Jim Helke, CRS, GRI, ABR, PVS
fax 760-327-3991
CA BRE # 01192382

Palos Verdes Estates - Lunada Bay/Margate

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Palos Verdes Estates
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Palos Verdes Estates has five named 'locales' known as:
Lunada Bay, Margate, Montemalaga, Malaga Cove, and Valmonte.

Lunada Bay and Margate are located along the West coast of Palos Verdes Estates, South to the city border with Rancho Palos Verdes, and from the ocean bluff East to the Rancho Palos Verdes border. Margate and Lunada Bay are now both known as Lunada Bay. During the initial development of the city of Palos Verdes Estates, Lunada Bay was a nursery for the vast planting program on the peninsula. The area on the ocean side of Palos Verdes Drive West is often referred to as 'Lower Lunada Bay'. The area is gently sloping and is a popular area for walking, running and bicycling. This area is a favorite for families due to being within walking distance of all three school levels.

The eastern portion of Lunada Bay on the terrace along the border with Rancho Palos Verdes along Via Coronel and Via Castilla, and adjoining streets is known as 'University Subdivision'. There are a total of 221 building sites of at least 1/3 acre in this 157 acre subdivision and nearly all have had homes built within the last 25 years. The name 'University Subdivision' was derived from the prior owners (Frank and Blance Seaver) gift of the property to Pepperdine University. Two streets in 'University Subdivision' are named after Frank and Blanch Seaver, Plaza Francisco and Plaza Blanca.

Lunada Bay has a commercial plaza with a market, service station, shops and restaurants. The master plan for Palos Verdes Estates once included a major 'Spanish town' shopping plaza (Lunada Plaza) along  Avenida Mirola with an incline railway down the bluff with bath houses on the beach. This was to be an elaborate beach development with a breakwater across the opening of the bay. The plan was dropped during the great depression and the commercial lots were changed to residential. These lots typically have different deed restrictions, allowing greater building coverage, than the rest  of the city. Streets with 'Plaza' after the name generally indicated a commercial district in the original master plan.

The Bluff Cove area at the Margate-Malaga Cove border was also referred to as 'Little Waikiki' due to the great surfing popularity at the beach. An palatial yacht club (The Pacific Coast Yacht Club) had been designed for the Bluff Cove-Margate area with an opulent bluff top clubhouse and elevators to the beach, boathouses, and beach front promenade. A breakwater enclosing 66 acres of water was proposed to provide still water mooring for 400 craft. The first regatta was raced on a weekend in 1927. A small 'English Town' style commercial plaza was also planned for Margate. The great depression ended the vision of these projects.

Palos Verdes High, Lunada Bay Elementary, and Margate Intermediate schools are located in this area. The two pools at Palos Verdes High School have summer swim programs available to residents for a small fee. Lunada Bay is a mecca for little league activity with an exceptional baseball facility on the Margate Intermediate school site. Margate Intermediate occupies 46 acres of which about 5 acres is a little league facility. The elementary school occupies 10.6 acres across from the ocean and the high school is located on a beautiful 33 acre campus across from the ocean.

The 'bay' of Lunada Bay (at the end of Avenida Mirola) has two named points; Rocky Point on the North and Resort Point on the South. Rocky Point Estates was developed about 50 years ago and is zoned for all one story homes. Local lore is that James Dean's 'chicken race scene' in the movie Rebel Without a Cause was filmed on Resort Point when it was a vacant lot. The helicopter attack scene in the movie 'Lethal Weapon' was filmed at the home on the point on Via Segovia. The estate at the North end of Chelsea Road (known as the 'Lost Horizon') was once owned by Pierre Lamure, a naturalized citizen from France, who wrote 'Moulin Rouge'. He was a well known French nobleman and also wrote biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Thomas Edison. Later  the home was leased to Ethyl Barrymore. The Lamures owned several homes in Palos Verdes Estates and lived in the 'Brown-Dobson' house on Via Elevada when he penned Moulin Rouge. They were active members of the community, served on the Palos Verdes Art Jury and wrote the Palos Verdes Bulletin twice monthly publication.

All the remaining vacant land along the ocean bluff is park land to be maintained in its natural state. A large Greek ship (The Dominator), loaded with grain, crashed into Rocky Point on March 13, 1961, but most of the vessel is now rusted away (Video of the crash can be viewed at www.cawreckdivers.org/Wrecks/Dominator.htm).

The Lunada Bay Fountain dedicated to the children, 'La Fuente de los Ninos', marks the commercial entrance in Lunada Bay. A new botanical park has also been  recently completed across from the fountain. The recently restored carillon bell tower at Lunada Bay Elementary school is dedicated to the children and often chimes throughout the day.


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