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Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is an affluent, beachfront 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 a hotspot for beach volleyball and surfing. Every August, the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball tournament and the International Surf Festival. It is one of the three Beach Cities in the South Bay. In the past 15 years, it has become home to professional athletes such as Lisa Leslie, Maria Sharapova, Tiger Woods, Shaquille OÕNeal, Lamar Odom, Mike Richards, Blake Griffin and Landon Donovan.

Because it is within commuting distance to Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach is favorite residence of professional athletes and executives in the entertainment industry. According to a recent Fortune Magazine report, Manhattan Beach is one of the most expensive coastal towns in the United Sates. The median price of a single family dwelling greatly exceeds the already high Los Angeles County median price by well over 100%. Property in Manhattan Beach is exceptionally expensive when considering the size of land for sale. In comparison, a half acre of land in Bel-Air is valued at $20 million, while a half acre of land on the Strand in Manhattan Beach is valued at $35 million. Homes with an ocean view often exceed $5 million in cost.

In 1863, a Scottish immigrant, Sir Robert Burnett, purchased Rancho Sausal Redondo and Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela from AvilaÕs 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 townÕs name. Around 1902, the beach suburb was named ÒManhattanÓ after developer Stewart MerrillÕs home town, Manhattan, New York. ÒBeachÓ was appended to the cityÕs name in 1927 at the behest of the postmaster. Much of Manhattan Beach was once sand dunes. During the 1920s and 1930s most of that sand was shipped to Waikiki, Hawaii to convert their reef and rock beach into a sandy beach. Some of the sand was also used to build the Los Angeles Coliseum and portions of Pacific Coast Highway. Only one sand dune remains today.

The 2010 United States Census reported that Manhattan Beach had a population of 35,135. The population was spread out with 8,725 people (24.8%) under the age of 18, 1,740 people (5.0%) aged 18 to 24, 9,532 people (27.1%) aged 25 to 44, 10,681 people (30.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,457 people (12.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.9 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.

Public education in Manhattan Beach is provided by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, which oversees five elementary schools (Grandview, Meadows, Pacific, Pennekamp, Robinson), one middle school, and one high school (Mira Costa). The district as a whole received a score of 926 on the 2010 California Academic Performance Index, making it CaliforniaÕs 3rd best performing district. Each individual school also ranks at the top of its respective category.

Source: Manhattan Beach on Wikipedia

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