We can go in depth into why this isn’t Sierra Madre Housing Blog or Pasadena Housing Blog, but it’s simply because I live in the Arcadia area. I frequent its restaurants, use its roads, go to its parks and spend much of my time here so it’s convenient for me to scope out properties, keep up with the news and track local market trends.
And with that, I will provide some insight into the city which this blog is based on so readers from all over the world understand its economical, social, geographical and historical background.
Arcadia is located in sunny southern California about 15 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles, nestled at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Its surrounding cities include Pasadena, Sierra Madre, San Marino, Temple City and Monrovia. Per the US Census Bureau, it has a total area of just under 29 sq-kilometers. It’s comprised of two zip codes: 91006 and 91007.
Like all the cities in California, it used to be inhabited by Native American Indian tribes before the Spanish missionaries entered the picture. As they moved in, the Gabrielinos suffered both enslavement and exposure to deadly, new diseases. Shortly after, a large portion of the city today was sold to a wealthy Scottish immigrant, Hugo Reid, who held it for over 35 years before selling it to Lucky Baldwin in 1875.
It was Baldwin who brought in more business to the town, growing it to a population of 500 before the cities official incorporation in 1903. Many of today’s streets such has Baldwin Avenue and Santa Anita Ave (named after Baldwin’s daughter, Anita) stems from his heritage. Today, Arcadia is an upper-middle class suburban city with an estimated population of 57,000 people.
The city’s economy is largely supported by recreation and trade. The Santa Anita Race Track brings in substantial revenue through frequent horse races. The Westfield Mall (previously known as the Santa Anita Fashion Park) is a big shopping center in the area. It was recently expanded in 2005 and discussion for further expansion is underway to build the biggest retail mall in the county.
Aside from the two financial giants, Arcadia has a slew of small businesses in its downtown district, along with a handful of chain restaurants along Huntington Drive and a couple of corporate office buildings to bring in revenue for the city. The Methodist Hospital on Huntington Drive is also a contributor.
There are many parks in the city, but the most prominent one is the Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The area on which it resides and the park itself belongs not to Arcadia, but to the Los Angeles County when its 111 acres were handed over back in 1947. The Arboretum is home to the famous peacocks that roam the grounds and beautiful surrounding neighborhoods.
It’s also home to the Ruth and Charles Gilb Historical Museum which documents the city’s heritage. Not far from the museum is Arcadia’s High school and public library, which was incorporated in 1920 and expanded throughout the years – including the renovations made in 1996. It consists of a new auditorium and over 160,000 items such has books, articles and tapes.
Arcadia’s demographics was largely dominated by Caucasians until recently when many Asian families, particularly those of Chinese decent, moved into the area for its safe neighborhoods and good schools. Today, Arcadia is roughly 45% Caucasian, 45% Asian and 10% other. It’s hard to ignore the Asian community when its banks, restaurants, supermarkets and people have taken over many parts of the city.
Arcadia is a great place to live. It has great schools for families with children and offers quiet, safe suburbia neighborhoods throughout. It has housing products for every budget – from apartments and condos to detached units and single family residences. The city has a rich history and great pride in the community. Its proximity to the foothill mountains and nearby powerhouse cities like Pasadena make Arcadia a highly desirable location.