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The Dirt On Whole Foods

Posted by John Hathorn on March 21, 2018
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Grocery shopping on Montana Ave has already seen some changes since Amazon’s acquisition of Whole foods last year.  This move, as well as the circumstances that made it possible, are making an impact on business at large and on the Santa Monica lifestyle.  Here’s the dirt on the changes we’ve seen so far.

It wasn’t too long ago, that you could walk into Whole Foods or Bristol Farms and spot a celebrity (or two) picking up some eggs or kombucha.  With Amazon Fresh incorporating Whole Foods options into their online store, Google (noun not verb in this case) is getting into the online grocery market with Google Express, and Instacart gaining popularity. It’s not surprising that shopping for groceries online has lost its boujee reputation.  With this change in culture, grocery store celebrity spotting is a much rarer occurrence.

Good news for loyal Amazon customers- if you have an Amazon Prime rewards Visa and you have an Amazon Prime account, you can also now get 5% cash back at Whole Foods. If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, and just the Visa, you can still get 3% cash back.

Amazon says they wasted no time slashing prices, and on the day of the acquisition, they say they reduced prices by up to 40%. I’m not much of a shopper but my friends and colleagues that went to the Whole Foods on Montana and 15th told me only avocados got a tiny bit cheaper. The Whole Foods loyalty program is also going to be replaced by Amazon Prime.  The discount program is aimed to break competitors like Ralphs, Target and Costco.

Some Whole Foods will also feature Amazon lockers inside their locations, which allow you to have your packages delivered to a secure location for pick up, rather than worry about “Porch Pirates” stealing your orders while you’re away from home. I used one of these lockers recently (at the 7-11 on 16th) for a return and I must say, it was pretty cool!

If you prefer to get your produce from the farmers markets on Wednesday or Saturday on Arizona Avenue, then Amazon is still fighting for your business. They’ve actually been running their Farmers Market Direct program for over 2 years now.

I’m not sure how these moves will affect Santa Monica small business and the local economy in the long run. It seems like we are quickly living in a science fiction movie, but for better or worse, you’ve got to hand it to Jeff Bezos, he’s definitely bringing change to Santa Monica and the rest of the world.

In real estate news…

Quite a few new listings!

328 21st Place- Listed for 3,495,000. Current house is 3 bedrooms + 2 baths with a guest house. Large 9,029 sqft lot. This will be an interesting sale as it is one of the 1st land value offerings of its kind since the new, more restrictive building size ordinance. Also affecting matters is the fact that this property is designated potentially historic.

464 25th Street- Listed for 7,995,000. Originally built and listed for sale in 2014 for $7,750,000 but did not end up selling at that time. 5 bedrooms + 7.5 baths- approximately 7,756 sqft with basement and pool. These Sellers have bought a larger home and have already moved. (So much for the notion that people don’t ‘need’ such large homes)

430 Adelaide Drive- Want to make nearly double your money in 6 months? That’s what this owner appears to be doing after paying $8.8M in November of last year. Now listed for $13,750,000. 19,642 sqft lot (the ocean and canyon view protection parcel across the street is included in the list price). Rebuild or remodel opportunity.

734 19th Street- This was being shown off-market for the past few months at a higher price but is now listed in the MLS for $4,295,000. 5 bedrooms + 3.5 baths. Single story, open and bright contemporary inside.  Last sold in 2015 for $2,350,000.

221 25th Street- Listed for $4,310,000. 4 bedrooms + 3.5 baths, approx. 3,355 sqft. Charming St. Tropez style. 2003 renovations and nicely maintained. Last sold in 2016 for $2,667,500. Backs up to the businesses on 26th street but seems like really good value and priced appropriately.

Three properties went into escrow-

107 Larkin Place- 5 bedrooms + 7 baths; listed for 6,295,000. Originally listed last year for $6,495,000. Totally renovated (and essentially new) 4900 sqft house, all above ground with pool and ocean views. Last sold, as land value, for $3,395,000.

311 23rd Street – Re-Listed for $4,890,000. Originally listed in October 2017 for $5,450,000. County English home with 4 bedrooms and 3.75 baths, on a large 10,072 square foot lot. Property also has a detached 1 bedroom guest house. Listed for $5,450,000. Private backyard with pool, spa and outdoor shower. Last sold November 27, 2012 for $2,950,000.


322 20th Street– Listed for $4,395,000. 4 bedrooms + 3.5 baths, approx. 3,300 sqft. Remodeled Spanish with pool and converted garage studio.

Two properties sold-

346 Euclid Street- Listed for $3,795,000. Sold for $3,475,000.

446 25th Street – Re-Listed for $5,998,000. Sold for $5,998,000.


We have a great investment property that is not yet in MLS. A duplex can be had for under $3M. Plus a couple of upcoming attractions – including one on La Mesa, that are not yet listed in the MLS, priced from $1.9 million to $16 million. Call me for details!


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