Beverly Grove was born as a series of car-oriented subdivisions on the far-flung outer edge of a young Los Angeles — farther out, even, than the trolleys ran.

Today, the once-sleepy neighborhood is popular, dynamic and fast-changing, and a locus of concern about the threat of the mansionization of L.A.’s historic suburbs.

Long before its tidy rows of little Spanish Revival homes began to be displaced by massive modern boxes built on spec to be shilled by the cast of “Million Dollar Listing,” before the fortress-like Beverly Center beached itself at the corner of La Cienega and Beverly boulevards and before the paparazzi stalked the stars on Robertson Boulevard, Beverly Grove was just another pleasant collection of new housing tracts.

Like the Fairfax District to the east, Beverly Grove arose out of the dusty, oil-rich plains of the old Rancho La Brea and was a popular destination for Jewish Angelenos.

It was about as far as the city of Los Angeles reached in those days, where the western city limits bumped up against button-downed Beverly Hills and unincorporated West Hollywood, with its nightlife free-for-all.

It was the kind of neighborhood that all of the oral histories remember fondly. And it’s no wonder: At the center of it for nearly three decades was Beverly Park, a popular amusement park where Walt Disney was said to have drawn inspiration for Disneyland.

Beverly Park stood near the same corner where the Beverly Center is now, at the same intersection that marks the epicenter of the 30-mile studio zone, a relic of Old Hollywood from which “TMZ” got its name.

Today the city’s most famous hospital is here, along with some of its best restaurants. The best star-watching has moved east to the Grove and away from Robertson, although the Ivy still abides. La Cienega Boulevard continues to go vertical with a new residential tower from Rick Caruso, and the tired old Beverly Center is getting yet another makeover.

Neighborhood highlights

Diner’s delight: The stretches of Beverly Boulevard and 3rd Street boast some of the city’s best and most popular restaurants.

Shopping for every budget: Whether you prefer Target or Tiffany’s, there are opportunities for retail therapy at every price point.

An unbeatable location: With Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and West Hollywood right next door, Beverly Grove is a convenient commute to much of Central Los Angeles.

Neighborhood challenges

Managing growth: Longtime residents worry that tearing down perfectly good homes to build mansions is threatening the character of Beverly Grove.

Expert insight

Allison L. Schwarz, a real estate agent with Compass and a resident of Beverly Grove, said walkability is the main selling point for the neighborhood.

“You can walk to the Beverly Center, you can walk to the Grove, you can walk to LACMA. You’re close to Cedars [medical center], which people really like; you’re near Melrose,” she said. “I know some people refer to it as the new Beverly Hills, because it’s hipper and it’s more fun.”

Because of its central location and popularity, prices in Beverly Grove can be relatively high, Schwarz said.

“You’re not going to get as much value for your money as you would going to the Valley or another neighborhood,” she said. “You should get in at the price you can afford. Maybe go to a smaller home that you can add onto or sell in five to seven years.”

Market snapshot

Portions of the 90046 and 90048 ZIP Codes overlap the Beverly Grove area.

In the 90046 ZIP Code, based on 22 sales, the median sales price in January was $1.435 million, a 12.5% increase year over year, according to CoreLogic. In the 90048 ZIP, the median sales price based on eight sales was $1.535 million, an 11.4% drop year over year.

Report card

There are no public schools within the boundaries of Beverly Grove as defined by the L.A. Times’ mapping tool.

Nearby institutions include Horace Mann Elementary and Hancock Park Elementary, both of which scored 919 out of 1,000 in the 2013 Academic Performance Index. Laurel Elementary had a score of 755, West Hollywood Opportunity scored 617, and Fairfax Senior High scored 761.


By Scott Garner