Park Avenue Over the Ocean


A Long Beach condo that resembles a pre-World War II Park Avenue flat was only created two years ago. It is in the Villa Riviera, built in 1928 as a French Normandy Revival-style apartment building for wealthy Midwesterners wanting to rent near the beach.

About this home: Paul Watson, executive vice president of leasing at the L.A. Mart, bought a studio and a one-bedroom unit in the building, then gutted and combined them, creating one condo.

The building was constructed as “apartment homes,” an unusual concept for its time. Portions were occupied by the military during World War II. Later, the 15-story tower was sold to silent screen star Norma Talmadge, who died at 64 in 1957.

The Villa Riviera was operated as a hotel for several years before it was adapted into a stock cooperative and then, in the early ‘90s, converted to condos. The 100-unit building is on the National Register of Landmarks.


Asking price: $399,000

Size: one bedroom, two baths, about 1,600 square feet

Features: The 11th-floor condo, with a dining room that seats 12, has views from the Long Beach marina and the ocean to L.A. and Mt. Baldy. The unit has a breakfast room, a library and a kitchen designed for caterers. Watson also installed a marble floor in the entry, elaborate moldings and hardwood floors.

Where: 800 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach.


Listing agents: Lee and Barbara Shoag, Re/Max College Park Realty, Long Beach, (562) 427-0669.


Ruth Ryon can be e-mailed with candidates for Home of the Week at