Brentwood

 

Brentwood

Brentwood offers some of Los Angeles’ finest estates which have the unique quality of being secluded and yet still conveniently close to the village atmosphere of central Brentwood with all its shopping, restaurants and amenities. Unexpectedly, hillside horse properties do exist in Brentwood and nearby Pacific Palisades making it possible to have a ranch-style oasis in the middle of the city. In addition, it is said that Brentwood is where the California Ranch Style house was conceived by architect Clifford May.

Brentwood has approximately 63,000 people living in 18,000 residences. Half the residences are single family dwellings; the other half are apartments and condos. Homes regularly sell for a million dollars or more.

Several movie stars and other show biz personalities live in Brentwood. Historically, the area that is now Brentwood was part of the Rancho San Vicente, Santa Monica, a Spanish land-grant sold off in pieces to Anglos after Mexico’s defeat in the Mexican-American War. An agricultural district (soybeans, avocados, et al.) at the time of its annexation by Los Angeles in 1916, Brentwood is now one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles and one of the prominent districts of the Westside. It has prosperous commercial districts along each of its major east-west thoroughfares (Wilshire, San Vicente and Sunset Boulevards.). It is largely populated by professionals and executives.

Brentwood, like nearby Santa Monica, is kept fairly cool by marine breezes off the Pacific Ocean and frequently wakes to the so-called “marine layer,” a cover of clouds brought in at night and burned off by mid-morning. The topography of the area is generally split into two, broadly divided by Sunset Boulevard.

North of Sunset, the area is defined by the ridges and canyons created by the Santa Monica Mountains. Several of these residential canyons lead directly to trails that wind up into the mountains offering great hiking and mountain-biking opportunities as well as ocean, canyon and city views. South of Sunset (exceptions include Franklin Hill) the area is relatively flat. The southern district (and the neighboring Westgate-Sawtelle areas) feature underground springs which bubble up into a small creek along “the Gully” in south Brentwood near the golf course, and in the “Indian Springs” (the springs were formerly the site of a Tongva campsite) portion of the University High School campus.

San Vicente Boulevard, considered the “Main Street” of Brentwood, is divided by a wide median on which stand many large coral trees. The median and the trees replaced the derelict Pacific Electric track, and the trees have become a Historic-Cultural Monument (#148) for the city of Los Angeles. (Brentwood boosters have adopted the silhouette of a coral tree as a de facto town logo.) Bundy Drive is lined with extremely tall date palms, likely planted by the district’s original developer.

The Brentwood Country Mart offers a charming little shopping village in a series of quaint, red barns recalling Brentwood’s rancho past with a food court, gift shops, candy stores, upscale clothing boutiques and an elegant perfumerie.

Brentwood Country Club offers golf on a membership basis. Annual events include The Brentwood Art Fair (April), the Memorial Day 5K and 10K run (May), the Memorial Day Parade (May), the Taste of Brentwood food festival (September 21), and the Holiday Lights of San Vicente (starts Thanksgiving weekend at the Brentwood Gardens).