Santa Monica has long been the image of the Southern California lifestyle, with its picturesque beachfront, bustling pier and iconic Ferris wheel. Local life revolves around the outdoors, evidenced by its boardwalk teeming with visitors, joggers and bikers enjoying the fresh, sea air and ocean vistas. The city offers a blend of laid-back beachy vibe and upscale cosmopolitan chic, with a thriving downtown that offers some of L.A.’s best dining, shopping and healthful amenities. As L.A.’s Westside continues to grow in popularity, Santa Monica has become one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods, enticing a diverse population of young families, students, surfers, yogis, entertainment execs and entrepreneurs.
It’s no wonder the seaside city, with a personality all its own, is in such high demand. It offers a little something for everyone beginning with its plentiful outdoor shopping districts. The pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade is lined with a variety of shops ranging from big-name brands to stylish independent boutiques, acclaimed restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Steps away, Santa Monica Place is home to Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and the state-of-the-art 14-screen ArcLight Cinemas while the ritzy Montana Avenue encompasses ten blocks of open-air shopping and dining with more than 150 high-end boutiques.
The city’s culinary scene is flourishing with some of the city’s top-rated restaurants, including the renowned Cassia, which was recently named among OpenTable’s 100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016, recognized for its vibrant Southeast Asian cuisine. Other favorites among the locals include the bustling atmosphere of R+D Kitchen, the inventive pizza selections at Milo and Olive, and the Michelin Star-rated French cuisine at Mélisse. Meanwhile, numerous cafés serve up creative brews, such as the beloved Philz Coffee on Santa Monica Boulevard while healthful eateries, such as The Source Cafe on Main Street, specialize in so-called “edible and drinkable gardens.”
Santa Monica is renowned for its healthy and notoriously active lifestyle, home to not one, but four farmers’ markets overflowing with colorful produce every week, including the ever popular Wednesday morning market on Arizona Avenue. Numerous fitness offerings include the well-known Equinox and SoulCycle as well as top-rated yoga studios, such as the popular Hot8Yoga and the independent Sweat Yoga, which offers a Friday night Happy Hour class set to a different musical artist or genre each week. Residents jog the beach bluffs, climb the infamous Santa Monica stairs and bike along the beach paths, enjoying the city’s Breeze Bike Share program, a 500-bike system presented by Hulu.
Additionally, Santa Monica will soon offer better accessibility to Downtown Los Angeles when the EXPO Light Rail connection opens on May 20. It will mark the first time in 53 years Santa Monica residents have been able to hop a train for easy access to Downtown and the rest of the city.
With its perfect blend of relaxed seaside style and walkable urban appeal, Santa Monica remains among L.A.’s most in-demand real estate markets while inventory, specifically for new construction product, remains at an all-time low.
One new residential offering set to debut later this year in the heart of Santa Monica is AIRE, a collection of 19 distinct residences designed to capture the essence of the Santa Monica lifestyle. Three residential buildings, situated around a central, open-air courtyard, will feature two and three-bedroom townhomes and garden-level flats. Residences are intelligently designed to capture abundant natural light, draw in the sea air and connect seamlessly to both private and communal outdoor spaces. Two and three-story townhomes boast spacious rooftop terraces with views stretching from downtown Santa Monica to the Pacific Ocean.
“We wanted to create something that spoke to the future of Santa Monica, ” said Alice Kimm of L.A.-based John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK), the design team behind AIRE. “We wanted to cater to the sophisticated buyer who wants to live in a place with a sense of community and a lot of outdoor spaces; a place that really speaks to Santa Monica, where nature, the outdoors and quality of life are what’s most important.”
Among its offerings, AIRE will feature its own communal bike share program, secure subterranean parking and a gated entry with a living green wall. World-class dining, arts, entertainment and shopping are a walk or bike ride away, as are the beaches of Santa Monica and Venice and the ten-acre Memorial Park.