L.A.'s Hippest Address
The perfect place to live in L.A.: the hills above the Sunset Strip, which is Sunset Boulevard from the border of Beverly Hills east to Laurel Canyon. This area has become L.A.'s hippest address. Residents are an eclectic mix of entertainment industry stars and executives, successful entrepreneurs and professionals. Among the long list of celebrities rumored to live here are Britney Spears, Leonardo DiCaprio, Heidi Fleiss, Ellen DeGeneres, and Tobey Maguire. Besides spectacular views, another big selling point for the area is its perfect location. It is close to Century City and the movie studios in Hollywood and the Valley, and is just 30 minutes from downtown L.A.
Homes are carved from the hills, and sited for maximum views. One of the most coveted neighborhoods is the "Bird Streets" area because it is directly adjacent to Beverly Hills. These streets—such as Bluejay, Oriole, and Thresher—are also popular because they have wider, easier-to-navigate streets and building restrictions, such as height limits, to protect views.
According to one local Realtor, "The majority of building and remodeling occurring in the Sunset Strip Hills today is on the cutting edge of design. This is also true of interior design." Conveniently, he adds, the Pacific Design Center, labeled by one local "the undisputed blue king of interior design," is on Melrose Avenue just a couple of blocks from the Sunset Strip. With 130 trendsetting showrooms displaying fabrics, flooring, and furniture, it's the largest design center on the West Coast.
There's a "bunker mentality" among famous and not-so-famous residents in order to protect their privacy. From street level, you will often only be able to see a garage or a gate. Some homes have no windows that face the street.
The Views and the Strip
The views—a primary ingredient of the popularity of the Sunset Strip Hills. Residents have spectacular views from the skyscrapers of downtown L.A. to the Pacific Ocean on a clear day. Another reason prices in the Sunset Strip Hills continue to soar is because of a "new urban attitude in people, especially among younger buyers," says another local Realtor. Interest in the Hills increased because of a dramatic improvement in nightlife and shopping along the Sunset Strip. "The kickoff was the sale and conversion of the Mondrian Hotel and the opening of the Sky Bar," he says. "The Sunset Strip Hills are to L.A. as Soho/Tribeca is to Manhattan."
A Realtor who is active in the area stresses again that the upgrading of the Sunset Strip has been of prime importance in the Hills' ever-increasing popularity. A recent trend: "We're seeing a lot of young, single, affluent men move in from Malibu because they want to be near the Sunset Strip nightlife," he says. Residents are within an easy drive of other popular upscale shopping areas, including Beverly Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Robertson Boulevard plus The Grove and Beverly Center malls.