North Los Altos
The North Los Altos neighborhood has always been considered a premium destination for home buyers. The prestige can be attributed to many factors including oversized lots, large homes, and close proximity to downtown. Some of the best streets include Cherry, Dixon Santa Rita, and Van Buren, but there are many more. Homes range from ranch-style homes in original condition priced in the low $1 million range to new construction with prices well over $4 Million. There is significant remodeling and new construction happening which is reflected in rising prices and ever improving neighborhoods.
The area was originally populated by the Oblone Indians prior to exploration by the Spanish in the 15th and 16th centuries. Juan Bautista de Anza led an exploration through the area in 1776 to determine a land route that would serve as an alternative to the ocean routes. This exploration led to developing the famous California missions.
When California was still part of Mexicon in the early 1800s, Santa Clara County was divided into 38 “ranchos” including the 7,982 acre “Rancho San Antonio” which included present-day Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. After admission to the union in 1849, these ranchos were divided into small ranches for a variety of uses.
In the early 1900s, wealthy San Franciscans settled in the area buying lots as summer or vacation homes. The Altos Land Company was selling lots and the town grew from a single building near the train station (located at the modern intersection of Foothill Expressway and Main Street) to dozens of homes and several small buildings.
Residents generally enjoy walking the streets or using nearby school grounds for local sporting events ranging from soccer to baseball. There are also several parks in or bordering North Los Altos including the community center at 97 Hillview Avenue. That site is used for summer music concerts, the Bus Barn Stage, local sporting events, and picnicing. There was a recent History Ride through the town that started from this site (adjacent to the History Museum).
There are several shopping areas in North Los Altos including the Village Court Shopping Center, select stores and restaurants along El Camino and the quaint Sweet Shop Los Altos located on Los Altos Avenue.
The Village Court Shopping Center has an excellent variety of restaurants including Italian, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Indian. Of my personal favorites there is The Pasta Market, Pho Vi Hoa, and Oregano’s Pizza. There are also insurance, barber, banking, tobaccoist, and other services available in the complex. While there has been some turnover with a few businesses, for the most part those that are there have been in business a long time. Being located on the El Camino corridor is a huge advantage.
Across the street and farther down along El Camino there are more shops and restaurants including the famous Chef Chu’s chinese restaurant. I’ve been here many times and it’s still a popular destination. If you move into the area, I highly recommend a visit.
Los Altos schools are consistently among the best in the state with API scores averaging in the mid-900s. Along with an excellent public school system, there are also private and charter schools available that also carry strong reputations for providing excellent educations for many decades. Within North Los Altos specifically, there primary public schools are:
Santa Rita Elementary (2013 API: 940) — 700 Los Altos Ave — (650) 559-1600
Almond Middle School (2013 API: 953) — 550 Almond Ave — (650) 917-5400
Ardis Egan Middle School (2013 API: 976) — 100 West Portola Ave — (650) 917-2200
Los Altos High School (2013 API: 895) — 201 Almond Ave — (650) 968-6571
For more information on these schools or the charter and private schools in the area, please call me for more details. I was a student in the Los Altos school system as well as had my own children so I’m very familiar with what the schools are like.
There are numerous services available to residents of North Los Altos, all within a few minutes drive of the area. For medical care the closest hospital is El Camino Hospital which is recognized as a leader in medical care. Nationally recognized Stanford Medical Center is only a 10 minute drive away.
Water: California Water Service Company (650) 917-0152
Electricity: PG&E (800) 743-5000
Garbage: Mission Trails Waste Systems (650) 473-1400
Cable: Comcast (800) 266-2278
- Population in 2012: 29,929 (100% urban, 0% rural). Population change since 2000: +8.1%
- Males: 14,432 (48.2%)
- Females: 15,497 (51.8%)
- Median resident age: 46.2 years
- California median age: 45.6 years
- Zip codes: 94022, 94023, 94024
- Estimated median Los Altos household income in 2011: $144,748 (it was $126,740 in 2000)
- There is one particular neighborhood called “Dos Palos” that is very well known locally and in high demand for home buyers. They even have their own annual block party.
- North Los Altos is home to two (2) major senior housing / retirement developments – The Terraces and BridgePoint.
- There is a bike path off Estrallita Ave in Los Altos that connects to Palo Alto and Arastradero Road near Terman Middle School.
- Almost all the condos and townhouses in the City are clustered in or around the downtown area.
- There are several pedestrian access paths that allow walkers to go from one dead-end street to another, where cars can’t otherwise go. An example is the path connecting Lyell St.to S. Gordon Way.