A beach pad with a Pacific view — and a mayoral past

I’m particular about my beach houses. Incredibly particular, in fact, given that I can’t even afford a subterranean granny shack within 30 blocks of the sea. Nevertheless, if you’re hoping to be my benefactor, please don’t annoy me by giving me one of those gilded and overbuilt marble fortresses with seven bedrooms and 14 bathrooms that scarf up waterfront real estate.

If you insist on pigeonholing me, you’d want to categorize me as a Cape Cod/Nantucket guy who would be more than ecstatic to live out my days in this tri-level place just listed on 11 67th Place on the Alamitos Peninsula.

The view of the Pacific Ocean is as eternal as it is glistening from the home’s second and third floor and its wide-open floor plan is more friendly and inviting than its overly ornamental cousins on the swanky stretch that look more like overwrought Ritz-Carltons than beach houses.

With oceanic views of both sunrises and sunsets and everything in between from its sprawling second-floor living/dining and kitchen areas. And, for those who enjoy the occasional bottle of wine or nip of whiskey, there’s an 800-bottle wine cellar just off the kitchen — and on my tour of the house, it took the spectacular ocean view to drag me out of the cellar.

Wine room for 800 bottles at the home at 11 67th Place on the Peninsula. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The four-bedroom, three-bath house gives you 3,447 square feet of space on a 2,455 square-foot lot, and the serious selling point is the  master suite taking up the entire third level, with a fireplace an enormous master bath, walk-in closet and views that will make people stuck down on Level 2 jealous.

What’s more, the home comes with a political pedigree. From 1980 until 2000, it was the residence of former Mayor Beverly O’Neill, who has lived on the Peninsula since 1957, when she and her husband Bill (who died in 2012) bought a house on 57th Place, where their daughter Teresa was born.

Beverly grew up in inland Long Beach, attending Lee and Burbank Elementary, Hamilton Junior High and Poly, where she met her husband.

“I didn’t know the beach even existed when I was growing up,” she said, somewhat hyperbolically. “I never went there until I met Bill.”

She’s rarely left since. The couple bought their home on 57th Place in 1957 and moved to the house on 67th Place around 1980. It was a duplex when they bought it and the O’Neills lived in the top levels, and still resided there when Beverly was elected mayor in 1994.

Some time around then, the O’Neills had plans drawn up to convert the duplex into a single family dwelling, but never got around to the construction. The conversion didn’t take place until after the O’Neills sold the place in 2000 and moved to the boardwalk, where the couple bought a house that Beverly had coveted for decades.

Old plans to transform the O’Neill home from a duplex to a single-family dwelling. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

“The 67th Place house was a great place,” said Teresa O’Neill, who occasionally lived in the bottom half of the house with her son Nolan. She still lives close to the water in her home in Belmont Shore.

The 67th Place house is listed by Realtor Ben Fisher at $2,395,000, a bargain, if you’re wealthy enough for this sort of bargain, at $694 per square foot.

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.
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