Is an Iconic Building in Santa Monica about to have its Phoenix Moment?


201 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica 

Learn more about what's to come for 201 Ocean Ave in Santa Monica.

Ocean Towers, a residential community managed by a dedicated 7-person Board of Directors, has undergone significant changes in recent years. The transformation, prompted by legal actions and a commitment to transparency, has set the stage for a thriving community with exciting developments on the horizon.

1. Board Restructuring and Legal Overhaul:

In 2018, a homeowner's lawsuit prompted the appointment of a receiver, Judge Lisa Hart Cole, to take control of Ocean Towers and remove the prior Board members and CEO. In 2019, a new Board was elected, focusing on transparency, community engagement, and pride of ownership. The legal battles resulted in settlements, returning millions of dollars to the HOA and preventing the ousted members from future involvement. Notably, embezzlement charges have been filed against former Board members and the ex-CEO, marking a commitment to accountability and justice.

2. Monthly HOA Fees and Mortgage Overview:

Understanding the financial structure is crucial for Ocean Towers residents. The monthly HOA fee covers common area maintenance and a portion of the $120 million HOA loan, maturing in 2028. This financial structure sustains the community's amenities and ensures ongoing property improvements.

3. Co-op to Condo Conversion Aspirations:

The Board is actively exploring the conversion from a Cooperative to a Condominium structure. While the timing is not guaranteed, the anticipation is that this conversion will significantly enhance the value of all units. Residents can look forward to potential positive impacts on property values and community dynamics.

4. Legal Resolutions and Impact on Owners:

Previous litigation, primarily centered around self-dealing by former Board members, has seen favorable resolutions for Ocean Towers. Settlements have been reached, returning substantial funds to the HOA. Two remaining lawsuits are not expected to materially impact the community, and prospective buyers are provided with transparent information on pending litigation.

5. Arrests and Ongoing Legal Proceedings:

In a commitment to justice, embezzlement charges have been brought against specific individuals, reflecting the determination of the legal system to address financial improprieties. The ongoing criminal prosecution signifies the community's dedication to accountability and ethical governance.

6. Building Infrastructure Updates:

Ocean Towers is actively improving its infrastructure, with the B building currently undergoing plumbing updates, taking approximately 15 business days per unit. Plans for the P building include repiping in 2024. While details on additional costs are not provided, these updates are crucial for the long-term well-being of the community.

7. Financing Options for Prospective Buyers:

Prospective buyers can explore financing options through institutions like First Republic Bank (succeeded by JPMorgan Chase). While commitments to provide loans exist, they are subject to the buyer's financial profile. Financial Center West, under President Howard Myers, is another lending option with approvals to lend at Ocean Towers.

8. Subleasing Restrictions and Community Benefits:

Ocean Towers currently restricts subleasing to 25% of all units. This limitation aims to enhance financing options for all owners and foster a sense of community among resident homeowners. Owners interested in leasing are encouraged to join a waitlist maintained by PMP Management.

9. Future Amenities:

The Board is considering a pool deck project, envisioning additional lounge chairs, modern flooring, and cabana-style seating. These enhancements aim to create a contemporary, family-friendly atmosphere for residents to enjoy.

10. Settlement Impact on HOA Finances:

As part of settlements with former Board members, the HOA has gained control over 32 units. Through management, subleasing, and eventual sales of these units, the HOA is set to receive $15 million, contributing to the community's financial stability.


Ocean Towers' journey is one of resilience, accountability, and a commitment to a vibrant community. With ongoing legal proceedings, infrastructure improvements, and plans for a condominium conversion, residents can look forward to a future marked by financial stability and enhanced property values. The community's dedication to transparency and proactive management sets a positive tone for the years to come.

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