New Santa Monica Luxury Development Reinvents A Robert Farquhar-Designed Landmark

A four-year restoration and re-imagination has turned the Robert D. Farquhar-designed Henry Wyse/Charles Morris House into the newest luxury development in Santa Monica (HILTON & HYLAND).

A Santa Monica landmark dating to more than 100 years ago, the Henry Wyse/Charles Morris House designed by distinguished architect Robert D. Farquhar remains a stellar example of the Colonial Revival and Craftsman aesthetic. Following a four-year restoration and re-imaging, the transformed property now stands as a new luxury development that blends classic architecture with the highest standard in luxury amenities and details.

white-walled living room with picture windows looking out at the ocean in santa monica

The Henry Wyse/Charles Morris House underwent a four-year restoration and renovation that updated the living spaces while remaining true to its original character (HILTON & HYLAND).

Spearheaded by wealth expert Mark Tabit, the project involved a team of architects and artisans who divided the 1910-built home into two private residences, each featuring more than 3,000 square feet of living space, high-end kitchens, private patios and unobstructed ocean views. Add in an exclusive modern complex of 3,000-4,000-square-foot condominiums, community gardens and ample outdoor living space, and it’s hard to find anything comparable in Santa Monica, according to luxury specialist Bjorn Farrugia of Beverly Hills-based brokerage Hilton & Hyland.

ocean view in the santa monica bluffs 401 ocean ave robert d farquhar new development

Split into two luxury homes, the main residences each feature more than 3,000 square feet of living space, high-end kitchens, private patios and unobstructed ocean views. Prices start at about $7.75 million (HILTON & HYLAND).

“These are large-scale, ocean-view properties with rooftop decks and architectural pedigree that make them one-of-a-kind. There’s nothing like it in Santa Monica right now,” Farrugia says.

private decking overlooking the ocean in santa monica at 401 ocean ave

A private deck measuring more than 1,000 square feet takes in a view of Santa Monica beach, the pier and the ocean (HILTON & HYLAND).

Priced upwards of $7.75 million, the two primary residences enter the market at the perfect time, according to Farrugia, who shares the exclusive listing with real estate luminary Rick Hilton. As the top-producing agent puts it, Santa Monica’s market, particularly in the $6-million and under the category, has been operating at breakneck speed, with a lack of inventory and a surge of interest fueling the red-hot market.

modern farmhouse light fixtures top a center island inside a Santa Monica luxury kitchen

Each of the main residences and condominiums at 401 Ocean Avenue feature gleaming chef’s kitchens outfitted with the highest standard of luxury appliances (HILTON & HYLAND).

“We had nearly double the number of deals in Q1 2021 (when compared to the previous year). The price-per-square-foot has gone up considerably, and you have Rick Caruso’s new Palisades Village shopping district just north of Santa Monica that is helping to attract a new crowd,” Farrugia explains.

white-walled primary bedroom inside a luxury santa monica development at 401 Ocean Ave

The main residences each feature three bedrooms and four bathrooms (HILTON & HYLAND).

The top-producing agent believes that Palisades Village has added a whole new vibe to the area. “People love it—popular areas like the Alphabet Streets, North of Montana and near the Caruso development are a fun place to be. You can walk right out of your house and don’t need a car. It’s been great for the community,” he adds.

During the pandemic, Santa Monica’s steady price creep has even boosted the market for trophy properties. Earlier this year, Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith made history when he sold his 3.35-acre compound bordering Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades for a staggering $48.67 million, according to The Los Angeles Times. In nearby Brentwood, prices have topped out at $44-million mark.

artistic tile lines the floor in a santa monica bathroom with a soaking tub and fireplace

A team of architects and artisans were enlisted to refine and enhance the homes. In the bathrooms, a glass-enclosed fire feature is paired with eye-catching artistic tiles (HILTON & HYLAND).

“Prices are going up big-time, especially for trophy properties and new construction. Many people are buying right now, and these are buyers who are savvy and know exactly how quality should look and feel. Fortunately, we have great products to sell,” he says.

As the summer buying season continues to heat up, Farrugia doesn’t expect the Farquhar units to linger on the market. “Nothing has been built like this on Ocean Avenue in a long time, and I don’t think you’ll see anything like them anytime soon. These are destined to move quickly.”

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Neal is the Chief Content Officer at Forbes Global Properties. A content strategist with more than a decade of experience in the sports, entertainment and real estate spaces he previously launched a sports real estate column and chronicled L.A.’s biggest home sales for the Los Angeles Times' award-winning “Hot Property” section.

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