Although Mar Vista is almost 100 years old, it is currently suffering what could be called growing pains or possibly a mid-life crisis. It is a community on the rise in popularity. But at the same time, it is a city where the old is struggling to co-exist with the new. Its historic downtown area is a good example of that. There, you’ll find hand-brewed coffee shops and restaurants specializing in progressive Los Angeles cuisine interspersed with tattoo parlors and thrift shops.
Mar Vista’s housing is also an interesting mix, with many of this city’s older homes being torn down and replaced by behemoths that tower over their neighbors. Not surprisingly, this has caused tension between the old-timers who cherish the feel of this family-friendly community, and the newcomers, who want the right to build the house of their dreams.
Fortunately, there is one neighborhood in this city that has bucked that trend – Mar Vista Tract. All of the 52 Modern-style homes that were built in this neighborhood right after World War II still remain and are very well-preserved. This charming tract, was, in fact, Los Angeles’s first designated historic district.
Before it was known as Mar Vista, this city was a trolley stop along the Venice Short Line called Ocean Park Heights. That changed in 1924 when it was officially given the name Mar Vista. Not long afterwards, in 1927 to be precise, Mar Vista was annexed by Los Angeles. Although Mar Vista no longer enjoys trolley service, it does boast easy access to the 405 freeway.
Mar Vista may not be as well-known as some of the other communities on Los Angeles’ Westside, but is definitely attracting homeowners. In fact, in 2018, Trip Savvy included Mar Vista on its list of “The Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods of Los Angeles.” The website did clarify that by “up-and-coming,” it did not mean that you’ll be able to swoop in and find cheap housing. In fact, the median sale price for Mar Vista is approximately $1.5 million dollars. Instead, Trip Savvy said this is a city where you might find a relative bargain in comparison to the prices you might find in Mar Vista’s better known neighbors, which include Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, and Palms.
Mar Vista has also attracted numerous restaurants. The website Eater even predicted that Mar Vista may soon be dethroning Highland Park as L.A.’s hottest dining neighborhood. Another thing that Mar Vista is attracting? Notable residents, including Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and John Frusciante, the guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. All in all, Mar Vista has a lot to offer future homeowners, including close proximity to the beach, a family-friendly atmosphere, and plenty of restaurant and shopping options.