Few neighborhoods in the world evoke affluence and aspirational lifestyle more so than Bel Air. One corner of the Platinum Triangle of the Los Angeles Westside—along with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills — Bel Air real estate is considered some of the finest in the world.
Twelve miles to the west of downtown LA and nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, Bel Air sits behind stately gates, a meandering haven of grassy knolls, tree-lined streets, and upscale homes ranging in style from classic to contemporary.
A Brief History:
Bel Air was founded in 1923 by Alphonso Bell, a farmer fortunate enough to discover oil on his property. He purchased and subdivided a vast ranch west of Hollywood and subdivided it into a master-planned community with the help of landscape architect Mark Daniels, with Italian street names chosen by Bell’s wife.
East Gate Bel Air:
Sometimes referred to as “Old Bel Air,” East Gate Bel Air is comprised of the original Bel Air tract of 128 lots. Many of these parcels have been combined since the 1920s to create larger estates along the five roads that branch from the East Gate entrance: Nimes Road, Copa De Oro, Bellagio, Saint Cloud and Saint Pierre. Homes East Gate Bel Air can range in price from roughly $15 to $100 million.
West Gate Bel Air:
Sometimes referred to as new Bel Air, West Gate Bel air As its name sits further west than their East Gate counterpart. It was developed post-war in the 1940s.
Upper Bel Air:
Homes in upper Bel Air are typically characterized by smaller footprints and lot sizes relative to the larger estates found in the lower portion of the neighborhood. Some feature impressive views of the mountains and ocean. Price points are typically more accessible, starting at about $2-3 million for a single family residence.
Bel Air Amenities:
In addition to the stately homes, Bel Air is also home of Landmark Hotel Bel Air, the Bel Air Country Club, the Bel Air Bay Club, and the American Jewish University. It also features the Kyoto-inspired Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, an oasis of brooks, bridges, lanterns, and antique stone carvings, as well as a garden house, a shrine, and a five-tiered pagoda—the perfect place to relax and meditate.
Since its founding, some of Hollywood’s most celebrated stars have called Bel Air home, including Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Aniston, and President Ronald Reagan. Even Will Smith, who rose to fame in the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has called the namesake neighborhood home.