Hidden penthouse in Laguna for $5.75 million

Hot Homes: A 2,300-square foot home with a swimming pool, wrap-around deck and ocean views sits atop a commercial building along North Coast Highway.

You wouldn’t know that there’s a three-bedroom penthouse at the top of an office building with a popular restaurant along North Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

And up in the penthouse, you wouldn’t know that there’s a busy highway below.

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The patio of the penthouse includes a swimming pool, spa, built-in barbecue and seating area with a firepit.

“I feel like it’s my tree house,” said Kim Herbert, as she stood before large windows in the home’s great room and peered over the treetops at the Pacific Ocean. Herbert, who owns the building and lives in the penthouse, is selling the property for $5.75 million.

The building at 1223 N. Coast Highway has four offices in addition to its longtime tenant, the Mandarin King restaurant. An international management consulting firm now rents all the offices. The building comes with 15 covered parking spaces and a two-car owner’s garage. The rental units collectively bring in more than $185,000 a year, according to the listing agent, Mark Miller of RE/MAX Evolution.

The 2,300-square-foot penthouse is on the fourth floor, one level higher than other homes nearby because it was constructed in 1966 – before current building codes went into effect, Miller said. The home includes a private elevator.

A stroll to the beach, the residence has a rustic ambiance; the master bedroom and office hardwood floors were recovered from an old barn, Herbert said. The airy kitchen includes light wooden cabinets and a skylight. A window in the master bathroom faces the ocean.

“You have very good dental hygiene when you have a view of the ocean, said Herbert, a retired screen printer, as she gazed out the window. “You just sit there, brushing your teeth.”

The backyard has a swimming pool with a spa, built-in barbecue and seating area with a fire pit. The home also has a wrap-around deck facing the ocean, city and hills.

“Most people don’t even know this is up here,” Herbert said.

$ell SmArt… with Art!