Luxury Hollywood Riviera Project OKd

Plans to build 28 homes on the former Parkway School site in the Hollywood Riviera neighborhood were approved early Wednesday by the Torrance City Council, and the project's developer hopes to begin work in four to five months.

The plans call for a gated community with a tennis court and private park. The two-story homes will sell for $850,000 to $1 million, said Craig Knickerbocker, president and owner of Knickerbocker & Associates of Lomita, a development and construction firm.

The project is to be built on a 6.23-acre school site that was once owned by the Torrance Unified School District. The district sold the site in 1980 for $2.65 million to Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles. The Lycee sold the land in 1989 for $10.6 million to Manhattan Holding Co., a real estate investment firm that still owns the property.

The developer plans to demolish the school buildings and subdivide the land into residential lots ranging from 6,250 to 9,400 square feet. The homes themselves will be 3,657 to 3,748 square feet.

Despite the recent slowdown in the California real estate market, Knickerbocker said he is confident that the houses, which will have an ocean view, will sell.

"There's excitement about this site like no other site I've been involved with," he said Wednesday. In particular, he cited the project's close proximity to the beach and the security gates, which will do away with problems associated with beach traffic.

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