According to a May 18, 2017, PropertyShark study, the City of Manhattan Beach 90266 zip code ranked as the 32nd most expensive zip code in the United States. According to a December 2017 PropertyShark study the City of Manhattan Beach had the highest median price per square foot for residential properties ($943 per square foot) of all 88 cities in L.A. County, ahead of Malibu and Beverly Hills. The residents have a median age of 44.2 years, an average household size of 2.5, and 55.6% are married. Manhattan Beach is known for having less traffic congestion than other parts of Los Angeles, along with many fine dining options, and a casual beach culture.
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, Kuhn Brothers Construction Company 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.
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