As Toluca Lake approaches its 100th anniversary, local realtor and resident Christopher Rizzotti reflects on how his business, Toluca Lake Real Estate, has helped shape and maintain the neighborhood’s unique historic character for more than two decades. “Our role is small, but important,” he says. “We are lucky enough to sell the American dream to those who want to call Toluca Lake home. As a result, we have become stewards in preserving this special community for future generations. The people who move to Toluca Lake understand how rare it is and contribute to its vibrancy for the future.”
For that reason, the community’s storied past, stately properties and inextricable connection to the entertainment industry have endured as selling points for many of Rizzotti’s clients. “When showing a property, I make it a point to share the neighborhood’s history and point out where prominent historical figures and old Hollywood actors once resided, as well as the original locations of bygone restaurants and watering holes,” he notes.
True to his steward role, Rizzotti also encourages the preservation of the neighborhood’s many historic properties. He believes “every home has a story” and encourages clients to learn as much as possible about their home’s past to fully enjoy and retain its distinctive features. “You can’t build character in a historic home; you can only preserve it. I love working with buyers who are interested in maintaining the essence of a home or who take its history into account when restoring or remodeling,” he says. “Similarly, it’s advantageous for sellers of a historic home to share its story and highlight its special characteristics when attracting buyers. It’s truly the history that makes a house a home.”
In addition to sharing the importance of the neighborhood’s past with his clients, Rizzotti also describes the time-honored annual traditions that make the community unique. “I love to see all the homes decorated so brilliantly for Christmas, and I think we would all agree that nobody does Halloween quite like Toluca Lake,” he says, adding that his favorite memories of the neighborhood are its festive expressions of the holidays each year, especially the Holiday Open House, which he and his family look forward to every season.
Beyond Toluca Lake Real Estate, Rizzotti believes giving back to the community is important in helping it thrive for decades to come. “Our business has and will always continue to support the community through sponsorship, fundraising and volunteering,” he shares, noting that he serves on the boards of directors for Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and the Burbank Police Foundation, as well as being chair of the City of Burbank’s Planning Board. “I encourage my peers and neighbors to find meaningful ways to get involved, too. Together, we can ensure Toluca Lake is a special place to live and work for the next 100 years.”
Rizzotti says he and his team are thrilled to be a part of the neighborhood’s upcoming milestone and look forward to participating in and supporting community celebrations. “Toluca Lake Real Estate will be hosting celebratory open houses at our featured properties in 2023 to mark the neighborhood’s centennial,” he says. “Come say hello and enjoy commemorative goodies, giveaways and raffles for gift cards that support our many wonderful small businesses. Our marketing will also have a centennial feel to mark the occasion. Stay tuned for an exciting year!”