Westwood Real Estate

 

Westwood is a neighborhood in the northern central portion of the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the home of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

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 Boulevard 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 Olympic and Wilshire boulevards, and Veteran Avenue between Wilshire and Sunset.

History

Westwood was developed on the lands of the historic ‘Wolfskill Ranch’, a 3,000-acre (12 km2) parcel that was purchased by Arthur Letts, the successful founder of the Broadway, andBullock’s department stores, in 1919. Upon Arthur Lett’s death, his son-in-law, Harold Janss, vice president of Janss Investment Company, inherited the land and developed the area and started advertising for new homes in 1922.

The Los Angeles Times reported the news: “Westwood, the subdivision of the Wolfskill Ranch, 3,300 acres (13 km2) of scenic territory between the city and Santa Monica, is to be opened to homeseekers and investors today by the Janss Investment Company. The tract comprises approximately 1000 residential and business lots, situated west of the Los Angeles Country Club on Santa Monica Boulevard and the Rancho Country Club on Pico Boulevard.”

Attractions

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 Theater) featuring a landmark 170-foot (52 m) white tower and the Bruin Theatre. The Bruin Theatre provides a special discount to UCLA students. Playboy Mansion, home ofPlayboy founder Hugh Hefner, is located in nearby Holmby Hills.

Westwood is also home to the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the final 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. The museum also houses the Billy Wilder Theater, run by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Westwood Village

Built by the Janss Investment Company, the Westwood Village shopping district, which opened in 1929, retained its small-village atmosphere even after 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 perceived 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 (decade), 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.

Some landmark buildings still remain from the early years of Westwood Village including the first building erected in the village, the Janss Investment Company Building (Janss Dome) with its aqua and white zig-zag patterned dome and gold leafing. Other buildings listed as Historic-Cultural Monuments include the Fox and Bruin Theaters and the Ralphs Grocery Store building.

Westwood Village is within walking distance of the UCLA campus. There is a multitude of culturally-based restaurants condensed into this small area, so that students and Westwood visitors can choose from a variety of food options, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, American, Italian, Persian, Japanese, and Mexican.

Recent history

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.

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.

LDS (Mormon) Temple

Los Angeles California Temple

The Los Angeles California Temple, the second-largest temple operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood. The temple grounds also includes a Visitors’ Center open to the public and the headquarters for the Church’s missionary efforts in Los Angeles. The church purchased the land for the temple from silent film star Harold Lloyd in 1937, but did not open the temple until 1956.

The temple grounds are also home to the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center (LARFHC), which is open to the public as well. It is the second-largest branch in the Family History Library system of the LDS Church, and contains more than 100,000 microfiche and 30,000 books.

The Gilroy Group, a professional team of real estate agents, title reps and escrow officers managed by Kevin and Melissa under the umbrella of the prestigious RE/MAX Estate Properties are extremely experienced and knowledgeable in the luxurious real estate market area of Westwood.

Contact Kevin and Melissa here.

 

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