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Lido’s Allure: Record Home Sale, Building Boom

A wave of new investment on Newport Beach’s Lido Isle is sending home valuations soaring for the 117-year-old community.

A recent record sale is just a sign of what’s to come for the 875-home community, the largest of Newport Harbor’s nine islands. Valuations for the area’s waterfront homes have more than tripled in recent years, according to local brokers.

“If some of the newer properties on the east side of the island were to sell today, they would go for at least $60 million,” Jon Flagg, a global luxury agent at Coldwell Banker Realty, told the Business Journal.

Just two homes have ever sold above that benchmark in Orange County.

Driving those higher values are a roster of “quiet” billionaire homeowners and local executives who have planted their flag on Lido Isle, drawn to the larger lot parcels, redevelopment opportunities and the overall feel of the neighborhood.

“There’s a lot of quiet money here, with buyers attracted to the social events and beach vibe, without having to deal with the short-term vacation rental issues seen in other beach neighborhoods,” Flagg, a 21-year Lido Isle resident and the island’s former head tennis pro, said.

Lido Isle is seeing more investment interest than other island counterparts due to the older inventory of homes for sale, Flagg said.

About 25 homes are under construction on the island, with roughly half of those homes on the waterfront. The value for those homes is approaching $500 million.

“All but two of the construction projects are for end users,” Flagg said.

Record Sale

The neighborhood’s 103 Via Lido Soud traded hands last month for $24 million, setting a new record for Lido Isle. The sale bested the prior record at Lido Isle by more than $5 million.

Flagg was recently involved in a sale of two adjacent homes sold by the same owner in an off-market deal totaling $25.5 million; the new owner has torn down the existing properties and is rebuilding a home on the 2.5-parcel lot.

A new home on that parcel would have sold closer to $40 million, Flagg notes.

“Nicer, newer homes on larger lots will sell for a premium well beyond the cost of the lot and construction,” Flagg said.

By comparison, the record on-market sale for the gated, 29-home Harbor Island—sometimes referred to as Billionaire Island due to its collection of ultra-wealthy residents—tops $21 million, for now.

A home on Harbor Island’s more desirable Southern side hit the market in July for $74 million, which would set a new record for Orange County if sold at that price.

Lido Isle’s just-broken record is expected to soon be surpassed by one of several recently rebuilt homes on the man-made island.

“There is constant remodeling and new builds,” Sean Stanfield of Stanfield Real Estate Group, which represented the buyer and seller of 103 Via Lido Soud, told the Business Journal.

Local Roster

Lido Isle likely counts more notable names in OC business circles than any other island in Newport Beach.

Prominent residents on Lido Isle include Oculus VR and Anduril Industries founder Palmer Luckey; City Ventures Chairman Craig Atkins; homebuilder Bill H. Lyon, the son of the late General William Lyon; Allergan co-founder Gavin Herbert; R.D. Olson Development CEO Bob Olson; and communications executive Steve Churm, founder of Churm360.

The island is also home to former Apria Healthcare CEO Larry Higby, Boardwalk Investments Group and ioXt Alliance founder Gary Jabara, and local entrepreneur and philanthropist Mike Gray.

Many of these executives live on the island’s east side with turning basin—or open channel—views.

Several island residents also own notable commercial properties in the vicinity.

Olson, who is building a new home on the east side of the island, developed the nearby Lido House hotel, which has become a community gathering place following its opening about five years ago.

Jabara, who made his first fortune via wireless infrastructure firm Mobilitie, owns The Landing, a shopping center along Newport Boulevard, across the street from Lido House.

It holds a grocer and other stores, including his flagship Chihuahua Cerveza restaurant.
Atkins, who moved to the island after selling a home on the Newport Peninsula for $35 million in 2019, owns property in and around the nearby Lido Marina Village, a collection of upscale shops and restaurants that’s seen a major revitalization over the past decade.

“The redevelopment of Lido Marina Village has been a boom for the island,” Flagg said.

Prime Location

Wealthy OC execs have flocked to Lido, which is accessed via the Balboa Peninsula, for its sizable waterfront properties, nearby amenities, and community perks, such as its clubhouse and tennis courts.

“It’s a very charming place,” Alison McCormick of Arbor Real Estate, who represented the buyer and seller in Lido Isle’s prior record sale of 808 Via Lido Nord, told the Business Journal.

“We’re a lot more low-key here” compared to neighborhoods like Harbor Island, according to McCormick, a third-generation resident of the neighborhood.

The community’s high-priced homes primarily derive their value from their prime location and large lot sizes, according to Stanfield.

Several homes have been built on double lots, including the just-sold 103 Via Lido Soud.
About 250 of Lido Isle’s 875 homes are on the water. Fewer than 15 of those properties have sold for more than $10 million.

Further inland, Lido Isle homes have yet to top $10 million. The closest sale to reach that amount was 123 Via Florence when it sold for $8.8 million in July.

Lot Sizes

The largest property in Bayshore tops 7,700 square feet, while Lido Isle’s current record-breaker, seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom 103 Via Lido Soud, located on the northern end of the island, spans 9,500 square feet.

The total lot size for 103 Via Lido Soud spans more than 11,000 square feet, which is roughly four times the size of a basic bayfront lot in Lido Isle, McCormick noted.

Apart from its large lot size, properties like 103 Via Lido Soud can fetch top dollar due to features such as docks, which can no longer be built onto properties as a result of policies from the Coastal Commission and the city of Newport Beach, according to McCormick.

Its dock can fit two to three boats, possibly one as long as 150 feet.

With the exception of 103 Via Lido Soud, properties in Lido Isle range from roughly 1,000 square feet to over 7,398 square feet. Most of the neighborhood’s homes sit around 4,000 square feet.

The same goes for Bayshore, though 2511 Bayshore Drive is the only home in the neighborhood to top 4,500 square feet.

Buyer Activity

Lido Isle has seen 17 sales in the last six months, according to McCormick.

That’s a normal amount of activity for the neighborhood, she said, despite the recent economic slowdown.

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