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Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach obtained its city charter on January 14, 1907. It is one of very few cities in California to own its beaches. Early founders quickly recognized the uniqueness of Hermosa’s beaches. With clean sand and very little kelp debris and few rip tides or dangerous undertows it was among the safest, if not one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California. When planning for future growth and development, the founders protected areas on either side of the pier and deeded that the area “was to be held in perpetuity as a beach playground, free from commerce, and for the benefit of not only the residents of Hermosa, but also for the sea lovers of Southern California.” Over 110 years later, the City of Hermosa Beach has continued the original ideals by protecting and providing ample public space to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Hermosa Beach has been named on numerous “Best Of” lifestyle lists and has been featured on The Travel Channel as a destination beach community.

Today, Hermosa Beach is a virtual playground for beach enthusiasts who enjoy cruising The Strand by foot, on skateboards, beach bicycles or roller skates. The city hosts numerous, popular community events such as KROQ’s Hermosa Summer Concert Series, Taste at the Beach, and the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. Most recently the city hosted the MTV Teen Choice Awards. Hermosa is a haven for beach athletics and is home to annual AVP and AAU volleyball tournaments as well as the Surfer’s Walk of Fame that honors Hermosa’s early and continuing surfing heritage. The world famous Comedy and Magic Club is located in the heart of Hermosa Beach and is where Jay Leno regularly performs. Hermosa officially kicks off and closes down the traditional summer season with Fiesta Hermosa – two 3-day weekend events centered around Memorial Day at the end of May and Labor Day at the beginning of September.

Music has long been part of Hermosa’s unique heritage as well. The world famous Lighthouse Cafe (featured in the Oscar winning film La La Land) was the first club of its kind in the beach cities and has a rich history of launching jazz greats throughout the 50s and 60s. After the Jazz scene blew up in the area, the punk rock scene arose next. Black Flag was formed by locals in 1976-77. The band eventually moved into and issued albums on their own from the old Baptist Church on Manhattan Avenue. Black Flag influenced other South Bay punk groups to evolve: The Circle Jerks, Red Kross, The Minutemen, The Descendants and Pennywise.

With such a rich history of classic Southern California beach culture, it is no wonder why so many people flock to the smallest little city in the South Bay. There are only three MLS areas in Hermosa Beach real estate. Residents who live along Hermosa’s most eastern border can easily access the beach by way of a 15 minute bike ride. Hermosa Beach has its own school district with just two campuses. One campus houses Hermosa View school where younger elementary students attend while older elementary aged students attend Hermosa Valley. The middle school is also located on the Hermosa Valley campus. There is no high school within the HBUSD, so all Hermosa students have “school-of-choice” privileges at either of two award-winning high schools: Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Union High in South Redondo Beach. The majority of all South Bay public schools rank among the highest performing schools in the nation.

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Hermosa Sand Section – Area 148

The Sand Section of Hermosa Beach is referred to by local Realtors as area 148. This is one of only three MLS real estate sections that make up the City of Hermosa Beach. The Sand Section can be unofficially broken down further into four sub-sections: The Strand, North Hermosa and South Hermosa.

THE STRAND – The Hermosa Strand is made up of homes that face the Marvin Braude Bike Trail with garage access on the alley side (Ocean Dr.) Strand properties begin in North Hermosa at 35th St (in the vicinity of neighborhood favorites such as North End Bar & Grill, El Gringo Mexican Cantina, Brother’s Burritos and Boccato’s Grocery and continue to Hermosa’s southernmost border at Herondo/1st St. The Strand is home to some of Hermosa Beach’s most expensive real estate, reaching record sale prices as high as $14 million for new construction (2017).

NORTH HERMOSA SAND SECTION – Properties that lie north of 16th St. through 35th St are in a sub-section local realtors refer to as North Hermosa. Many residents enjoy Sand Section living in North Hermosa because it borders South Manhattan Beach and they get to enjoy a “pier-to-pier” lifestyle. It’s slightly “quieter” in North Hermosa because only a few commercial properties are sprinkled throughout this area. Restaurants and convenient stores such as The Bottle Inn, The Green Store, and Martha’s 22nd Street Grill are typically walkable from home and they are locally owned and operated by residents of the community, contributing to that authentic, beach town feel that people love about Hermosa Beach.

DOWNTOWN – The downtown district of the Sand Section is generally defined as those properties that flank Pier Avenue and Pier Plaza, situated north of 6th St. and south of 16th St. Residents enjoy being close to the heart of all the community activity as well as within walking distance to the boutique shops, dining options, and the beach. Some of the most sought after properties are located along one of the few, flat walk-streets close to downtown. With neighborhood favorites such as Tower 12, Abilgale, Radici, Palmilla, and The Rockefeller within steps of home, it’s easy to see why buyers seek out the “park-and-walk” lifestyle that downtown living offers.

SLEEPY HOLLOW – This area is bounded to the west by Park Avenue and “The Sand Dune”. It sits between PCH and Valley Park to the north, Valley Drive to the east and Hermosa Valley School to the south. This area consists of larger, mostly flat, useable lots ranging from 4,800 sf to as large as 28,000 sf. Given the expansive size of the lots, owners enjoy the unique opportunity for privacy, pools, and large back yards, all while still only being within five or six blocks walking distance to the beach.

SOUTH HERMOSA SAND SECTION – 16th St. south through 1st St. is considered the “south end” of Hermosa Beach’s Sand Section. Properties in South Hermosa offer all the amenities of Sand Section living but with a slightly more casual tone, as it is farther from the Pier area and borders the beginning of South Redondo Beach. There’s still plenty to do within a few steps from home. Homes here are steps away from the Marina where locals can enjoy a day on the water paddle-boarding from Tarsan or the member’s only King Harbor Yacht Club, then grab a casual bite from iconic Mickey’s Deli.

The nearby 51 acre AES plant is slated for redevelopment into a planned, state-of-the-art mixed use zone; significant acreage will be dedicated to protected parks and wetlands. When the project is complete, South Hermosa will benefit from a growth in appreciation and local amenities to be enjoyed by all.

Hermosa Valley

Properties in Hermosa Beach that lie East of Ardmore Ave. and West of Pacific Coast Highway are in the MLS area known as Hermosa Valley. Here, single family homes are found on slightly larger lots and many border the greenbelt, which is a popular pedestrian thoroughfare. The greenbelt runs from the southern end of Hermosa Beach all the way through Manhattan Beach. Residents love walking their dogs, jogging or just strolling back and forth between the beach cities by way of the bark-lined and tree-shaded path.

HERMOSA HEIGHTS – There is a small sub-section of Hermosa Valley located South of 30th St. and East of Ardmore Ave. where very private, estate-style homes are located on some of the larger lots West of PCH. Unofficially, the area is referred to as “Hermosa Heights”. Similar to the Hill Section in Manhattan Beach most parcels in Hermosa Heights offer sweeping panoramic ocean views from Catalina Island to the Pacific Palisades.

HERMOSA HILLS – Another small sub-section referred to as “Hermosa Hills” located between 21st St. and Gould Ave. This is a nice pocket of single family homes, some of which are on flatter, broader footprints and others that offer unblockable ocean views at a considerable discount over the Manhattan Hill Section. All the streets in this zone end in cul-de-sacs which limits thru-traffic and adds to the sought-after privacy residents here enjoy.

Hermosa Valley School is within walking distance of the majority of homes in the Hermosa Valley section. In fact, there is a “walking school bus”, which is a path carved out in the neighborhood that is monitored by crossing-guards. Valley Park is a huge public park right in the heart of the neighborhood, with sports courts, a permit-required fire-ring, play structures and BBQ areas. Many community events are held here, such as Pets in the Park, Shakespeare by the Sea and the annual easter egg hunt. The weekly Farmer’s Market, the city’s lawnbowling club, the community skate park and various public sport courts are all a part of the active and connected lifestyle found in Hermosa Valley.

East Hermosa

South of Aviation Blvd., East of Pacific Coast Highway, North of 190th/Anita, and West of Prospect Ave. lies the MLS area known as East Hermosa. Many streets in East Hermosa start to resemble the Golden Hills area of North Redondo Beach. Early changes in zoning allowed for 50’ lots to be sub-divided into 25’ lots, on which developers were allowed to build two-story single family homes similar to popular townhome styles found in the east coast and the Bay area of northern California. This zoning change created more opportunities for homeownership in Hermosa Beach. Locals refer to this style of home as the “tall and skinny”. There is an eclectic handful of lot and home types mixed within East Hermosa, lending much character to the neighborhood. Numerous parkettes are peppered throughout East Hermosa, and Hermosa View school is located here, where K-3 students attend. Because of the eastern upward slope from PCH, some properties in East Hermosa can still claim good ocean views at a significant value.

THE MESA – A submarket of East Hermosa is unofficially known as “The Mesa”. It is a flat, quiet neighborhood with wider, bigger lots (some with ocean views) located west of Prospect Ave., south of 15th Street and north of Aviation Blvd. It is a very convenient location, as one can walk just a few blocks to the “Windmill” shopping center to take advantage of daily conveniences such as Trader Joes, Starbucks, Ocean Diner, and assorted boutique businesses. A few more blocks west of PCH one can enjoy all of Pier Avenue’s shops, restaurants, spas, studios, gyms sports courts and fields.