Enjoy a million-dollar view, for about a million dollars

After more than a decade, the Texas-based Genesis Development, which built the Aqua condominium buildings in Downtown Long Beach, is getting out of the condo-leasing business and selling off the last four of its original 36 penthouse units (18 in each unit) in Aqua, the largest vertical community in the city.

Genesis held back the sale of the top two floors’ units for more than 10 years, during which time it retained the Mike Dunfee Group to lease and manage the top units in the 19-floor buildings  until they were ready to fully exit the project.

So now there are the final four penthouses for sale for the first time in Aqua, by listing agent Dunfee, at what he says are very reasonable prices ranging from $965,000 to $1.15 million a copy.

The cheapest (if that term can be used for something a few grand south of a million dollars) is the only one with city and mountain views, while the other three have ocean views. “But it’s big,” says Dunfee of the city-view model.

City and mountain views from the balcony of a $965,000 Aqua penthouse. Photo courtesy of Mike Dunfee.

And, yeah, it’s supposed to be big. It’s a penthouse. “The units have extra high ceilings and they don’t feel like condos; they feel like houses. Some people say they feel like houses in the sky.”

You can argue that sweeping city and mountain views can be just as spectacular as ocean views, but  it would likely be an argument that you’d lose bringing anything less than superhuman powers of persuasion to the debate stage.

So let’s not appear to be unseemly cheap about this and go for one of the last three ocean-view units that are so high up you can see the tops of some of the taller buildings in Japan from your balcony.

Ocean views like this one are a selling point for three of the final four Aqua penthouses now for sale. Photo courtesy of Mike Dunfee.

They sit at the highest reaches of the 556-unit complex and come with a big selling point: two parking spaces — one of which is a lockable enclosed space allowing you to keep bicycles, golf clubs and other items securely stored.

The penthouses are all two-story units situated on the 18th and 19th floors of the towers at 388 and 488 E. Ocean Blvd., and range in interior roaming space from 2,094 to 2,330 square feet.

For the most part, you’ll enjoy views of the Long Beach Arena and the Performing Arts Center, as well as the Queen Mary and the Carnival Cruise ships, and I can think of few more pleasurable leisure activities than sitting on my 19th floor veranda watching a docked cruise ship while nursing an extra-dry martini and chattering with my agreeable spouse about what a horrible time we’d have if we ever went on a cruise.

Amenities abound at the Aqua. For your personal enjoyment you have a spacious pad with hardwood floors, central air, three or four bathrooms, a kitchen chockablock with Viking appliances, your choice of two master suites with walk-in closets, an office, a TV room, a couple of sitting areas and tons of storage.

An eating area with a view at an Aqua penthouse, one of four now being offered for sale. Photo courtesy of Mike Dunfee.

On the grounds, once you pry yourself out of your penthouse (as you will invariably refer to your condo), you’re welcome to use Aqua’s swimming pool and spa, avail yourself of 24-hour concierge service, lounge on the sun deck, work out in the fitness center and barbecue some ribeyes and dine outdoors on the deck.

All that and more is covered with your $600 or so HOA fees.

Interested in diving deeper in Aqua-life? Dunfee is hosting free walk-through tours of the four available penthouses from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 15. Bring your checkbook, because nothing says “Oops. Sorry I forgot Valentine’s Day” better than handing your aggrieved loved one the keys to an ocean-view home in the sky.

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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.