LOS ANGELES — Inspired by the row of pastel-colored and adjoining Victorian-styled homes in San Francisco, Alon Zakoot, a home developer and designer, wanted to create a Los Angeles version of the famous Bay Area dwellings known as the Painted Ladies.
Zakoot said it was his dream to create a row of iconic, one-of-a-kind modern homes where residents and visitors could pass by, marvel and take pictures outside — just like the Painted Ladies in San Francisco.
He wanted to create a landmark for Venice.
Earlier this week, Zakoot unveiled the Glass Ladies, a trio of modern-styled single-family homes on the 840 block of California Avenue in Venice, a block away from the Abbot Kinney Boulevard retail and dining strip.
"This was my dream," said Zakoot to Spectrum News. "The dream was to bring something out of the box to Venice because in San Francisco, like Venice and other places in Los Angeles, there are smaller subdivisions. I wanted to bring that San Francisco style where people live closer together."
Zakoot and his team of investors are selling the first of the contemporary homes, Lucia, Lady of Luxe, for $6.2 million.
According to the listing from Compass, the modern two-story home boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms, high ceilings, floating staircase, rooftop deck, lap pool, "double-waterfall island, state-of-the-art appliances, custom cabinetry, and pass-through to the main-level indoor/outdoor lounge."
The other two properties, Loren, Lady of Deco, and Maya, Lady of Botanica, are coming soon.
"The Glass Ladies collection offers Venice something other than another boring modern box," Zakoot said in a news release. "I wanted to turn Venice figuratively and literally on its side. I built the Glass Ladies as a way to offer Venice the beauty it deserves, despite its condensed location, where housing has become more limited, and land is now harder to obtain. Utilizing vertical space, we have taken the exterior entertaining area from the street level to the rooftops capitalizing on the fresh breeze and 360-degree views of the ocean, 1000 palms, and of the snow-capped mountains even in the sunny Southern California community of Venice."
Zakoot spent seven years developing the site. Before building the Glass Ladies, the place was a single-family house and a duplex. Zakoot combined the two lots and subdivided them into three adjoining lots.
Zakoot experienced several challenges building the modern homes.
"It took us three years to convince the city and residents to allow us to build these kinds of homes," he said. "No one had seen anything like this."
Once the city approved it, the coronavirus pandemic delayed construction.
Still, he felt joy throughout the building process. He said each home, in some ways, develops its own personality: Lucia, Lady of Luxe is the "fancy one, shiny one... slick," he said.
The home in the middle, Loren, Lady of Deco, "is timeless, artistic and very detailed." The third, Maya, Lady of Botanica, is earthy and natural.
"We built the landscaping before designing the house," he said. "I love exploring a building's personality and take it quite literally. When you visit a home, you should feel the presence of the space: inspired, livable, prestigious and uniquely its own. The space should speak to you. As I build the homes and see them grow overtime, each house shows me their particular intricacies or unique qualities. By doing this, they inspire me, but essentially name themselves."
Compass listing agent Sally Forster Jones said she has seen nothing like these contemporary-styled homes. She called the Glass Ladies a piece of art.
"It's like a Picasso. You can't replace it," Jones said to Spectrum News. "There's nothing, nothing like these. These homes have personalities. There's always value and a buyer for something that's special. This is one of those types of houses where I'll tell buyers, 'If you don't buy this, you won't have another chance.' This is a chance to own a property that is so special."
And just like a piece of art, the buyer won't be able to modify the face of the home.
Zakoot said he put a condition in the title that does not allow the buyer or owner to change or modify the front of the homes.
"We put so much effort [building the homes]," he said. "This is a landmark. There are no houses like this in Venice."