The Beverly Hills Flats – A Luxury Neighborhood of Quiet Beauty.
Beverly Hills is one of the most well-known places in California, and some would say in the entire United States. Anchored by Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica Boulevard, this town manages to keep its southern California charm among the hustle and bustle of life in Los Angeles County, CA.
An Introduction to the Beverly Hills Flats:
Despite its name, this city doesn’t have very many elevation changes. Unlike the hills of the Trousdale Estates to the northeast, or North Beverly Park, the Beverly Hills neighborhood simply known as “The Flats” is a generally flat area that slopes gently down to the southeast towards Santa Monica Boulevard. It is known for its wide, tree-lined streets and elegant houses that speak to a mixture of old-world charm, period revivals, and creativity that simply can’t be matched.
The Beverly Hills Flats is comprised of the streets between Santa Monica Boulevard to the south, and Sunset Boulevard to the north. On the east side, the area is bordered by Doheny Drive, and the west boundary is Wilshire Boulevard. But it’s on the inside that counts.
Luxury Real Estate in The Flats:
The homes in the Beverly Hills Flats show off a varied mixture of architectural styles, from the clean lines of Neo-Classical revival to the sharply pitched roofs of the Cape Cod style of housing to the expansive rounded archways of a Spanish Mission style, each home is worth a stroll past, and a second look.
It’s more than just gorgeous homes. It’s also about wide sidewalks with manicured lawns and beautiful flowers. It’s about streets that entice you to drive slowly through their winding curves and just relax. It’s about having a great place to raise a family, and enjoy the quiet, and finer things in life.
A Brief History of The Neighborhood:
The area that would eventually become famous under the zip code of 90210 has always been a place where a sense of beauty, perseverance, and style mesh. The city of Beverly Hills got its name from Burton Green and his wife, who named it after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts in 1906. And while Green tried his best to find black gold in the area, his gamble was unsuccessful, and they decided to get in on the water distribution and real estate business by creating the Rodeo Land and Water Company in 1906. One could say that they were some of the first real estate developers in the Flats.
Thankfully, the Greens hired the landscaped architect Wilbur D. Cook, who was greatly influenced by Fredrick Law Olmsted. If the lush greenery and gently winding streets of this area remind you of a certain Central Park, there is a very good reason for that. Fredrick Law Olmsted was one of the premier designers of that famous park, and his influence is seen here.
The first streets seen in the Beverly Hills area included Rodeo Drive, Canon Drive, and Elevado Avenue, all of which make their way through this quiet neighborhood. And with the construction of the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1912, the area has been growing in popularity ever since.
Even from the beginning, this area of southern California has been known for an elegant lifestyle and sense of vibrancy that even the nearby city of Los Angeles wanted to get in on. After stars like Will Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, and Jack Warner all made this area their home in the late 1910s to 1920s, a proposal to annex Beverly Hills into the city was proposed in 1923. The residents fought it tooth and nail, and the attempt failed by a vote of 507 to 337.
Thankfully, the relationship between Los Angeles and Beverly Hills is a bit more friendly today. Often, the families living in some of the luxury homes located in the flats work in and around the city. And while the vibrancy that they see during the day is welcomed, we imagine it’s also nice to come home to a bit of quiet elegance and relaxation.
Luxury Living in The Beverly Hills Flats:
The Flats is a luxury residential area filled with sprawling homes and unique architecture. However, the more open, non-gated community gives it a more suburban and neighborly feel, but each home still has state-of-the-art security and safety is always paramount. Don’t be mistaken; these homes aren’t just for anyone. Starting prices for home in the neighborhood are around $5 million and some are worth more than $20 million. Their curb appeal alone is spectacular, and the people living there as well as the city of Beverly Hills itself have worked hard to make sure that each new renovation, each new home has a unique balance of creativity and style that fits right in with the feel of the area. It’s one of the few places in southern CA where spacious houses, secure locations, and people and pet-friendly areas coexist easily.
Neighborhood Amenities in the Beverly Hills Flats:
There is plenty to see and do just a short walk away from just about any home. Santa Monica Park, which was created by the city’s founders and designers was renamed Beverly Gardens Park, now stretches the length of the area along Santa Monica Boulevard, and the Electric Fountain is located at the junction of Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard draws hundreds of visitors each month. First given as a gift to the city from Sarah Elizabeth Lloyd, mother of silent screen legend Harold Lloyd in 1931, this fountain features the depiction of a Tongva Native American kneeling in prayer, an homage to the abundance of the area. Another park in the area is the Will Rogers Memorial Park located at the triple-junction between Beverly Drive, Canon Drive, and Sunset Boulevard is one of the more popular places to visit.
Dining Suggestions and Nearby Amenities:
Of course, there are plenty of restaurants in the area in case you don’t feel like cooking in your state-of-the-art kitchen.
- Crustacean Beverly Hills:
If your family fancies a bit of seafood with a Vietnamese flair, you can’t go wrong with Crustacean Beverly Hills. Located on Bedford Drive just south of Santa Monica Boulevard it has an aquarium filled with amazing and delectable seafood fare.
- The Polo Lounge:
If a bit of jazz during your brunch is more your speed, then a trip to The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel located on Sunset Boulevard is a great place to spend a Sunday. After eating some delicious California cuisine, the Will Rogers Memorial Park with its lush greenery and beautiful walking trails is just to the south.
- Nate ‘n Al’s:
There are plenty of places on Canon Drive to grab a bite to eat, and Nate ‘n Al’s on Beverly Drive is a classic deli that offers fantastic pastrami on rye, and a bit of bustling old-world charm.
If you’re looking to stay healthy, this area of California is a great place to live. As you stroll past the luxury homes, it’s easy to see why people love being outside. The weather is great most of the time, there are plenty of jogging paths near Sunset Boulevard and Greensward, and several quiet parks are scattered through the area, just inviting you to sit down, enjoy a comfortable lunch, and the scenery to go along with it. One of our favorites is The Maltz Park, located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive. It’s a great place to just sit down and relax with family and friends.
A Neighborhood That Realizes What Matters:
From the beginning, this area of Beverly Hills has always been about celebrating the area’s unique style and heritage. It has also been about beauty and excellence and making sure that the people living here enjoy life to the fullest. For a time, however, not everyone was on the same page as to what the neighborhood should look like, especially to potential buyers.
During the 1980s, during the era of big dreams and even bigger expenditures, the idea of “go big, or go home” hit even this quiet area. New construction blossomed, and along with the renovations being done, it became apparent that the understated elegance and vibrancy were being replaced by large and bulky houses made with sub-par materials. Facades that dwarfed the surrounding houses and landscaping that seem to swallow up the subtle charm were becoming more commonplace.
Luckily, the city of Beverly Hills, as well as the residents in the area realized what these new, larger-than-life homes were doing to the neighborhood. They were not only bringing the overall values of the homes down, but they decreased the overall quality of life, a little bit at a time. They knew it was time for action.
Compared with the rest of the country, the average lot sizes are pretty expansive. They range between 12,000 and 16,000 square feet, some larger ones exceeding 36,000 square feet. And even with that much to work with, developers during the 1980s were still ballooning out and encroaching on their neighbors. So, the city and the residents put together a series of simple-to-follow guidelines that were designed to promote creativity in building and construction while still maintaining the overall curb appeal of the area.
Instead of allowing developers to use whatever materials were more cost-effective in the short term, the guidelines now require that certain materials be used in certain building styles or equivalent ones of the same or better quality. It also determined what styles of architecture could be used in new development or remodeling to help maintain the overall look and feel in the area.
That is not to say that homeowners and developers didn’t have any creative freedom. Very far from it. A re-modeling of a Georgian Revival home that was originally built in 1941 has been brought back to life by blending both traditional and contemporary styles by Standard Architecture. It measures an impressive 7,200 square feet and features clean lines, bold styling, and superior craftsmanship and technology. It is truly a sight to behold.
A simple stroll down Maple Drive will provide examples of American Colonial architecture, including Cape Cod style, and a few doors down a more Spanish Colonial feel with some great examples of Monterey architecture and Spanish Mission style as well. And if you want something with a bit of a more modern feel, a stroll down North Roxbury Drive is a great choice. The homes down on North Camden Drive also offer some wonderful examples of Neo-Classical Revival architecture. The likelihood of finding something among these estates that make your heart flutter is substantial.
And while it’s true that many of the homes here could be considered mansions, the overall feel of the area is one where a family can take down roots and begin to thrive. Since safety and security is always an important consideration, there are plenty of examples of technology being used to keep both people and possessions safe. From gated driveways and keyless entries to private surveillance systems, this area of Beverly Hills is one of the more quietly secure areas around.
The asking prices for some of the estates in this neck of the woods aren’t for the faint of heart. Starting prices of homes in the neighborhood are about $5 million, with most falling between $8 and $15 million. There are a few outliers, particularly closer to Sunset Blvd where asking prices often head into the $20+ million-dollar range. But if you’re in the market, this is a wonderful place to make a significant investment.
Starting you Luxury Home Search in Beverly Hills:
Whether you’re looking for a place to retire that has an active community and wonderful things to see and do or wish to find a secure place to raise your family, the Beverly Hills Flats can be a wonderful option. It’s important to contact a professional real estate agent who is familiar with the area, and who can make sure your needs and desires are addressed to your satisfaction.
Start your search for a luxury home in The Flats here or view a sample of Beverly Hills listings below.