Alice and Ronald Hall have lived on the water for most of their lives. The couple discovered Vero Beach when they stopped off at the old Riomar Bay Yacht Club during a storm while traveling along the Intracoastal Waterway.
It took no time at all for them to fall in love with everything the sleepy little oceanside village had to offer.
“I used to say I’d never live in Florida. Now I wonder why I didn’t do it a long time ago,” says Alice. “We started coming down by boat for the winter. Five years ago, we said it’s time to move down here full-time.”
The couple eventually viewed unit 401 at the Chelsea condominium at 4121 Ocean Drive, across from the Conn Beach boardwalk, and knew the oceanfront penthouse was the perfect place for them to call home.
Ronald, an avid boater, was most impressed by the penthouse’s efficient design. “Somebody who designed this had to be a boater because it uses space incredibly,” he says, adding that the separation of the master bedroom from the guest bedrooms allows for complete privacy. “They wake up in the morning, come out here and get some coffee and then go back out onto their balcony.”
The penthouse is accessed via a private elevator and, with only two units per floor, it offers quiet seclusion. The elevator opens into the home’s foyer, and a path of polished travertine leads to the central hallway.
The dreamy custom kitchen, created by Indian River Design Concepts, is located directly across from the foyer. It is a functional showcase equipped with high-end appliances, granite countertops and a pass-through that was enlarged during renovation commissioned by the Halls, allowing for a more open environment.
“There was nothing here but studs,” notes Ronald of the extensive remodeling project he and wife undertook. The ceiling was raised, recess lighting added along with new cabinets and a granite countertop that reminded Alice of shifting sands, perfect for oceanfront living.
The open-plan space eases into the dining room and living room, which transition seamlessly through a wall of sliding glass doors onto the balcony where Ronald and Alice enjoy morning coffee and people watching.
“It’s an unbelievable entertainment of people, lifestyles, sea turtles and the ocean. It’s an incredible experience,” says Ronald.
The couple agrees that what they’ll miss most is watching the sunrise over the ocean every morning from the balcony, where there’s ample room for dining al fresco on balmy nights and cooking out on the grill that slips into the cabinet when not in use.
“Every morning I’m up to see the sunrise,” says Alice, pointing toward the ocean from the balcony, which provides a spectacular 180-degree view of the Atlantic Ocean.
“Every sunrise is a fingerprint,” Ronald adds.
If you can manage to draw your attention from the charming and ever-changing view, the living room features built-in cherry cabinets, plantation shutters, crown molding, tray ceilings, recessed lighting and speakers throughout, touches of elegance adding to the home’s ambiance.
“With beautiful finishes and views and low maintenance, it is ideal for enjoying a seaside lifestyle,” says Matilde Sorensen, Dale Sorensen Real Estate broker-owner.
The master suite lies just off the living room with floor-to-ceiling sliders that open onto the oceanfront balcony. The spacious suite also includes his and her walk-in closets and a spa-like bathroom.
A sea of marble anchors the custom cabinetry in the master bath. The perfectly designed space, with walk-in shower, water closet and jetted tub, was upgraded during the remodel.
Heading down the hallway toward the western wing of the condo one comes to the laundry room, guest bath and a wet bar with wine cooler, all situated in close proximity to the communal areas, which provide a natural buffer between the guest rooms and master suite, creating a level of detached privacy.
Two guest bedrooms with a shared sunset balcony sit at the end of the hallway, one with an en-suite bath, the other near the hallway bathroom. The Halls use the third bedroom as an office and admit they spend just as much time on the rear, west-facing balcony overlooking the community pool as they do on the oceanside balcony.
Ronald points out safety features including the impact windows, automatic oceanside roll down shutters, and two emergency stairwells, one located in the foyer and the other accessed from the sunset balcony. But one of his favorite spaces is their private, air-conditioned, two-car garage equipped with television and a refrigerator.
He enjoys puttering around in his “man cave” while Alice plays bridge with her friends in the cabana at the poolside clubhouse. When the grandchildren visit, they can take a swim in the pool or what Ronald refers to as Papa’s ocean.
“This residence is situated in the perfect location. The Chelsea is an intimate community with only six units,” says Sorensen.
Alice enjoys the convenience of the location.
“We can be almost anywhere within 10 or 15 minutes. You can walk to the shops on Ocean Drive or take a quick drive to Quail Valley. It’s just so convenient.”
Agreeing, Ronald adds, “we love the location, and it’s hard to duplicate this.”
The Chelsea is located in Central Beach area between Jaycee Park and Vero’s seaside village. The building is across the street from the ocean, and the community pool and clubhouse offer an alternative for outdoor fun. Ocean Drive shopping and dining are a quick stroll away. Also nearby are the city marina, off-leash dog park, Riverside Park, Vero Beach Museum of Art and Riverside Theatre.
- Address: 4121 Ocean Drive #401
- Neighborhood: Chelsea Condominium
- Year built: 2005
- Home size: 2,500 square feet
- Construction: Concrete block with stucco
- Bedrooms: 3
- Bathrooms: 3
- Additional features: Impact glass, electric oceanside hurricane shutters, sunrise and sunset balconies, private elevator, spa bath, gourmet kitchen, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf oven and cooktop, wet bar, wine cooler, jetted tub and two-car air-conditioned garage.
- Listing agency: Dale Sorensen Real Estate
- Listing agent: Matilde Sorensen, Broker Owner, 772-532-0010
- Listing price: $1,600,000