Upcoming County Development and Via Marina Construction

We would like to keep you all informed on the upcoming construction that will be happening around the marina due to the Marina del Rey 18-Inch Waterline Replacement Phase IIIB project.

The project involves the construction of approximately 5,950 linear feet of new 18-inch diameter steel pipeline to replace the existing, aged, and undersized 10 and 14 inch-diameter water mains along Via Marina from Marquesas Way to Bora Bora Way, and along Fiji Way from Admiralty Way to the end of Fiji Way. All fire hydrants and customer service connections will be improved as well.

Marina-del-rey-project-2014

For Map Legend Please Visit: http://dpw.lacounty.gov/pdd/marinadelrey/

The purpose of the project is to improve the Marina del Rey Water System to meet domestic and fire protection water demands more effectively.  This project is the fourth and final part of a multi-phase plan to replace the existing Marina del Rey Water System.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the construction dates will be as follows:

Construction Start:    December 15, 2014
Construction End:     August 2015
Construction Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm

A portion of the Fisherman’s Village parking lot will be used as a staging area for construction, but an overflow parking lot located directly across the street will be available for patron use throughout construction.

Also, please note that construction activities may cause traffic delays between the hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.  One lane will be open at all times for motorists along Via Marina and Fiji Way for the duration of the project and flagmen will direct traffic when needed.  For the safety of everyone, please exercise caution while in the vicinity of all construction activities by observing all traffic controls and flagmen.

Along with traffic control, the Marvin Braude bike path located along Fiji Way will be rerouted throughout construction.  All cyclists will be directed to cross the intersection of Admiralty Way and Fiji Way to use temporary bike path lanes located along the outer northbound lane of Fiji Way, and the detour will end at the terminus of Fiji Way.  Please note tha the temporary bike lane detour will have two directions of bicycle traffic riding on the outer northbound lane.  Signage will be posted to indicate all closures and detours.

For more details, please click here for the project flyer or visit the Marina del Rey Infrastructure Program website at http://dpw.lacounty.gov/go/mdr

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Winter Real Estate: A Time For Hibernation or Not?

Everybody knows that winter is a dead time for real estate. Or is It?

At least that’s the widely held belief. But national statistical studies suggest it’s not necessarily the case. Winter can be a surprisingly advantageous time to list, shop, negotiate and/or buy.

According to real estate website Redfin and their two year study if you want to sell for more than your asking price, listing in December, January, February and March gives you a better chance on average than if you list any time from June through November. In 2012, December listings produced the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year — 17%.

If your goal is to sell relatively quickly, February “is historically the best month to list, with an average of 66% of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin. In the two-year study completed last December, researchers found that in each of 19 major markets, including cold-weather cities such as Boston and Chicago, “home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during any other season.”

Researchers are quick to note that the advantages of listing in winter compared with other seasons are not huge. But the fact that winter produces at least competitive or better results by some measures should encourage some potential sellers to get into the game sooner rather than later.

Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin, said “that shoppers who are active during the winter months are serious buyers. Most people are not window-shopping in December and January, as many do in the spring months.”

Quick Tip: Some sellers pull their unsold houses off the market during the winter, hoping for better results in the spring. By doing so, they leave a smaller inventory of active listings therefore lessening the competition among sellers who list in January and February.

Winter-season buyers may find some sellers more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would be during the middle of the spring. Mary Bayat, a broker active in the Washington, D.C., market and chairwoman-elect of the Northern Virginia Assn. of Realtors, said that in the last few weeks she has participated in three deals involving sellers who were far more open to negotiations than they had been months ago.

Quick Tip #2: Real estate does not hibernate from December through March. More than 5 million homes are resold annually in the U.S., and many of them are listed and sold during the winter months.

In strong local housing markets such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, Boston and Washington, D.C., the likelihood of selling your home within 180 days is highest when you list during the winter months compared with any other season, according to Redfin’s 2013 study.

Winter is warmer for real estate than you might think.

Playa Vista: Los Angeles’ New Tech Hub

According to The Los Angeles Times, Google Inc. has reportedly spent nearly $120 million on 12 vacant acres next to a historic hangar where aviator Howard Hughes built his famous “Spruce Goose” airplane in Playa Vista.

With this recent transaction it’s pretty certain that the search engine company is expanding its presence in the Southern California. They currently operate in several buildings throughout LA county, including the famous Binocular building in Venice designed by Frank Gehry. However, this new Playa Vista land acquisition is zoned for approximately 900,000-square-foot of commercial space that has the potential to be both office and studio space. Google is also expected to lease the Hughes hangar built in 1943, according to The Times. The 319,000-square-foot building has recently housed soundstages for movie and television production. “The combination of the hangar space and planned development of the 900,000 square feet could bring in as many as 6,000 well-paid, highly educated workers”, per The L.A. Times.

Image via LA Times

City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the Westchester/Playa Vista area, is quoted as saying “the announcement solidifies the neighborhood’s reputation as a high-tech hub. This is phenomenal news for the Westside and for the Los Angeles economy.”

Local entrepreneurs and investors told The Times they’re excited about the possibilities that a stepped-up Google presence could bring. A juggernaut like Google would help bring even more attention, developers and investment to the booming area. “It increases the quality of the work, it increases the ability to network, it increases the ability to attract more people here,” said Kieran Hannon, chief marketing officer at Belkin, which has 450 employees in Playa Vista. “It has a complete knock-on effect.”

The Marina is Changing

Many of you may or may not know that there was recent approval on the plan to clean up the Marina by way of a large dredging project and new restrictions on permitted materials. This is great news as the water in our marina is statistically some of the dirtiest (and most toxic) in the state. That being said, there is another project on the horizon that we can hopefully be excited about. A plan that officials are saying will better guide the development of the neighborhood in the coming years.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering a huge makeover plan created by county regional planners that would re-direct traffic flow and make room for an additional 200,000 square feet of retail space and 940 new hotel rooms by way of dividing the marina into a few distinct districts. These districts would consolidate certain activities so that each area will appeal to a specific type of user (visitors, boaters, residents, etc.) thereby reducing the need for people to travel all around the marina.

Image via The Argonaut

“We’ve memorialized a vision for future development in Marina del Rey that reflects its boating history and recreational use,” said Gina Natoli, a Los Angeles County supervising regional planner. “We’re very happy with how it turned out.” The approved version of the vision statement remains much the same as the original version presented in February. The plan calls for clusters of activities for tourists, boaters, residents and beach-goers in separate areas, “mobility hubs” that will serve each of those districts. It also calls for improved signage, and enhanced bicycle and pedestrian paths that will make it easier to weave around the water.

Image via Envision Marina del Rey

Here are a few of the known specifics of the plan:

  • The public boat launch would move to become the center of Boater’s Way, while the old boat launch would become Visitor’s Row, a retail and entertainment area.
  • New “low- to mid-rise hotels” would go up behind Mother’s Beach and create public spaces along the water.
  • The plan would also try to reduce traffic by creating “hubs” where visitors can connect to bike infrastructure, water taxis, and public shuttle buses to reduce the ridiculous parking experience that is so integral to visiting the marina now. **There is also a far-fetched rumor that the Marina could become an area where cars are totally prohibited, but we haven’t seen any clear evidence of that yet.**

Although sections of the marina have been booming, thanks to an influx of upscale residential and commercial projects, planners and county officials agreed that other sections have become worn down and dated. They hope the plan will help modernize the marina and make it the hot spot that it was decades ago.

Curbed LA stated “All of this would happen on land the county already owns, so nothing new has to be purchased to move forward with the marina plan, but the plans are decidedly long-term and could take years to see through. Advocates say that it’s time to take advantage of the marina’s amenities, upgrade the hotels, and make navigating easier. Opponents worry that the marina could lose some of its quaint and quirky charm.”

All we know is, we are excited to see what effect this plan will have on current real estate in the area!