Westwood is a district in western Los Angeles, California, not to be confused with Westwood, California. Westwood is best known as the home of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The eastern portions of the district are often thought of as a distinctly different neighborhood, Holmby Hills. Westwood was carved from the old Wolfskill Farm, a 3,000-plus-acre tract that was purchased in 1919 by wealthy retailer Arthur Letts. Letts’ son-in-law, Harold Janss, was vice president of Janss Investment Co., which developed the area and started advertising new homes in 1922.
Because there is a census-designated place (CDP) in Northern California’s Lassen County named Westwood, California, the United States Postal Service has declared that all mail addressed to the Westwood district of Los Angeles must be labeled “Los Angeles, CA” instead of “Westwood, CA”. In general, all districts of Los Angeles located south of the San Fernando Valley (with one or two exceptions) are addressed “Los Angeles, CA”.
Located in the northern central portion of Los Angeles’ West Side, Westwood is bordered by Brentwood on the west, Bel-Air on the north, Century City and Beverly Hills on the east, West Los Angeles on the southwest, Rancho Park on the southeast, and Sawtelle on the south and southwest. The district’s boundaries are generally considered to be Olympic Blvd. (or Pico Blvd. and, by some, Santa Monica Blvd.) on the southeast, the city limits of Beverly Hills on the northeast, and Sunset Boulevard on the north; its southwestern boundary is the San Diego Freeway between Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards, and Veteran Avenue between Wilshire and Sunset.
Westwood’s major thoroughfares include Santa Monica, Sepulveda, Beverly Glen, Wilshire, Westwood, and Sunset Boulevards. The district is served by the San Diego Freeway. Numerous bus lines serve the area, and recently instituted bus rapid transit service runs along Wilshire.
The area’s notorious traffic has led to calls for the extension of the Wilshire leg of the Los Angeles Metro’s Red Line subway to Westwood from its current endpoint at Western Avenue in Koreatown.
The Metro and Caltrans have also begun a project to widen the San Diego Freeway between the interchanges with the Marina Freeway (CA/SR-90) in Culver City and the Ventura Freeway (U.S. Route 101) in Sherman Oaks; the project, which will finally add a northbound carpool lane to the congested route, is not scheduled for completion until 2007 at the earliest.
A center of movie-going on the Westside and the site of many movie premieres, Westwood is home to several vintage movie theaters, including the Art Deco Crest, the Mann Village (once called the Fox Theatre) and the Mann Bruin. Westwood is where the infamous Playboy Mansion, and home of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, is located.
Westwood is also home to the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the last resting place of many of Hollywood’s biggest stars. A museum named for and endowed by activist and philanthropist Armand Hammer, longtime head of Occidental Petroleum (which maintains its headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard), has become one of Los Angeles’ trendiest cultural attractions since UCLA assumed its management in the 1990s. The Hammer, as it is commonly known, is particularly notable for its collection of Impressionist art and cutting-edge modern art exhibitions.
Westwood VillageBuilt by the Janss family and wildly successful from its earliest stages, the Westwood Village shopping district successfully retained its cozy village atmosphere even as the San Diego Freeway came through the area in the 1950s and high-rise office towers went up around it in the following decades. However, much of this construction was planned around the never-built Beverly Hills Freeway; in combination with a severe parking shortage at UCLA, high-density development in Westwood has created some of the worst traffic congestion in Los Angeles. Even with the opening of numerous municipal parking structures in the 1990s and 2000s, finding a parking spot in Westwood Village is still a notoriously difficult task. With the proximity of Westwood’s towering business area to its shops that line the streets around UCLA, parking and traffic issues dominate local planning debates.
Little Holmby the Premiere Neighborhood in Westwood:
The neighborhood known as “Little Holmby” in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, CA 90024 has long been named one of the best neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles. Anchored by the Warner Avenue Elementary School which is a Los Angeles Unified School District K-5 public elementary school located in the very supportive community of Westwood/West LA. Warner has an outstanding API (Academic Performance Index) ranking of 10 out of a possible 10 with impressive API scores of 963 for both 2010 and 2011.Recent history. The Little Holmby area has homes ranging in price from about $1.8 million to close to $10 million and is surrounded by Holmby Hills to the East, Bel Air to the North and Westwood to the West & South. Bordered by Beverly Glen Boulevard on the East, Sunset Boulevard to the North, Hilgard on the West & Wilshire Boulevard on the South. Also known for it’s architectural beauty, elegant homes and rolling hills.
Many local observers contend that Westwood Village’s heyday was between the 1960s and the mid-1980s, when some of the streets were so crowded with pedestrians that they were closed to vehicular traffic. The murder of innocent bystander Karen Toshima, during a gun battle between rival gangs on January 30, 1988, gained nationwide notoriety and led to the widespread impression that even affluent Westwood was not immune to the crime wave then ravaging Los Angeles. It would take more than a decade for this perception to fade. Some residents hold to a conspiracy theory that Westwood’s ’90s doldrums were a consequence of local developers intentionally depressing local businesses in hopes forcing them to sell out so that they could overtake whole blocks and implement plans for large mixed use complexes.
Today, while Westwood is again regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, its retail sector has been slow to recover in the face of increased competition from Century City, the newly revitalized Culver City, the very popular Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and mid-city attractions like Park La Brea’s The Grove, as well as Downtown Los Angeles which itself is going through a renaissance. Recently, it has been notoriously difficult for new stores to stay in business.
Housing and Demographics
Many of the area’s permanent residents are of European and Iranian ancestry and generally affluent, living in high-rise apartment buildings and, in Holmby Hills, some of the most luxurious single-family houses in Los Angeles. An NPR report in fact recently put the Iranian population of nearby Beverly Hills as high as 20% of the total population.
Single-family homes tend to be east and southeast of UCLA, particularly in the areas behind the LDS temple. Housing in the portion of the district bounded by Sepulveda, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Wilshire Boulevards is mostly low- or medium-rise apartment buildings catering to upscale young professionals, as well as some UCLA students. Most UCLA students in Westwood, however, live in the hilly area of low-rise apartments between Veteran Avenue and the campus’ western boundary.
Westwood as seen from Bel Air
Because of consistently high demand and the district’s proximity to so many Westside attractions and businesses, rental housing in Westwood is very expensive relative to most areas of Los Angeles. For all but the wealthiest UCLA students, living off-campus in a Westwood apartment necessitates sharing a room. As a result, many UCLA students live 5 miles south of campus in Culver City and the Los Angeles districts of Mar Vista and Palms, both in private housing and in large UCLA-owned apartment complexes. Significant numbers of UCLA students also live in the San Fernando Valley, but heavy traffic congestion through the Sepulveda Pass and Beverly Glen can wreak havoc on commutes between the Valley and Westwood.
Businesses owned or operated by the Iranian community are clustered along Westwood Blvd., earning it the sobriquet Little Persia.
The Millionaire’s Mile
The winding two-mile section of Wilshire Boulevard to the east of Westwood Village is dominated by residential high-rises, and is variously known as the Millionaire’s Mile, the Golden Mile or the Wilshire Corridor. Penthouse apartments in the corridor’s high-rise condominiums routinely sell for amounts in excess of $20 million. Countless celebrities maintain an address on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood.
The neighborhood is zoned to Los Angeles USD schools:
Westwood Charter Elementary School Joint zoning to Emerson Middle School and Webster Middle School University High School.
Westwood Geographical Location
Westwood Mapped Listings for Sale
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Homes Sold in Westwood
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