The Big Rock neighborhood in Malibu has seen a surge in popularity recently, with a steady pace of significant sales in the first half of 2016. Buyer’s have discovered that almost every home in Big Rock offers spectacular ocean views in this relatively small community, situated on a bluff high above PCH. Big Rock Drive itself is a short, 1 ½ mile curving, canyon road which connects the mountains to the sea. But the even the homes at the top of the canyon are only about ½ mile from the ocean, providing a bird’s eye view of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Santa Monica Bay, Queen’s Necklace, Catalina & Point Dume.
Another valuable bonus is that commuters have shorter drives, since Big Rock is just 6 miles down PCH to Santa Monica; making it Malibu’s “closest-to-town neighborhood.” Public beach access is across PCH at the 20000 block, where there is a wide staircase down to a pocket beach with some rocks but sandy when the tide is out. Parking is difficult to find on the beach side, but available on the if you cross PCH with caution!
Originally, much of the Big Rock Drive area was purchased in 1936 by William Randolph Hearst, who planned to build an estate on the property. He sold the lower portion of his Big Rock holdings in 1944 to Art Jones who was one of the early realtors in Malibu. Jones began with the initial leases of Rindge land in Malibu Colony, was part-owner of the Malibu Inn, Malibu Trading Post and the Big Rock Beach Cafe (which is now Moonshadows Restaurant.) A neighborhood of some 300 single family homes was then built in the 1950’s and 1960’s, predominantly Mid-Century ranches, Post & Beam and California Bungalows. Now most of these homes have been rebuilt, remodeled and expanded to meet current standards.
But in the not so recent past, Big Rock had the shadow of “uncertain geology” which dampened real estate appreciation in the area. In 1983, rising groundwater induced a slow moving landslide. The County installed groundwater controls via a drainage project which the City of Malibu now oversees. City of Malibu Big Rock Mesa Landslide Maintenance District No. 98-1. The program’s administrative and maintenance services include the oversight for dewatering wells, groundwater controls, slide activities and preparation for the annual assessment & geology reports. The program has been such a success, now most residents and experts consider the slide to be “ancient history.”
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