover the Valley by twilight.

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LAST WORD

MID-CENTURY ULTRA MODERN

A father on his firstborn leaving for college

A guy with incredible vision and taste renovates his boyhood home.

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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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COVER

SHOWING OFF HIS CHOPS

Mauricio Umansky

Chef Ryan Rondeno

photographed by Shane O’Donnell


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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PUBLISHER

Linda Grasso

Michelle Villas

Robin Sanders

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

robin@thegoldenstatecompany.com

Darren Elms

Nikki Smith

COPY EDITORS Bob Howells, Laura Watts

424-220-6340

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DIRECTOR OF BRAND

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CONTRIBUTORS

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sue@thegoldenstatecompany.com

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Monica Orozco

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Dima Overtchenko

Kara Mickelson, Steve Seidel Jean Trinh, Anne M. Russell

VENTURA BLVD IS A DIVISION OF THE GOLDEN STATE COMPANY

MANAGING PARTNERS Charlie Koones

Todd Klawin

MARKETING & OPERATIONS PARTNER/BRAND PUBLISHER | Emily Stewart PARTNER/MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEDIA & ANALYTICS | Warren Schaffer DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL | Charles Simmons DIRECTOR OF FILM & VIDEO | Bryce Lowe-White OPERATIONS DIRECTOR | Allison Jeackjuntra SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER | Melissa Hattab ACCOUNTING | Janet De La Cruz, Tanisha Holcomb To learn more about us, visit thegoldenstatecompany.com.

No part of this periodical may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written consent from The Golden State Company LLC. Any and all submissions to this or any of The Golden State Company LLC publications become the property of The Golden State Company LLC and may be used in any media. We reserve the right to edit. SUBSCRIPTIONS Email: info@goldenstate.is or phone: 310-376-7800. Subscriptions are $29 per year. TO OUR READERS Ventura Blvd welcomes your feedback. Please send letters to: Reader Response Department, Ventura Blvd at address below. Include your name, address and email. Edited letters may be published. 200 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 110, El Segundo, CA 90245 Tel 310-376-7800 | Fax 310-376-0200 | goldenstate.is | venturablvd.goldenstate.is

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL BECKER

EDITOR’S LETTER

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

the moneymaker.

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

advertisers.

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

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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.

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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

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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

worth individuals.

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.”

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“Being the one man in a house of all women works

fountain in the front yard; a painter room. Two housekeepers bustle in the

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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.”

REAL-LIFE DRAMA

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

real estate.”

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-

a psychologist.

ploring trails in the Santa Monica Mountains above his

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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

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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

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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

tournament began.

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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35


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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

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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.

of architecture.

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

DESIGN MINE

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. |

41


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

42

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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.” ■

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43


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

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45


“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

estate scene.

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

46

he explains.

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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49


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

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51


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

54

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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55


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THE SAUCE

TOP CHOP A New Orleans-born-and-raised private chef shares one of his favorite fall recipes. More on page 60.


THE SAUCE

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

and arugula.

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

58

One pie variety, the Sierra Bonita, is named for the

Osher Not Kosher.” ■


THE SAUCE

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

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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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For women who don’t want to stand still. Check out the new SheSez.com. Now, much more than a podcast. Follow @she_sez


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.

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GEORGE OUZOUNIAN THE AGENCY STUDIO CITY

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DENNIS CHERNOV CHERNOV TEAM

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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

R

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

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MEN IN BUSINESS

DENNIS CHERNOV CEO/Owner, Chernov Team

C

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

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


MEN IN BUSINESS

ANDREW MANNING Realtor , Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties ®

R

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

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


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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

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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,

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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

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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.


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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.

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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,

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“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

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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

Premium fine-art photography from the world’s best creators

Explore the collection at

driftward.com


xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Written by Xxxxxxx Xxxxxx | Photographed by Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxx


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

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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

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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

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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.

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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 ■

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CELEBRATING THE BEST OF CALIFORNIA

goldenstate.is

@ourgoldenstate


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

#

1

in our

Encino Office

Kevin Pane | Brian Pane DRE#02007794

DRE# 01209478

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

SOLD

3174 DONA CHRISTINA PL | STUDIO CITY

SOLD

4026 VAN NOORD AVE | STUDIO CITY

SOLD SOLD

3742 WRIGHTWOOD DR | STUDIO CITY REPRESENTED BUYER

11520 DONA PEPITA PL | STUDIO CITY

SOLD

5418 CALHOUN AVE | SHERMAN OAKS

SOLD

14261 MCCORMICK ST | SHERMAN OAKS

SOLD

SOLD

11110 HORTENSE ST | TOLUCA LAKE

ACTIVE

SOLD

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

THEDINSKYTEAM.COM

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

$29,995,000

PRESENTED BY REALTORS®

CHRIS LUCIBELLO

ANDREW MANNING

818.554.9798

818.380.2147

DRE 01885864

DRE 00941825

© 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

Aspen, Colorado

Marche, Italy

Talum, Mexico

New York, New York

Madrid, Spain

Paris, France

Saint Petersburg, Russia

L O CA L

FOR SALE

10502 Bloomfield St, Toluca Lake $1,399,000 2 Beds 1.5 Baths Original 1947 Mellenthin Traditional

IN ESCROW

5115 Encino Avenue, Encino $8,995,000 7 Beds 7.5 Baths Representing Buyer

JUST SOLD

6002 Allott Avenue, Valley Glen $1,930,000 5 Beds 6 Baths Media Room Huge Basement

JUST SOLD

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

6

8

BEDS

B AT H S

7,602

SQFT LIVING

DENNIS CHERNOV CHERNOVTEAM.COM 818.432.1524 DRE# 01850113

19,398

SQFT LOT

ADI LIVYATAN A D I L I V YATA N . CO M 818.919.4060 DRE# 01892750

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

15680 HIGH KNOLL RD | ENCINO

ACTIVE

15515 HESBY ST | ENCINO

ACTIVE

12050 GUERIN ST #302 | STUDIO CITY

IN ESCROW

5242 VESPER AVE #10 | SHERMAN OAKS

IN ESCROW

4184 COLFAX AVE | STUDIO CITY

JUST SOLD

WOODHILL CANYON RD | STUDIO CITY

SOLD OFF MARKET

13001 GREENLEAF ST | STUDIO CITY

OVER

$340

12221 VALLEYHEART DR | STUDIO CITY

ACTIVE

4330 TEESDALE AVE | STUDIO CITY

IN ESCROW

18018 MEDLEY DR | ENCINO

IN ESCROW

4919 LAUREL CANYON #5 | VALLEY VILLAGE

JUST SOLD

4222 RHODES AVE | STUDIO CITY

ACTIVE

12486 VIEWCREST RD | STUDIO CITY

IN ESCROW

12502 RYE ST | STUDIO CITY

SOLD OFF MARKET

14261 MCCORMICK ST | SHERMAN OAKS

JUST SOLD

5523 LONGRIDGE AVE | SHERMAN OAKS

818.432.1524 INFO@CHERNOVTEAM.COM WWW.CHERNOVTEAM.COM DRE #01850113

MILLION MILLION

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.


$2,000,000,000+

CLOSED TRANSACTIONS Lifetime Sales Volume

Type to enter text

5,500+ CLOSED SALES Lifetime Estimated Sales Transactions

INNUMERABLE

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

FEATURED LISTING

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

FEATURED LISTING

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

Presented by

ANDREW MANNING l REALTOR® Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties 14141 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks CA 91423

818 380 2147 PH l andrew@andrewmanning.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.


ng Co

ratulations

MATTEPSTEIN.COM SOMATT@AOL.COM 818-681-2000

to

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

CalBRE# 01121162

V

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!

SO LD

Jane Kaplan Epstein Dre#01922991

#KeepingItRealEstate

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

IN ESCROW

IN ESCROW

5115 Encino Ave | Encino 7 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Approx: 9,000 sq ft | 28,301 lot Offered at: $8,995,000

SOLD

SOLD

15601 Meadowgate Rd | Encino 7 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 10,420 sqft | 15,751 Sold: $10,350,000

SOLD

SOLD

12225 Gorham | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft Sold: $3,695,000

SOLD

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

SOLD

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

SOLD

4926 Petit | Encino 5 bed | 7 bath | Approx: 4466 sqft | 8,249 lot Sold: $3,145,000

SOLD

12223 Gorham Ave | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft lot Offered at: $3,695,000

Adi Livyatan

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: adilivyatan@yahoo.com DRE# 1892750

www.AdiLivyatan.com

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

SOLD

3100 Doña Clara Place (in escrow)

SOLD

4133 Camellia Avenue

SOLD

11130 Blix Street (in escrow)

SOLD

4053 Laurelgrove Avenue

SOLD

14558 Valley Vista Blvd (in escrow)

SOLD

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

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

PENDING

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

SOLD

SOLD

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...

Fine Estates®

active listing

sold

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.

sale pending

sold

sold

sold

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

sold

sold

sale pending

sold

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

sold

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

sale pending


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

17218RanchoSt.com

CalDRE License #01246402

oren@orenestates.com JUST LISTED

SOLD

16813IvysidePl.com

17218 Rancho St. | Encino | $2,489,000 16813 Ivyside Pl. | Encino | $2,890,000 4714 Park Granada #202 | Calabasas | $618,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

17711 Corinthian Dr. | Encino | $1,699,000 4721 Alonzo Ave. | Encino | $2,520,000 17821 Twilight Ln. | Encino | $3,589,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

4149 Adlon Pl. | Encino | $2,100,000 4944 Garden Grove Ave. | Tarzana | $1,189,000 16456 Westfall Pl. | Encino | $1,989,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

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!

OrenEstates.com


You’ll be ready when your dream home is With a SureStart Pre-approval , you’ll benefit from: ®

1

• 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 john.musso@citi.com 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.


LAST WORD

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

106

|


EXCELLENCE THROUGH EXPERIENCE

SO

LD

15990 High Knoll Road, Encino

SO

LD

13044 Dickens Street, Studio City

SO

LD

4331 Meadowview Place, Encino

SO

LD

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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