Manhattan Beach is a city located in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, USA. The population was 33,852 at the 2000 census. The city is on the Pacific Ocean coast, to the south of El Segundo and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX,) and to the north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach has lots of great dining and shopping. It is the home of volleyball and surfing. During the winter the waves can reach to about 9 to 12 feet. The Beach volleyball tournament The Manhattan Beach Open has been referred to as “The Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball” The tournament began in 1960. Winners of the tournament are awarded a bronze plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier’s “Beach Volleyball Walk Of Fame”. To the east are the cities of Hawthorne and Redondo Beach. It is one of the three Beach Cities in the South Bay. The city is a very upscale beach town within commuting distance of Los Angeles, making it one of the most expensive coastal towns in which to live in America, according to the most recent Fortune Magazine rankings. The median price of a single family dwelling regularly exceeds the already high Los Angeles County median price by over 100%. Homes with an ocean view often exceed 2 million dollars.
In 1863, a Scottish immigrant, Sir Robert Burnett, purchased Rancho Sausal Redondo and Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela from Avila’s heirs for $33,000. Ten years later in 1873, Burnett leased the ranch to a Canadian, Daniel Freeman, and returned to Scotland. Freeman moved his wife and three children onto the ranch and started growing various crops. On May 4, 1885 Freeman bought the ranch from Burnett for $140,000. George H. Peck owned a lot of the land that became part of the north section of Manhattan Beach. Around 1902 the suburb was named “Manhattan” after a developer’s hometown.
Residents divide the city into several distinct neighborhoods, including the Village, Sand Section, Hill Section, Tree Section, Gas Lamp Section, Manhattan Heights, East Manhattan Beach, Liberty Village, and North Manhattan Beach (formally known as El Porto until December 2007).
The Hill Section includes higher priced homes where many of the residences are remodeled and situated on steep hills allowing panoramic ocean and city views. The nearby Sand Section is notable for its pockets of quiet neighborhoods adjacent to the ocean, dense development and higher rate of condominiums and multi-family properties compared to more suburban areas of the city. Most commercial activity whose clientele are beach-oriented position their establishments here, sometimes within meters of private homes. One of its most highly trafficked pedestrian streets, The Strand, features high-end Oceanfront homes.
Desired by families for its close knit structure and with a substantially healthy financial background, the Tree Section is essentially a smaller Hill Section, minus the hills, of course, and with slightly smaller lots and narrower streets. Liberty Village is located at the north-easternmost section of Manhattan Beach; it is undergoing rapid change as the original World War II era housing for the employees of the then dominant local defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Hughes is replaced by new, larger homes.
Considered[to be among the most desirable cities in Los Angeles, city zoning provides for lenient dwelling-to-land coverage and much of Manhattan Beach’s housing stock has been remodeled from small single family houses into larger houses ranging to 4,000 square feet (400 m2) on lots approximating 5,000 square feet (500 m2] This “mansionization” of the city has been protested by several longtime neighborhood residents tiny beach cottages are being replaced by 6,000 square foot modern homes This is especially evident in the quaint alleyways and walk streets of the Sand Section, where dense living is already a contentious issue in the public eye.
Downtown Manhattan Beach runs along Manhattan Beach Boulevard and the streets perpendicular to it in the area near the Manhattan Beach Pier up to Valley Drive. There are many restaurants and stores and a mixed-use center, called Metlox, named after a pottery factory formerly on the site, that includes a boutique hotel and several restaurants and shops. The Manhattan Beach Library is near downtown on Highland Avenue two blocks north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The library is part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library system, and includes internet accessible computers, WiFi, and access to the six million items in the county library collection.
The Rosecrans strip is located on the south side of Rosecrans Avenue, east of Sepulveda, and west of Aviation. The area includes the Manhattan Village Mall, which is located on the southeast corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue. The Manhattan Beach Country Club, the Marriott Hotel and Golf Course, restaurants, retail stores, supermarkets, and shopping centers are along the strip between the Manhattan Mall and Aviation Boulevard.
The Marine strip is located on both sides of Marine Avenue, near Sepulveda and Aviation Boulevards.
The Manhattan Beach Boulevard strip is located on both sides of Manhattan Beach Boulevard through the city. The west end of the boulevard is the center of downtown Manhattan Beach. Directly west of the end of the boulevard is the pier.
The Artesia Boulevard strip is the southern boundary of the city.
The Highland Avenue strip is located south of Rosecrans Avenue, north of 10th Street, along both sides of Highland Avenue.
The Sepulveda Strip occupies the commercial zone, which runs north-south through the city. This commercial zone is located south of Rosecrans Avenue, north of the border with Hermosa Beach, and along both sides of Sepulveda Boulevard. The Manhattan Village Mall is located on the southeast corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue. In addition, there are several other, smaller malls and shopping areas along Sepulveda Boulevard, which include a variety of restaurants, shops, service providers, office buildings and other commercial establishments.
The Aviation Zone is located along Aviation Boulevard (the city’s eastern boundary), south of Rosecrans Avenue, and north of Marine Avenue. The zone includes several major complexes, including the Manhattan Beach Film Studios and the Northrop Grumman Space Technology Plant.
The Strand path and bikeway along the beach is popular for biking, jogging, roller blading, and skateboarding. Numerous volleyball nets are set up along the beach, and swimming, body boarding and surfing are popular among residents and visitor. Sand Dune Park offered a popular area for amateur and professional workouts until being closed down pending review and resolution of traffic, noise, and crowding complaints in 2009.
Manhattan Beach has a Mediterranean climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), enjoying plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 263 sunshine days and only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually. The period of April through November is warm to hot and dry with average high temperatures of 71 – 79°F and lows of 50 – 62°F. Due to the moderating effect of the ocean, temperatures are cooler than more inland areas of Los Angeles, where temperatures frequently exceed 90°F (32°C) and occasionally reach 100°F (38°C) in inland areas further away from the ocean.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,854 people, 14,474 households, and 8,394 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,325.8/km² (8,606.7/mi²). There were 15,034 housing units at an average density of 1,477.0/km² (3,822.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.99% White, 6.04% Asian, 5.19% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 0.61% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, including 2.81% from two or more races.There were 14,474 households, of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18, 49.8% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 42.0% were non-families, 29.3% were individuals living alone, and 6.5% were individuals living alone who were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34, and the average family size was 2.98. The median income for a household in the city was $100,750, and the median income for a family was $122,686 (these figures had risen to $124,048 and $149,396 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $84,256 versus $54,142 for females. The per capita income for the city was $61,136. About 2.0% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18, and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.
According to the City’s 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees % of Total City Employment
1 Target Corporation 405 14.36%
2 Sketchers USA Inc. 346 12.27%
3 Kinecta Federal Credit Union 295 10.46%
4 City of Manhattan Beach 275 9.75%
5 Macy’s West LLC 271 9.61%
6 Fry’s Electronics Inc. 235 8.33%
7 Marriot-HMC Interstate 233 8.26%
8 Ralphs Grocery Co. 159 5.64%
9 Houston’s Restaurants Inc. 119 4.22%
10 Manhattan Beach Toyota 113 4.01%
The City of Manhattan Beach is governed by a five-member City Council. City Council Members are elected every four years. The office of the Mayor of Manhattan Beach rotates every nine months among the members of the City Council, so that each City Council Member serves one term as Mayor.
The Beach Cities Health District, provides health and wellness services to the residents of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach. The voters of the three beach cities elect the 5-member Board of Directors to 4-year terms. One of 78 California Health Districts, it was created in 1955 as South Bay Hospital and took on its current name in 1993. Beach Cities Health District opened AdventurePlex, a Manhattan Beach fitness center for kids and their families, in 2002. Filled with mazes, tunnels, outdoor rock climbing walls, complex ropes courses, and an indoor gymnasium, AdventurePlex challenges children physically and intellectually in health-focused recreational activities.
Public education in Manhattan Beach is provided by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, which oversees five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The district is also assisted by non-profit organizations the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and a Parent-Teacher Association for each school. The district as a whole received a score of 906 on the 2006 California Academic Performance Index, making it California’s 5th best performing district. Each individual school also ranks at the top of its respective category. Under policy of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, residents who live in northern Redondo Beach may not attend schools within the MBUSD. As of Fall 2006, North Redondo Beach residents living in the 90278 zip code will be allowed to attend Mira Costa.
Private schools located in Manhattan Beach include American Martyrs Catholic School, Manhattan Academy, Montessori School of Manhattan Beach and Journey of Faith Christian School. Manhattan Beach is served by one daily, local newspaper, the Daily Breeze. In addition, the city is served by three weekly, local newspapers, Beach Reporter, the Easy Reader, and the Manhattan Beach Sun.