Redondo Beach is one of the three renowned Beach Cities in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 63,261 at the 2000 census. The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area. Redondo Beach was originally part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the South Redondo area. The city’s territory has an unusual shape including an area along the beach (South Redondo Beach) and another strip inland from Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach (North Redondo Beach). The primary attractions include Municipal Pier and the sandy beach and bike path, popular with tourists and a variety of sports enthusiasts. The western terminus of the Metro Rail Green Line is in North Redondo Beach.
Redondo Beach is the focus of many who want to be in the sun and near the ocean. Although a vibrant community in its own right, much of the Redondo Beach lifestyle is a blend of the neighborhoods, activities and people of the three Beach Cities of Southern California’s South Bay. Like its sister cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Redondo’s key lifestyle draw is the vast beach that links these three cities.
A wide sand beach starts below the bluffs of Palos Verdes in the south, right next to Torrance and RAT Beach, and carries north to the Redondo Pier. A paved path, called The Strand runs from South Redondo north to Santa Monica. A typical day on this path will see thousands of people on foot, bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, wheelchair and stroller enjoying the sun and surf. The continuous path is broken only by the massive Redondo Beach King Harbor Marina and Pier complex, where it veers away from the water and onto dedicated lanes of surface streets for about a mile before again turning to the ocean in Hermosa Beach. Continuing north from Manhattan Beach, this path stretches well into Marina Del Rey and beyond with few breaks. The Strand is a quintessential part of the Luxury Coastal lifestyle.
Surfing is a key element of the South Bay lifestyle year-round; it is common to see locals catching waves on both Christmas and New Year’s Day. Powerful winter storms in the Pacific ocean can turn typically placid and rolling South Bay waves into large and occasionally dangerous monsters, a natural draw for the local surfing population. Local wave heights in December 2005 were some of the largest on record and were reported to top 15 feet (4.6 m) to 20 feet (6.1 m) in some instances; at least one surfer required resuscitation when he was thrashed against the ocean bottom after trying a particularly large wave.
Beach Volleyball is another important aspect of Redondo Beach’s lifestyle. The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport and permanent poles and nets are placed and maintained by the city year-round. Professional tournaments managed by the AVP take place in neighboring Hermosa and Manhattan Beach.
Redondo Beach is often divided into two logical North/South areas with 190th, Anita, and Herondo streets forming its east-west boundary line. South Redondo plays host to the pier and marina/harbor complex and directly borders active Hermosa Beach; life on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) can be frenetic with restaurants and boating activities keeping people active and engaged at all times. Inland of PCH is largely residential.
Bordering North/South Redondo at the Marina is a massive power plant, which has been the source of substantial political debate in the city over the last decade, largely centered over what to do with the land once the plant becomes inactive over the next 25 years (subject to change and compromise). This power plant sports a 586 ft (179 m) x 95 ft (29 m) whale mural by world-famous artist Wyland titled “Gray Whale Migration”.
South Redondo is a bit more on the gentrified, quiet side. Its wide streets, wide sand beaches and laid-back feel make it a prime destination for those seeking a “bike to the grocery store” community.
North Redondo begins north of 190th Street. As a result of Redondo Beach’s geography, North Redondo is primarily an inland experience as the beachfronts form most of Hermosa Beach and part of Manhattan Beach. While primarily residential, North Redondo contains some of the city’s major industry and commercial space, including the inland aerospace and engineering firms that are part of Southern California’s long space legacy. It is also home to the South Bay Galleria Shopping Center and a revitalized Artesia Boulevard. North Redondo is the home of the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, one of the South Bay’s premier cultural facilities, and home to the Civic Light Opera of the South Bay Cities. North Redondo is home to nearly two-thirds of the children in Redondo Beach. Many original homes still stand in Redondo Beach neighborhoods, but these small Arts and Crafts style homes are quickly being bought, demolished and rebuilt to match the tastes of the modern, more affluent buyer that makes South Bay their home. Zoning allows properties within two to three blocks of the beach to be developed as large two to three-unit luxury townhomes; inland areas are more likely to have single-family homes. There is a citywide height limit of 32 ft (9.8 m) for new homes; unlike Manhattan Beach, Redondo allows rooftop living spaces and decks.
Redondo Breakwall is a well known surf spot in the south bay, and borders Hermosa Beach.
In South Redondo, a revitalized downtown area affectionately termed “Riviera Village” (named so after the Hollywood Riviera portion of South Torrance, which is the area it is adjacent to) provides locals an opportunity to eat, shop and commune in a quiet atmosphere. Since 2004 several new or newly renovated restaurants have made a positive impact on local options for an on-the-town experience. Downtown also supports a number of independent boutiques and shops specializing in clothing and fashion, as well as at least three wine-tasting galleries. This downtown area is in South Redondo west of PCH between Avenue I and Palos Verdes Blvd.
The Marina, Harbor and Pier complexes are large, planned centers of activity that host Korean seafood restaurants, touristy bars, smaller shops and a games arcade. The pier is a common spot for anglers to cast for a local catch; many residents of inland Los Angeles drive to Redondo Beach to take advantage of the long and unique shape of this pier. The adjacent Marina, located just north of the Pier, is home to another half-dozen restaurants, a seafood shop, and a pub with almost 100 beers on tap. The large, monolithic concrete structures that make up the pier and harbor area stand in stark contrast to the venerable cozy feel of the rest of the South Bay’s neighborhood-style street front architecture; the city continues to consider options for the area as new entertainment and dining chooses to locate in other areas of the Beach Cities.
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 Northrop Grumman (TRW) 5,260 14.64%
2 Redondo Beach Unified School District 1,100 3.06%
3 Beach Cities Health District 620 1.73%
4 City of Redondo Beach 496 1.38%
5 Nordstrom, Inc. 439 1.22%
6 Crown Plaza (Holiday Inn) 339 0.94%
7 The Cheesecake Factory 261 0.73%
8 D H L Global Forwarding 244 0.68%
9 Macy’s (Robinson’s May) 242 0.67%
10 Target 217 0.60%
Cost of living The beach lifestyle comes at a price: According to public data from the Los Angeles Times, real estate prices increased almost 20% per year between 1999 and 2005. Properties within short walking distance of the ocean routinely sell for $1 million, depending on the square footage, amenities, etc. Those with direct, unhindered views carry with them Luxury Coastal price tags. Money Magazine ranks communities in the area as some of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.
Redondo Beach, like the rest of the Los Angeles basin is well-known for its year-round pleasant weather. Redondo Beach has a Mediterranean climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical, enjoying plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 263 sunshine days and only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually. The entire South Bay of Los Angeles experiences a weather phenomenon called “June Gloom, which sometimes brings overcast or foggy skies in the morning at the coast, but usually gives way to sunny skies by noon, during late spring and early summer.
As of the census of 2000, there were 63,261 people, 28,566 households, and 15,254 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,889.4/km² (10,065.4/mi²). There were 29,543 housing units at an average density of 1,816.3/km² (4,700.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.62% White, 2.52% African American, 0.47% Native American, 9.10% Asian, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 4.37% from other races, and 4.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.47% of the population.
There were 28,566 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.87.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $93,274, and the median income for a family was $108,753. Males had a median income of $56,796 versus $45,204 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,305. About 4.0% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.2% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
The United States Postal Service operates the Redondo Beach Post Office at 1201 North Catalina Avenue, the Redondo Beach Station #2 Post Office at 1715 Via El Prado, the North Redondo Beach Post Office at 2215 Artesia Boulevard, and the Galleria Post Office at Suite 377D at 1815 Hawthorne Boulevard.
The Beach Cities Health District, one of 78 California Health Districts, is located in Redondo Beach. Created in 1955, as South Bay Hospital, to provide health and wellness services to the residents of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach. The District took on its current name in 1993. In 2002, Beach Cities Health District opened AdventurePlex, a Manhattan Beach fitness facility for youth and their families of the three beach cities. 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.