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Manhattan Beach is an idyllic coastal city with homes for every lifestyle. Whether you prefer a quiet family home in East Manhattan Beach, a luxury estate in the Hill Section, or a vacation beach house in The Strand, the city has it all. With an award-winning school system and growing commercial scene, it’s no wonder that celebrities, athletes, and families have come to the area to settle down. This increased interest in building in Manhattan Beach has put local contractors at the forefront.
This list provides the city’s top residential contractors, who focus on new construction and custom homes. Design-build firms, general contractors, and even developers are featured on this list. They were selected and ranked based on the diversity of their portfolios, principals’ backgrounds, glowing reviews, accreditations, and awards and press recognition.
1230 Rosecrans Ave. Suite #620, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
For the past 30 years, Dave Baldwin has provided the Beach Cities with custom homes and high-end renovations. Baldwin Construction produces highly detailed homes using its strong partnerships with talented architects and interior designers. The firm creates extraordinary living spaces tailored to clients’ needs and wants. From coffered ceilings and intricate molding to multi-level elevators and high-tech wine cellars, homeowners’ exact specifications are always fulfilled by Baldwin Construction. The firm’s homes can be found in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, the West side of LA, and the wealthy neighborhood of Palos Verdes. Its homes have also been featured in Los Angeles Magazine and 21st Century Beach Houses.
In collaboration with KAA Design, the firm created a resort-like compound on the corner of 17th and The Strand. The Scandinavian-inspired home features a palette of natural materials, including louvers of wood and bronze. Situated on a corner lot, the home essentially has two “sides,” with one side featuring expansive windows that provide a broad view of the Pacific Ocean.
508 N Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Redondo Beach-based firm C&C Partners has made a name for itself as one of the best builders in the Pacific Coast market. The firm specializes in teardowns and custom builds in the small cities that line the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles. Its Mediterranean manors, New England beach homes, and Tuscan villas can be found dotting the coastline from south Malibu and Manhattan Beach to Rancho Palos Verdes. The firm’s work has been featured in Southbay Home and Builder Magazine. C&C also built the home of ten-time Emmy Award-Winning camera operator David Plakos.
The firm hasn’t always built custom homes. When it was established by brothers Patrick and Michael Cunningham in 1987, the firm started out as a remodeling company specializing in additions and custom homes. After seeing a strong market for tear-downs and new construction, the firm shifted its focus to custom homes in the 90s. C&C is now a design-build firm, with Patrick serving as design principal and Michael as the general contractor.
Design Build by South Swell
1307 Curtis Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Design Build by South Swell is run by Steve Lazar, who has been building in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach for more than 30 years. The firm’s high-end custom homes range from $4 million to $10 million, are often contemporary and modern in design, and feature the latest technologies. The company’s main philosophy is “Thoughtful Design,” which means all building processes should mutually inform and inspire one another. From the spatial layout and engineering to the tiny details that enhance the living experience, all aspects of the building process are guided by the builder’s insight and the owner’s purpose. Combining this philosophy with efficient practices, the firm is able to provide a stress-free and enjoyable building process.
This contemporary 35th Street home was initially designed and built by Lazar for his family. In 2014, NHL All-Star Player Marion Gaborik bought the home for $5.55 million. This three-story contemporary home is clad in Mangaris wood and welcomes visitors with a river of water flowing over riverbed stones at the entrance. A mix of dark woods and bright teals and blues give the interior a unique appeal.
2304 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Serving coastal California cities from Long Beach to Santa Monica, Hollingsworth/Witteman Construction has spent the past four decades perfecting its construction process by building thousands of homes. The firm has completed custom homes, remodels, and additions that range from 8,000 to 10,000 square feet in size and $3 million to $4 million in cost. Much of the firm’s success is driven by its principals, Joel Hollingsworth and Steve Witteman. Hollingsworth’s business acumen and background in finance have allowed the firm to grow. Witteman started out as a carpenter and then served as a superintendent until he became co-owner of the firm in 2006. Together, the duo has steered the company to become one of the most resilient and successful companies in the South Bay area.
The firm custom built this picture-perfect home in Hermosa Beach for a couple who wanted a Mediterranean-inspired home. The firm managed to create architect David Watson’s intricate architectural dream of having a curved staircase float up through all four floors. The craftsmanship of the exterior is also notable in the stone passageways, massive front doors, and wall sconces. Hollingsworth and Witteman’s attention to detail and smooth, error-free process were lauded by the homeowners.
2215 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Redondo Beach-based LuAnn Development is a custom home builder and general contractor that has been a family owned and operated firm since 2007. LuAnn Fabian and her son Dominic spearhead a team of skilled craftsmen, artisans, and subcontractors that create timeless residences all over Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes, and Redondo Beach. Dominic’s hands-on work in the construction field is rounded out by LuAnn’s design expertise and finishing touches. The firm works with a diverse clientele, from the top developers in the city to homeowners looking to build the perfect oceanside home. Aside from featuring exquisite living spaces, the firm’s homes are tested and verified to meet the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The firm recently created this massive coastal brownstone manor that alludes to the other famous Manhattan. The stately home’s windows open to beautiful ocean views. High ceilings and the finest details and materials make it one of the most luxurious homes in the area. Similar extraordinary homes built by the firm have been featured many times in Southbay Magazine.
Matt Morris Development
3508 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
When it comes to exclusive homes and luxurious residences in Manhattan Beach, Matt Morris Development has become the go-to builder and developer. Morris builds exclusively in the Manhattan and Hermosa Beach areas and specializes in all areas of the city, whether it’s the sand, hill, and tree sections of Manhattan Beach or the sand section of Hermosa Beach. Aside from new construction and tailor-fit custom homes, Morris is an expert at selling and renting out high-end properties.
Matthew Morris is the son of a commercial developer. He grew up in Dallas and started his building career at a young age, having built his first home when he was 23. Since 1997, Morris has produced one-of-a-kind homes that range from intricate Mediterranean manors to coastal contemporary homes. To complete his homes, he often works with Hollywood interior designer Joe Lucas. His luxurious homes have been featured in Luxe, the LA Times, Builder/Architect, House Beautiful, and Architectural Digest. The firm’s extreme attention to detail and highly personalized process have attracted discerning clients, including star ice hockey player Dustin Brown of the LA Kings, who has hired Morris twice to build his houses on The Strand.
Mike Davis Custom Homes
1020 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite #106, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Mike Davis Custom Homes is a premier builder of distinct custom homes in the Beach Cities. From building high-end spec homes to unique custom homes, the firm has made the most of the area’s fine locations and high-grade materials to create the best residences. Principal Mike Davis believes in collaborative and community-centric building. This promotes an interactive building experience with the homeowners, who the firm considers as superintendents. In the building process, the homeowners are as fully aware and invested as the builder.
The firm was selected in 2014 to create Sunset’s Idea House in Manhattan Beach. Designed by local architect Louie Tomaro, the modern beach house showcases some of the latest in architecture and building technologies. It includes energy-efficient features, such as solar hot water heating, solar pool heating, touchless water faucets, and remote control toilets with energy-saving features, as well as a no-mow lawn and an edible garden.
RJ Smith Construction
141 Arena St., El Segundo, CA 90245
For a young company with less than a decade in the business, RJ Smith Construction has certainly made a mark in the residential scene of Manhattan Beach. It is known for creating unique spaces and features, such as a disappearing pool in a patio. Principal RJ Smith has become one of the most sought-after builders in South Bay, having built homes for more than fifteen years in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. He draws on lessons learned from his mother, a designer, and his stepfather, a custom builder, while growing up in Redondo Beach.
The firm’s commitment to high-end finishes and attention to detail has drawn clients from all over LA. The firm was part of the dream team that created the Manhattan Beach home of celebrity basketball player Steve Nash. Collaborating with Laney LA and designer Rini Kundu, the firm built this modern take on the gabled beach bungalow for the athlete’s six-member family. Robust raw materials abound in the home, including reclaimed French oak wood, limestone, marble, and concrete tile. It also features an indoor sports court and beach room.
Rubicon Ventures Group
1140 Highland Ave. Suite #105, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Rubicon Ventures Group is a boutique custom home builder serving Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. It provides construction management and general contracting services for single-family homes. Additionally, the firm provides handyman services as well as spec home building for many developers in the area. With a degree in finance and an MBA in marketing, founder and principal Mike Leonard pairs his educational knowledge with his hands-on experience and technical know-how in creating beautiful homes. The firm’s previous clients praise Mike and his team for their diligence and professionalism, and the Los Angeles Times and Southbay Magazine have featured the Rubicon’s craftsmanship in its tastefully designed homes.
Ranch, Mediterranean, Cape Cod, and coastal contemporary homes fill Rubicon’s portfolio. This coastal home features geometric details and classic symmetry to achieve that beach house feel. An elongated open floor plan gives the home plenty of space for entertaining guests or accommodating a growing family. Wood details, such as the coffered ceiling and weathered floor planks, complete the home’s beachy vibe.
Salzman Design Build
160 Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, CA 90245
Daniel Salzman is a design and media entrepreneur whose passion for sustainable living led him to establish his own green building practice in 2007. Prior to that, he had been designing and building spec and custom homes in the Beach Cities since 2004. He is a U.S. Green Building Council member and LEED for Homes Accredited Professional and has worked as a subject matter volunteer for the Green Building Certification Institute. Aside from Salzman Design Build, he also established South Bay Green, a one-stop shop for sustainable building material made from recycled content and renewable resources by local craftsmen and manufacturers.
Clients benefit from a cohesive team that can provide seamless full services in building custom, high-performance homes, such as the one featured here. Salzman spent five years designing and building Hillhouse No. 6, an opulent home sitting among Manhattan Beach’s finest estates in the Hill Section. The modern mid-century marvel features floating staircases and a levitating 52” cylindrical vacuum elevator with four stops. In true Salzman fashion, the home is energy efficient, with solar panels on the roof and a pair of Tesla PowerWall 2 backup batteries providing power in the event of an emergency. Its materials are also recycled and eco-friendly.
Shawn Nelson Builders
124 Center St. 1st Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245
Shawn Nelson Builders knows how to create exceptional homes fit for contemporary, luxurious coastal lifestyles. The firm boasts 15 years of building and remodeling homes in Los Angeles and other Pacific Coast cities. The firm has also built in Hawaii’s Kohala Coast. With its extensive experience in building waterfront residences, the firm has a deep knowledge of the weather and how it affects homes as well as an understanding of how commercial construction practices can be tweaked for the residential home building process. This knowledge allows the firm to create elegant, long-lasting homes.
An example of the firm’s best work is this gorgeous Manhattan Beach family home that overlooks the Pacific Coast. The firm worked with KAA Design to perfectly blend southern California design elements with mid-century modern architecture and tropical resort design elements. The home features an inverted floor plan and boasts a private outdoor courtyard to maximize the panoramic view. Homes such as this have allowed the firm to earn features in a variety of magazines, including Coastal Living, Sunset, Luxe, California Homes, and Architectural Digest.
Silicon Bay LA
1300 Highland Ave. Suite #102, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Since 2005, Silicon Bay LA has built and developed architectural masterpieces in the Manhattan Beach area. Its portfolio features glossy Westside homes that range from $1 million to $100 million and are often located at prime locations around the coastal city. These beautifully designed homes are achieved through exacting standards of craftsmanship, close adherence to budget, and a commitment to schedule. The firm’s team prides itself on its more than 60 years of combined experience in building and development. The team is led by founder Christian Salceda and president Ryan Schlee.
This custom home in Manhattan Beach’s Hill Section is a perfect example of the firm’s capabilities in creating high-end homes infused with the latest technology. The contemporary home offers panoramic views from Palos Verdes to Malibu, with the striking exterior detail of a suspended mahogany trellis. It is also self-sufficient in terms of energy, with a total solar power system and a Tesla backup battery. Luxury amenities include a hemlock sauna, temperature-controlled glass wine closet, and fitness studio.
1838 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
From glamorous Bel-Air homes to laidback seaside residences, SoCal Contractor has built residences as breathtaking as their locations. The full-service design-build firm offers seamless solutions for new construction, renovations, historic preservation, and landscape design. The firm’s principal, Roy Yerushalmi, is a second-generation builder and a graduate of the Construction Management Program at the University of Houston. He partners with LEED Accredited Professional Lori Dennis, who heads the design team. The environmentally responsible construction firm incorporates eco-friendly values, materials, and techniques to provide the best homes to beachside residents.
The firm has been serving Southern California Beach Cities since 2007. It builds custom homes in the affluent neighborhoods of Manhattan Beach, Venice, and Bel-Air. It is also versatile in terms of home styles, as it can create anything from Spanish villas to rock-and-roll-inspired manors. Its projects have graced the pages of Luxe, the Los Angeles Business Journal, HGTV Magazine, People Magazine, Dwell, the LA Times, the NY Times, and California Home + Design.
Titan & Co.
1601 N Sepulveda Blvd. Suite #622, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Titan & Co. is a residential and commercial design, development, and construction firm specializing in design-build project management. As a design-build firm, it provides a full range of services, from design to construction. As a general contractor, the firm completes new construction of custom homes as well as renovations and remodels of older residences. Since 2010, it has built and developed around the Manhattan and Hermosa Beach areas, including the coveted Strand neighborhood and its hillside areas. Additionally, the firm practices sustainable building techniques and uses natural and environmentally conscious materials in its projects.
The firm is run by co-founders and partner presidents Jeremy Henson and Matt Armato. Henson has more than 20 years of building experience under his belt, starting with designing custom hardscape projects in upscale New England neighborhoods. After relocating to California, he ventured into bigger custom building projects and learned much from his work as a building apprentice and a production manager for a well-known Los Angeles builder. He co-founded the firm with Armato, whose design-build construction management and development skills were shaped by his extensive world travels.
White Sands Construction
141 Arena St., El Segundo, CA 90245
For more than a decade, White Sands Construction has helped shape the real estate scenes of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach with its beautiful beach homes and other eclectic residences. This fully integrated company provides development, design-build, and interior services through collaborative planning, state-of-the-art project management, and evaluative follow-through. The firm is headed by its co-founders Brett Malkin and Michael Capobianco. With experience in developing more than ten master planned communities, Malkin oversees the business and operations side of White Sands. Capobianco serves as the lead general contractor and head of the firm.
One of the firm’s best examples of a Manhattan Beach home is this cross between a farmhouse and beach house. Featured in Southbay Home, the residence was designed by the firm’s in-house interior designer, Hawlie Ohe. She has completed many notable projects, including a New York penthouse she designed for a Hollywood producer. Per Hawlie’s vision, the firm included white marble, French oak floors, and wood carpentry detailing throughout the home. The home also features a four-stop elevator, movie theater, and high-performance kitchen.
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