Don’t know Joe Hanauer? He’s largely responsible for the renovation of the Old Pottery Place and 580 Broadway. “The Old Pottery Place took a Laguna icon, which unfortunately was falling apart and attracting a declining number of customers, and with Morris Skenderian’s help, converted it into a popular destination for shopping and dining,” he explains. “Together with La Casa del Camino and Village Fair, it brought dynamics to a great neighborhood, which now promotes itself as the HIP District.
“[The property at] 580 Broadway—across the street from what someday will hopefully be a real village entrance—took another complex in a terrible state of disrepair and turned it back into a delightful professional center.”
With a house here in Laguna for 25 years, Joe and his wife Jane (owner of Laguna Beach Books) are active in the community. In addition to his key work in real estate, he serves on many boards, including Laguna Beach Live and Laguna Playhouse. “For Laguna Beach Live, [I hope] to help it continue its remarkable mission of providing quality live music accessible to everyone and to continue improving the quality and innovation of our performances,” he says. “For The Laguna Playhouse, [my goal is] to fulfill its mission of being a center for performing arts here in Laguna. This includes quality and innovative theater, music, dance, comedy, lectures and other live events.”
What is one thing Joe would like to see change in Laguna? “I may make enemies by saying this, but I’d like almost all of our art organizations—visual arts as well as performing arts—to continue cranking up their quality and sophistication. We do a bunch in both camps, but could do even more and do it even better. Separately, I wish more people would support the many charitable organizations that serve this town and wish more people would shop locally.”