In the shade: Shade Redondo under construction on the Redondo Beach waterfront
Mike Zislis opened the Shade Hotel in Metlox in Manhattan Beach in 2005, and the hotel’s second iteration is currently under construction in the Redondo Beach Marina.
Zislis is confident that his new hotel, with a price tag of $21 million dollars, will be instrumental in defining the new waterfront development.
“I truly believe Redondo is ready for a big transformation,” said Zislis. “It’s a dilapidated waterfront. It really needs a rebirth, and I really believe that Shade will be the catalyst of this rebirth….By bringing the community here and by making it the focal point of the community, I think that, now, people will come to the harbor for the heart of the city. Which isn’t really happening right now — it’s a second thought to go there. I believe [Shade Redondo] will be the start of it.”
Zislis grew up in Rolling Hills Estates, and now lives in Manhattan Beach where he farms 31 varieties of tomatoes and raises chickens in his garden. He is a self-proclaimed “conservative environmentalist”, and his green thumb extends to the very makeup of his hotels.
The entire project will be LEED-certified (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), and the bed frames of the hotel will be built from timber recycled from the Red Onion restaurant, which previously inhabited the grounds on which the new 54-room hotel will be built. All of the businesses in the Zislis Group use Ecover chemicals and practice composting, and none use bleach or styrofoam products.
“I designed [Shade Redondo] to be more in tune with Redondo’s vintage past,” said Zislis. “I blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.”
The interior of the Shade Redondo will include a Korean solid surface material, bamboo accents and pebbled flooring in the lobby, and nautical threads throughout. Zislis has created a new term to describe his nautical, Asian-inspired design aesthetic: “yacht shui”.
“Shade Hotel is a community space,” said Zislis. “I’ve got rooms that are set up for families, for bachelor parties, groomsmen, girls nights out. I’ve got a few penthouses that are crazy designed. Shade is where people go for their 50th birthday party or their bar mitzvah or their wedding. It’s very community-oriented.”
Shade Redondo’s event space will fill a much needed void in the Redondo community. Each of the hotel’s three floors has dedicated a part of its level for event space. The ground floor restaurant, the second floor ballroom, and the roof skydeck can each hold almost 200 people at full capacity.
The new hotel will also include a kosher kitchen, which Zislis says is the first of its kind. The entire kitchen will be able to be disconnected and rolled away, and flatware, glassware, plateware, silverware, and kitchen appliances that have never touched pork will be procured from a room on premises to which only a rabbi has the key.
“If you really want to have a kosher event, Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach will be the place,” said Zislis. “We’ll be the only one in the South Bay. I’ve already booked my first first bar mitzvah where they’ll be eating.”
Exterior amenities include a wide but currently defunct promenade.
“We have a 16-foot promenade, and that is, as Sarah Palin said, a bridge to nowhere right now, because I’m landlocked to the right and to the left,” Zislis said.
Zislis is hopeful that the new plans for the waterfront will remedy longstanding connectivity issues between the Hermosa and Redondo waterfronts.
“There was no real central planning. You get on the sidewalk, and you gotta stop, and walk down some stairs. and walk your bike, and it’s like how do you get through this town, you know? You come in from Hermosa Beach; you hit a wall, no joke. A wall. Okay there’s a wall at the end of Hermosa Beach pier when you get to Redondo. Who comes up with stuff like that? Just kind of stupid stuff like that, that they need to fix. And it sounds like they’re fixing it.”