One South, the condominiums approved in 2015 just before Redondo Beach issued a moratorium on mixed-use development, is officially open for business.

The 1.5 acre redeveloped site nestled off Pacific Coast Highway a few blocks south of Palos Verdes Boulevard made its debut Jan. 24 when the public got its first look.

Along with the 52 condominiums and townhomes, which range in price from $758,000 to just over $1 million, is 10,500 square feet of commercial space.

So far, three retail establishments have inked deals: a coworking space, a fitness gym and gourmet burger chain Burgerim. 

“This weekend marks our opening, so now we’ll have an office out front,” explained Donald Stanek, senior vice president of sales and marketing of the development which broke ground in September 2016. “Up to this point we’ve kind of been in presale mode.”

In fact, one third of the residential component has already been spoken for, according to Stanek who noted the townhomes on the property will not be ready until March.

Residents and businesses moving in

For Erick Baer, one of the first residents to move into the new community Dec. 14, the price point is worth it for the location.

“It has a real high walking index,” Baer explained at the One South grand opening Thursday. “It just means you’re close to everything where you can walk to everything.”

Baer, who moved to the area with his wife Jheri to be closer to family, said the couple is now less than a block away from a park with a library, tennis courts and kids play area.

“And for brand new construction, this is a great price point,” Baer said.

The Baers’ realtor, Jennifer Farrell of Palm Realty Boutique, said the One South development brand new construction at those prices is “unheard of” in the area.

“When we looked at what else was on the market at this price point ... it was hundreds of units, older buildings, more of a homeowners’ association …”

Farrell said the opportunity to get into the smaller community, which has a HOA fees based on square footage and ranging from $412 to $451 per unit, will offer the Baers a chance to get involved on the association.

The association is currently being overseen by the developer until the residents will take it over, according to Farrell.

Baer said the developer’s reputation for creating communities such as One South was another big draw.

“This is a little more intimate ... the builder likes to be a little more a boutique builder and not build huge complexes ... he has a track record of building mixed use like this,” he explained.

The Cape Point development also features 10,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, as well as 166 parking spaces.

Stanek said three businesses including MESH, a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs and freelancers, F45 fitness gym and gourmet burger chain Burgerim, have been confirmed.

“We still have a couple of other spaces but we’re pretty selective of who we want in the retail environment because we really want to create a cohesive, interesting place to live,” he said, explaining the developer would probably strive to fill the space will local businesses. “Probably don’t like big franchises though… (looking for) someone that’s probably more localized, in growth mode ... a little more beach eclectic.”  

Community outreach to combat controversy

The Cape Point development was approved in September 2015, just before the Redondo Beach city council issued a one-year moratorium on mixed-use developments.

The project was no stranger to the community’s trademark development controversy, said Nick Buchanan, the president of Cape Point.

“We went through the public process, we went through planning commission…” he said, noting the difficulties of the adjacent Legado development. “Without getting into politics of Redondo Beach too much, the city is obviously somewhat divided, politically and not necessarily encouraging towards development in the mixed use zone.”

Buchanan said Cape Point did extensive community outreach in an effort to make the development fit with the community as much as possible.

“I got to know all the locals, I spent a lot of time in coffee rooms having small meetings with people,” Buchanan said, explaining the city approved the development after several council meetings. “They decided that the project made sense partly because it was consistent with what the zoning was in the community but also because we had done our public outreach.”

He said even though the community was afraid of high density development, he thought locals felt One South “checked all the right boxes,” including mitigating traffic.

Buchanan, who purchased the property when it was the Seabreeze Plaza in 2014, said Cape Point continued to run the site, which housed 30,000 square feet of commercial space at that time, for more than a year.

He noted the new mixed-use designation will generate less of a local impact.

“We had more trips on the site that was generated by the commercial uses then we are going to be generating with the residential units,” Buchanan said. “That was one of the big things in the community outreach.”

Buchanan said incorporating the character of the surrounding community was an important aspect of creating One South.

“What I’ve been trying to do is cool little urban contemporary projects as close as I can to real urban villages,” he explained. “So here, we’re a few blocks away from the Riviera Village where you can go have a beer, hop on a bike and ride back.”

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