Bel-Air is home to the rich and famous, and it was always intended to be that way.
The land lot was bought by Alphonzo Bell who envisioned and materialized an upscale residential, but because at the time, the area was far away from everywhere else in Los Angeles including Brentwood, Canoga Parkand Downtown.
Many people thought it would never become what he had in mind. And he proved them all wrong.
In 1922-1923, he built on more than 600 acres and founded Bel Air Estates. He had the right mindset from the beginning and purchases were quite exclusive from the start.
Anyone interested in purchasing a lot had to be approved before finalizing the purchase. The first buyers paid $40,000 for a seven-acre lot.
A property in this area costs millions of dollars –anything between 20 and 75 million dollars! Yikes! That is probably why it is one of the least densely populated areas of L.A. With less than 50 thousand residents; it ranks 87 for population density in Los Angeles. We’ve also seen that most of out Los Angeles SEO clients prefer to stay here.
Bel-Air residents are mostly white (81%), with few Asian (9%) Hispanic (4.9%), and even less African American. This is not the norm for L.A., where most neighborhoods have a somewhat ethnically-balanced population.
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But most of us, who don’t have multimillion-dollar bank accounts, know Bel-Air because of The Fresh Prince, that sit-com from the 1990’s that started Will Smith’s career as the estranged cousin from Philadelphia who comes to live in the luxurious neighborhood to turn the life of everyone in the Bank’s family upside down. Ironically enough, Will Smith, now a multimillion-dollar earning actor, does not live there, but in the city of Calabasas which is almost 20 miles away.
Some famous people who do live in Bel-Air are Mariah Carey and Lana del Rey.
Even if celebrities choose to live here because it is a secluded, somewhat private area of the city; there is actually a tourism industry based on celebrity houses tours.
The neighborhood was also featured in the film “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
But Bel-Air is much more than part of the name of a 90’s TV show. The houses there are absolutely stunning, so if you are a fan of architecture, this is an area of Los Angeles that you want to have the privilege to visit.
It is where the world-famous Bel-Air Hotel is, which, by the way, is located where the horse manure barn was way back when it was Alphonzo Bell’s estate. Yup, many celebrities’ favorite sleeping place when in town was once a manure barn. But we have to admit that they did a great job with the renovations. At the hotel, you will find Wolfgang Pucks restaurant and bar, which offers amazing dishes that you can enjoy overlooking the swan lake.
Bel-Air is also home to the beautiful Hannah Carter Japanese Garden. This Garden was built to emulate the lush gardens of Kyoto. The garden provides a leisurely ambiance, and coincidentally it is also the place where we met one of our oldest Los Angeles web design clients.
Did you know that the gate at the main entrance, the garden house, the bridges and the shrine were all built in Japan and assembled once they arrived in L.A? Unfortunately, this hidden gem is closed to the public as of 2011 after UCLA sold it to a private developer. The purchase agreement is set so that the gardens are not destroyed for 30 years, but there are petitions for it to be preserved perpetually as it was intended when it was first donated to the university.
Bel-Air has some of the most beautiful parks and libraries in the city of Angels such as the Stone Canyon Overlook & Getty View Park, which offer the chance to enjoy a trek with a fantastic view. The UCLA library is just 5 min. away from the upscale area.
Who knows? OTT might be the best thing that ever happened to you.