Manhattan Beach is an affluent coastal city located in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, USA. The city is on the Pacific coast, south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach is one of the three Beach Cities in the South Bay and has one public high school, Mira Costa High School. Manhattan Beach is a hotspot for beach volleyball and surfing.
Manhattan Beach residential housing prices are consistently at or near the most expensive per square foot in the nation. A November 23, 2014 L.A. Times article cited the median sales price of a home in the City of Manhattan Beach at $2.2 Million. The 2013 Dataquick study revealed that more homes sold for $1 million+ in Manhattan Beach than any other City in California including La Jolla, Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, Montecito, Orinda, Atherton, Pacific Palisades, Bel-Air, Malibu, Newport Coast and others. According to a March 27, 2014 study published in CurbedLA (the widely respected authority on L.A. real estate) the Manhattan Beach Hill Section has the second highest average annual income of any area in Southern California.
In May of 2014 a 3,000 square foot piece of land sold on the Manhattan Beach "Strand" for a record breaking $16 million. Lot sales on "The Strand" are consistently $10 million for land only (approximately 3,000 square feet per lot). A home in the Hill Section of Manhattan Beach recently sold for $16 million breaking a record for the region.
The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has test scores ranked #3 in the State of California according to California Department of Education statistics. Forbes Magazine ranked Manhattan Beach Unified as the sixth best School District in the U.S.
Every August, the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament and the International Surf Festival.
In 1863, a Scottish immigrant, Sir Robert Burnett, purchased Rancho Sausal Redondo and Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela from Avila's heirs for $33,000. Ten years later in 1873, Burnett leased the ranch to a Canadian, Daniel Freeman (not the American Daniel Freeman, who was the first to file a claim under the Homestead Act of 1862). Burnett returned to Scotland. Freeman moved his wife and three children onto the ranch and started growing various crops. On May 4, 1885 Freeman bought the ranch from Burnett for $140,000.
George H. Peck owned a lot of the land that became part of the north section of Manhattan Beach. A coin flip decided the town's name. Around 1902, the beach suburb was named "Manhattan" after developer Stewart Merrill's home, the New York City borough of Manhattan. "Beach" was appended to the city's name in 1927 at the behest of the postmaster.
The land in Manhattan Beach was formerly sand dunes. During the 1920s and 1930s, builders leveled uneven sandy sites and some excess sand was sold and shipped to Waikiki, Hawaii to convert their reef and rock beach into a sandy beach. The sand was also used to build the Los Angeles Coliseum and portions of the Pacific Coast Highway.