The community we now known as Westwood had its modern-day beginning as the 3,300 acre ranch of Arthur Letts, founder of the Broadway and Bullock’s department stores. Residential development began in 1922. Now surrounded by other exclusive communities including Bel Air, Brentwood and Beverly Hills, and incorporating ultra-affluent Holmby Hills, Westwood is a dynamic community hosting approximately 58,000 residents. The population swells daily with an influx of professionals and ancillary personnel headed to local high-rises, and with thousands of students attending classes at UCLA, the massive Los Angeles campus of the University of California. The community’s commercial center, Westwood Village, hosts a skyline often mistake for downtown LA due to its tall business buildings and upscale multi-story condominium and apartment complexes visible for miles. This 2-mile-long stretch of Wilshire Boulevard is often called “Millionaire’s Mile.”
Nestled within Westwood, the Holmby Hills section is sometimes referred to as the most affluent neighborhood in the United States, according to some publications and pundits. Until recently, when the enclave’s boundaries were revised to include some less pricey blocks, the mean annual household income of its residents was over $600,000, and closer to at least $800,000 in the “estates” section. The 400 acre neighborhood, originally part of what was the Wolfskill Ranch, and purchased by Arthur Letts for $100 an acre, was intended to be an enclave of “grand estates.” More interesting history can be found on the website of the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association. That group represents residents in the northern section, while the Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association serves those in the southern part of the area.
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