MANHATTAN HEIGHTS/LIBERTY VILLAGE
The borders that outline the neighborhoods of Manhattan Heights and Liberty Village in Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Heights/Liberty Village is the MLS area known to real estate agents as “Area 146” lies North of Manhattan Beach Blvd, East of Sepulveda Blvd, West of Aviation Blvd and South of Marine Ave. The “Manhattan Heights” section starts just east of Sepulveda Blvd and ends at N. Redondo Ave., whereas “Liberty Village” is the 1940s tract development just West of Aviation, East of N. Redondo Ave., North of Manhattan Beach Blvd and South of Marine Ave. Liberty Village cuts off where Polliwog Park starts on the corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd and N. Redondo Ave. To the North of Polliwog Park you will find the campus of Manhattan Beach Middle School. This is the one and only public middle school in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. These neighborhoods are conveniently close to The Raytheon Company and Northrop Grumman business parks, as well the MBS Media Campus, which employs thousands of locals across the South Bay. It is about a 5-10 minute drive to the Metro Green Line park n’ ride lot. The 405 freeway entrance and 110 freeway are also conveniently closest to these neighborhoods than any in all of Manhattan Beach which makes for a great commute. Original homes in Liberty Village were all developed and sold by a single developer after the 2nd World War; homes were sold primarily to returning soldiers who qualified to purchase on the GI Bill. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern and were built on what was an area of dunes. Lots here are typically 50 x 100. Homes in this area were originally developed post WWII and were typically 3 bedrooms, 2 baths on 5,000 sf lots with nice, open backyards.
Today you will find many of these homes have been remodeled with additions or even torn down and rebuilt with a larger home and smaller yard. Because these are some of the last homes across the city to remain largely original, Liberty Village is considered to be a great “entry-level” choice for those trying to break into the Manhattan Beach market. Floor-plans vary as, over time, the original tract floor-plan was modified and many 2nd story additions were built to accommodate growing families; many of the homeowners installed pools over the years here, so while you may not be beach adjacent, there is a good chance of owning a home with a pool or that your neighbor has one. There is abundant original charm and a tight knit neighborhood feel in the Liberty Village area. Tree-lined streets and welcoming front yards hail to the traditional roots of Manhattan Beach. Manhattan Heights differs only slightly in that a different developer carved out lots closer to the 50×150 size and a section of streets are more akin to a TRW tract, with a gentle curve to the street, rather than a city grid. Here, because of the gentle upslope of the original landscape, lots that offer beautiful views of downtown LA and the Los Angeles mountains can be purchased. Where Liberty Village has flat, street-to-street lots, Manhattan Heights follows a swell in the land and a good portion of homes take advantage of some kind of view. Manhattan Heights is less traditional in its layout and, because of that, offers a really beautiful rolling landscape peppered with low flat lots and higher sloped lots. Meadows Elementary School is tucked in the middle of Manhattan Heights as well as the popular pre-school, Manhattan Academy. Many homes in this area have already been torn down and rebuilt in the larger style. A handful of original tract homes are found on each street lending to its charm and diverse style. A section of Manhattan Heights near 12th and 15th streets offers more density in building zoning and it is here that some of the most inexpensive townhomes in the city can be purchased. Many income buyers seek out multi-family properties in this area to purchase and hold as great investment properties.
Homeowners in the Manhattan Heights/Liberty Village area enjoy the close proximity to daily conveniences like having Target, Trader Joes and Starbucks just a few moments away. Other favorites within the Heights/Village zone are places like the eco-friendly nail salon Color Me Green, Rubios, Fresh Brothers, Manhattan Bread and Bagel, My Gym, the upscale Pet Foods Market, and everyone’s favorite stop for the freshest produce and meats, Grow. The whole neighborhood turns out when Grow announces it is fresh cherry season! While the Heights/Village area averages about 1.6 miles to beach (appx. 10 min drive), the largest amount of public park space is within walking distance. Pollywog Park, of course, is at the heart of the neighborhood, but also close by you’ll find Manhattan Heights Park & Community Center as well as the popular Aviation Park on the East side of Aviation Blvd, which features a public walking/running track and a large soccer field. There are numerous softball fields and basketball courts as well as the popular Adventure Plex which is an indoor, air-conditioned play facility, as well as a gym and facility for athletics classes and the like. Manhattan Heights/Liberty Village is home to one of the favorite summer traditions here in the Beach Cities—the Manhattan Beach Concerts in the Park series. For over 35 years, families and music lovers alike have made their way down to Polliwog Park each Sunday from June through August to be treated to free music sponsored by the City of Manhattan Beach. Liberty Village residents can easily walk to the park, leaving the car behind and avoiding any hassles with parking. Polliwog Park only allows alcohol to be present/consumed on park grounds from 5:00-7:00 pm on Sundays during the concert series season, so many residents make a quick trip to the neighborhood Trader Joe’s just a few blocks away to stock up on picnic items and summer wines. The Trader Joe’s crew caters to this event by highlighting “Summer Concert Picks” from their wine/beer selection and also their packaged “to-go” deli, snack and salad items.
The whole neighborhood turns out for the Summer Concerts in the Park at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach.
Pollywog Park is located at the corner of Redondo Ave and Manhattan Beach Blvd and is made up of 18 acres of public land. The park was developed in 1964 and later expanded in 1975. The park features gazebos that can be reserved for private parties, a nine hole disc golf course, a duck pond, different play structures and a free-to-the-public outdoor exercise facility. A great read on the history of the park can be found by clicking here. The Polliwog Dog Run is located on the west end of the park and offers almost 6,000 sf of space to play and exercise the family dog. It is open daily from 6:30 am to 8:00 pm, November 1-March 30, and 6:30 am to 9:00 pm, April 1 –October 31. Adjacent to the park in the southwest corner you will find the Botanical Garden. Run entirely by residential volunteers, the Garden is open to the public and is a wonderful place to take a docent-lead tour or simply to relax and reflect. You can join the local Gardening Club and help out with projects at the Garden. Call 310-546-1354 for more info. The Garden is open from dawn to dusk. On the North end is Begg Pool which is open all summer for neighborhood swimming as well as lessons, classes and the Dolphins club swim team. Also on that end is the Premier Little League Field. The entrance and parking for both the pool and field can be tricky to find if you are unaccustomed to the area. Drive down N. Peck Ave, past 12th Street and you will see a small access road branch off to the right down towards the field. Take that access road down and you will find the lower parking lot. The Manhattan Beach Historical Society is housed in the preserved, original beach cottage that sits facing Manhattan Beach Boulevard. It is a wonderful place to explore on your own or with the family to really understand the dynamic changes the City of Manhattan Beach has undergone as it continued to draw people relocating to the area for the wonderful beach lifestyle.