Neighborhood spotlight: Mar Vista

Ninety years ago, Mar Vista was little more than vast fields of lima beans — with an amazing view of the Pacific. Today, those ocean views have helped Mar Vista evolve into one of L.A. most desirable Westside neighborhoods, with skyrocketing property values to prove it.

The town can thank the storied Venice Short Line trolley for its rise. That trolley shuttled passengers from downtown Los Angeles and bisected what was then called Ocean Park Heights. The rapid development of Santa Monica and Venice Beach helped launch the first wave of housing tracts to rise up from the dusty fields. By 1927, the thirsty little farming community had been annexed by water-rich Los Angeles and rebranded Mar Vista, after the name of a nearby trolley stop.

It's a place of tension between old and new, where large modern homes strain against prewar property lines and traffic pushes to capacity many streets originally designed to accommodate horse-drawn carriages.

Neighborhood highlights

Mar Vista Tract: Designed by Midcentury Modern architect Gregory Ain, this 52-home development aimed to infuse postwar housing for the new middle class with modern design elements. Remarkably, all of the homes still stand, and driving into the well-preserved neighborhood is like turning back the clock to the boom years of the late 1940s.

Mar Vista Hill: 

Towering 200 feet above the basin, this historic mesa boasts killer ocean, city and mountain views. The hill also plays host to the North Venice Little League park and Ocean View Community Garden, which occupy a site that has been — in succession — farmland, city dump, antiaircraft artillery battery and the proposed site of an L.A. Department of Water and Power reservoir. Some of the oldest homes in Mar Vista line Grand View above Venice Boulevard.

The Venice/Grand View Historic Commercial District: 

Mar Vista's historic "downtown" contains buildings built between 1924 and 1960 (including the original Mar Vista Library) in a wide variety of styles. You can find tattoo parlors, hand-brewed coffee and the weekly farmers market.

Laura Kellam

Laura has held her California real estate license since 2001, and she began her personal endeavors in real estate in 1996, as a single-family residential investor.  Well-versed in the Los Angeles market, Laura’s 20 years of experience as a buyer, a project manager during renovations and a seller throughout numerous single family residential transactions, and now in recent years, her additional and vast experience working with buying, selling and investor clients; all gives her a unique ability to service her clients needs. Laura treats each transaction with attention to detail and a complete understanding of both the excitement and the challenges of preparing, buying and selling a home. This experience allows her to achieve maximum results for her clients in a way that is as stress free as possible for the client.

Laura currently works with BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES, CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES, and holds active membership California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) and the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Board of Realtors® (BHGLAR).