Yielding the Floor

By Dave Fratello | June 19th, 2008
Over in the current "Open Forum" thread we spotted a comment summarizing the evolution of life in MB that we found so compelling, we've decided to re-publish it as a story.

Just a piece of the start and end have been trimmed off, and some paragraph breaks were added; otherwise, it's unedited. Of course, the comment is anonymous. (Our pic is courtesy of Dan90266, who has some nice MB images on Flickr.)

Enjoy, and discuss. Here it is:
I believe the reason for the huge run-up in MB is a result of a major demographic shift in LA County.

I've lived in LA since the 50's. At that time, within the LA/San Gabriel/San Fernando basin there was a lot of vacant land. This includes PV.

During the 50's, 60's and 70's most of the easy stuff was developed. Also, in the 70's you had the boomers coming out of college looking to buy houses. You had the echo beginning in the late 90's.

In the 50's thru 70's Manhattan Beach was viewed as a funky beach town. When I moved here in the 70's one couple asked me why I wanted to live in the fog and be sick all of the time. My parents said I could get twice the house for the price in West LA/Culver City. I was a professional. My neighbors were a mix of retirees, non-college employed with families, and college graduates. Houses were small and old. The median income of MB was slightly above the LA average.

There were no taxi cabs in downtown MB. There was a gas station, hardware store, appliance store, auto parts store, book store, pharmacy and movie theater 2 blocks from the pier. Two clothing stores that were on the corner of MB Blvd and Highland ultimately went bankrupt. Rosecrans had a stop light at Aviation and one at Sepulveda.

East of the tree section was a Chevron tank farm (hence "there is no life east of sepulveda"). No one famous lived here. When I traveled no one knew where Manhattan Beach was or had even heard of it. El Porto was, well, El Porto.

By the 90's all of the above mentioned businesses were gone (except Ercs, thank God). A few sports people moved here (Mike Piazza and other Dodgers, LA Kings and Shaq lived in the hill section for a couple of years) Pam Dauber (Mork & Mindy) bought a house on the Strand.

That's when we started noticing the first taxi cabs, now a staple of downtown. The tank farm was replaced by housing, the Marriot and shopping center (life east of Sepulveda). The 105 was completed and all of a sudden MB started showing up in magazine articles as a place to be seen. Also, the beach became popular as a place to live, not just visit.

My neighbors now are all college grads +. One is ceo of a public company, another in house counsel for a public company, others are professionals and then there are the finance people and some celebs.

I was working with a guy who lived in Pennsylvania and he mentioned some reality TV show with Jessica Simpson filmed up the street from me. He said he wished he lived here, because of what he saw in the TV show. Because of the new people moving in, and the advancement of those already here, the median income in MB has soared above the national average. This story may have been repeated elsewhere in LA but not on the level of MB.

So why is the median price holding? Because everybody and their fricken grandma wants to move here. It doesn't mean they will but MB of 2008 is not MB of '78, '88 or '98. MB is now on the map (movies, tv shows, sports shows). More people, and especially people with cash and large incomes, want to live here than there is available housing. As long as that is the case, prices will hold firm and ultimately go up.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale