A Ballena Bay Home Combines the Best of Land and Sea

A Ballena Bay Home Combines the Best of Land and Sea


The well-appointed Alameda manse offers modern luxury amid gardens and the bay.

If surf and turf came served in architectural form, this would be it. Tucked along the shores of Alameda’s Ballena Bay, 501 Tideway Drive is a glamorous dish of a modern home for the landlubbing side of life. And for your inner old salt, it comes complete with a private 40-foot boat dock just steps away.

“The home has a rare combination of a boat dock and a huge backyard/rear garden, which is truly magical,” said David Gunderman, co-listing agent with his partner, Andrew Raskopf-Gunderman, of The Gunderman Group and Alain Pinel Realtors. “There are tons of fruit trees and an exclusive easement that leads down to the water.”

First, let’s take a dip in the house. Built in 1987, the tri-level, 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home sits with similar dwellings on a quiet cul-de-sac where your noisiest neighbors may just be the seagulls. It’s on the Island’s West End, an area transforming daily as development surges through the old Navy base at Alameda Point.

Indeed, the neighborhood is not far from one of Alameda’s main drags, Webster Street. Long-ago home to bars and tattoo parlors serving military personnel stationed on the island, it’s now dotted with cafes and shops — even a pinball museum. It’s also close to Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach where kite surfers skim the waves and families frolic on the shore. (Don’t miss the annual sandcastle-building contest each June.)

But Tideway Drive seems a world away. The home’s exterior is clad in horizontal dark-wood siding, its front entry flanked by mature palms. French front doors swing in to a welcoming foyer. To your right, walk down two steps into the spacious sunken living room, awash in white walls but warmed by the dark hardwood flooring. The room is illuminated with can lights embedded in the 10-foot ceilings. A modern fireplace — an insert framed with a custom Art Deco-inspired black-and-white soapstone/limestone mantel — serves as the focal point.

Step up to the dining area with a Capiz-shell chandelier and windows looking out on neighborhood trees. Then pass through to the stunningly remodeled kitchen. One full wall is made up of gray marble tiles, serving as a dramatic backdrop for the stainless steel stove hood. Bright, white cabinetry sets off the dark soapstone countertops, which wrap around a Swanstone double sink and stainless Jenn-Air appliances. A breakfast bar leads to the adjoining family/media room, all lined with white marble floors.

Also on the first level you’ll find a half bath, a deep closet with wine storage, and access through the family room to the garden and spacious rear patio, paved with limestone. From there, you can descend to a second patio and garden with a small fountain, mature rose bushes, and mulberry, cherry, lime, apricot, plum, and pomegranate trees. And if you keep going to the south end of the garden, you’ll find an aviary and an exclusive, enclosed easement draped with grapevines — it leads straight to the waterfront.

But before you head out to the docks, go back inside and climb a floating staircase to the upper levels. On the second floor are three light, airy bedrooms. The master features a vaulted ceiling with a faux-palm frond ceiling fan, providing a tropical feel. There’s a deck off this room, plus a walk-in closet and a large bath with white marble floors and a soapstone vanity, a deep BainUltra ThermoMasseur soaking tub, and marble-lined, glassed-in shower. A crystal chandelier adds to the elegance.

This level also includes a second large bedroom with full bath that is also accessible from the hallway, a third bedroom, and a laundry room — even the utilitarian laundry area is accented with marble floors and a quartz countertop.

Topside, on the home’s third level, is a delightful loft-like space lit by skylights with a walk-in closet and the third full bath, making it an ideal guest suite, office, or media room. Views from the windows look out over the cul-de-sac, through to the bay, and out to the private dock area where small boats — one of them likely yours — bob and weave in their slips. It’s the perfect combo of land and sea and style.


The Particulars


501 Tideway Drive, Alameda

4 Bedrooms

3.5 Bathrooms

Private boat dock, rear garden and patio, upgraded chef’s kitchen

Two-car garage

3,034 square feet

Agents: David Gunderman and Andrew Raskopf-Gunderman, The Gunderman Group, Alain Pinel Realtors.


Faces of the East Bay