Lakewood

Living in Lakewood

shannonjones Featured Articles , Real Estate 1 Comment

Once dubbed an “instant city” that grew by leaps and bounds, the city of Lakewood has earned itself other designations over the years. A couple years ago, it was named the “most boring city in California” by a popular real estate website and garnered a “Playful City” designation for its quality parks, playgrounds and recreation services.

You may think of Lakewood simply as that slice of suburbia existing between Long Beach and Bellflower, but it has a rich history and much to offer.

The Early Years

LakewoodIn the early 1950s, Lakewood sprang up from lima bean fields almost overnight. The building of Lakewood broke records, with 17,500 homes built in less than three years. A new house was completed every 7 1/2 minutes 40 to 60 each day, with a record 110 completed in a single day.

Part of the reason Lakewood was populated so quickly was that WWII veterans were able to obtain loans with no down payment and mortgages with 4 percent interest rates, making the payments about $44 to $56 per month, including principal, taxes, and insurance. When homes in Lakewood first hit the market, tens of thousands of people showed up to visit a handful model homes. In the first two months alone, over 200,000 interested buyers visited the neighborhood sales office and over a thousand families signed to purchase new homes.  In 1950, you could land a 2 bedroom home in Lakewood for around $7,500 or a 3 bedroom house for under $9,100.

Lakewood’s neighborhoods centered around major boulevards with landscaped medians and frontage roads on either side. Access to the main road from the frontage road is only possible from infrequently spaced collector streets, a plan that was unusual at the time and one that was hailed by urban planners.

The Neighborhood Booms

Lakewood

(Photo source: Life Magazine)

Lakewood rapidly transformed from a cozy town in the early 1950s to a community of over 70,000 residents by the middle of the decade. The city’s municipal needs changed too.

In 1954, Lakewood’s residents voted to incorporate, approving the measure by two to one. Lakewood took a different tactic than most cities, though, when it came to services, opting to contract for most of its municipal services from the county, other agencies or private industry. It became known as a “contract city.”

Lakewood was also very much a “company town” and many of the homes housed workers at Douglas Aircraft, which employed 22,000 people by 1956.

Other major employers in Lakewood over the years have been North American Aviation, the Long Beach Naval Shipyards, Aerojet General, along with other local assembly plants.

Housing Styles

Lakewood

(Photo Source: Lakewood City website)

For the most part, the homes in Lakewood are traditional variations on a theme. The original floor plans range from 888 sq. ft. to 1225 sq. ft., but many have been altered or modified over the years, with added bedrooms, bathrooms or family rooms. Most of the lots are between 5,000 and 5,300 sq. ft.

While there are a number of distinct neighborhoods within Lakewood, the one that stands out as different is Lakewood Country Club. This neighborhood of custom homes was built in the 1950s and 1960s, with homes starting at about 1,800 sq. ft. and the lots range from around 8,000 sq. ft. up to 20,000 sq. ft. Some of the homes have been drastically altered or rebuilt over the years, giving the neighborhood a more varied architectural feel than other parts of Lakewood. Within Lakewood Country Club are the exclusive “island” streets of Manor Drive and Parkview Drive. With larger lots and expansive golf course views, homes on these streets sell at a premium.

 

Parks and Recreation

photo-jun-13-12-27-59-pm

One draw to Lakewood and something that residents say they enjoy are its parks. Lakewood has 20 parks and recreational facilities, including two swimming pools, two teen centers, eight tot lots and 10 playgrounds.  There are numerous classes and events for all ages, including two community centers for seniors.

Popular annual community events include Pan American Fiesta, Patriot Day, the Block Party, and Halloween Carnivals. There are also numerous other family friendly events held throughout the year.

The Summer Concert Series at Del Valle Park gets folks to shake their groove things all summer long. Performances start in June and feature different musicians each week throughout the summer. You’ll get to hear Country,Rock, Motown, Disco, Swing (almost any genre you can think of). Concessions are sold at the concerts, but you’re also encouraged to bring your own picnic basket.

Schools

lhsbandpainting

(Photo Source: Lakewood High School Alumni Website “Courtesy of Tracy Shelton”)

One of the interesting things about Lakewood is that four different school districts administer its schools. Depending on where you live, your children may attend schools in one of these districts: ABC Unified School District, Bellflower Unified School District, Long Beach Unified School District, or Paramount Unified School District.

Shopping

LakewoodLakewood also takes great pride in its businesses. In fact, Lakewood Center was Southern California’s first outdoor shopping mall when it opened in 1952. When it first opened, it featured more than 100 stores. The mall was enclosed in the late 1980s and a subsequent renovation was completed in 2000-2001, which added a new wing and a food court. Two new department stores were added as well. Today, Lakewood Center is home to 250 stores.

In addition to major chains that can be found in Lakewood, some of the city’s favorite small businesses are run by locals and employ many Lakewood residents. Timeless Pints Brewing Company, Foggia Italian Market and Deli, Adobo Taco Grill, Tag & Target game zone, Sunrise Cafe, and Shop Chelou Boutique are just some of the wonderful businesses you’ll find in Lakewood.

And, don’t forget to hit the Lakewood Center Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12pm.

To learn more about shopping in Lakewood, click the links below.

Fun Facts About Lakewood

Lakewood

  • Lakewood is home to the first Denny’s Restaurant ever.
  • Lakewood was dubbed California’s Sportstown by Sports Illustrated (2004).
  • The jet in Airplane Park is a decommissioned Douglas Aircraft Company F3D “Skynight” fighter — originally a gift from the Defense Department.
  • Lakewood hosts one of the largest annual High School reunions ever — inviting every class from Lakewood High every July.

Homes for Sale in Lakewood

With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why many people would want to call Lakewood their home. Priced more affordably than Long Beach to the south or Cerritos to the east, Lakewood homes are highly in demand and tend to sell very quickly. Here’s a look at what’s currently available. If you’d like more information with a home search in Lakewood, please fill out the contact form at the bottom and we’ll be happy to contact you.

  1. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,210 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,702 sqft
    Year built: 1971
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 1
  2. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,082 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,219 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 2
  3. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 three-quarter baths
    Home size: 1,164 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,131 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 2
  4. 4 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,446 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,200 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 2
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,794 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,202 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Days on market: 2
  6. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,635 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,151 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 3
  7. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 815 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,358 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 3
  8. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 966 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,835 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 4
  9. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,456 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,549 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 4
  10. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,318 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,109 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 4
  11. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,076 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,300 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Days on market: 4
  12. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,380 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,751 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 5
  13. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,122 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,331 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 5
  14. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 quarter baths
    Home size: 2,033 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,080 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 5
  15. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,370 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,446 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 5
  16. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,290 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,336 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 5
  17. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,522 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,622 sqft
    Year built: 2005
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 5
  18. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,140 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,643 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Parking spots: 10
    Days on market: 5
  19. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,188 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,303 sqft
    Year built: 1946
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 6
  20. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,210 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,700 sqft
    Year built: 1968
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 6
  21. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,967 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,332 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 6
  22. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 quarter baths
    Home size: 1,219 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,101 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 6
  23. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 864 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,656 sqft
    Year built: 1941
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 6
  24. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,469 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,050 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Parking spots: 8
    Days on market: 6
  25. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 three-quarter baths
    Home size: 1,244 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,003 sqft
    Year built: 1962
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 7
  26. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,780 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,175 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 7
  27. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,353 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,456 sqft
    Year built: 1944
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 7
  28. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 three-quarter baths
    Home size: 1,632 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,001 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 8
  29. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 three-quarter baths
    Home size: 1,769 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,801 sqft
    Year built: 1958
    Parking spots: 6
    Days on market: 8
  30. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,115 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,753 sqft
    Year built: 1943
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 8
  31. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,618 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,075 sqft
    Year built: 1959
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 8
  32. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,372 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,002 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 9
  33. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,138 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,219 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 9
  34. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,004 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,875 sqft
    Year built: 1944
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 9
  35. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 three-quarter baths
    Home size: 2,474 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,626 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Days on market: 9
  36. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,650 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,095 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 9
  37. 5 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,287 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,802 sqft
    Year built: 1961
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 10
  38. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 three-quarter baths
    Home size: 1,384 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,455 sqft
    Year built: 1945
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 10
  39. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 888 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,000 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 10
  40. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 875 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,102 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 13
  41. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,320 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,046 sqft
    Year built: 1976
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 13
  42. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,082 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,023 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 16
  43. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 939 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,001 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 17
  44. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,158 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,162 sqft
    Year built: 1947
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 17
  45. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 888 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,501 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 18
  46. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,219 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,176 sqft
    Year built: 1953
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 20
  47. 4 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,357 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,201 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 20
  48. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,180 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,004 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 23
  49. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,200 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,812 sqft
    Year built: 1939
    Parking spots: 2
    Days on market: 29
  50. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,295 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,449 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Parking spots: 4
    Days on market: 30

See all Real estate in the city of Lakewood.
(all data current as of 4/30/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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About the Author

shannonjones

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Shannon Jones has been helping home buyers and sellers in and around Long Beach since 1998.

Comments 1

  1. Marcia Bruce

    Shannon!
    What fun to read about Lakewood! My parents were part of the “GI rush-to-buy” and in 1949 we moved into a brand new house – 3511 Woodruff! I went to McArthur elementary in 5th grade. Burcham elementary was built in time for 6th grade. 7th & 8th grade I was at Lakewood Jr. High.
    9th grade and John Marshall was built. Off to Wilson for 10th & 11th grade. Millikan was ready for my senior year – I was in the first graduating class from Millikan in 1957. Lakewood High was built a couple years later.
    I rode the school bus in 5th grade. At Wilson I rode the public bus. Amazingly, I had the same bus driver as he had switched from the school to the public bus company.
    While I was at Lakewood Jr. High, Lakewood was a “Sister City” with a city in Latin America (I don’t recall which city.) We learned to square dance and some folk dances. We also learn dances from the “Sister City”. For one week each year we had “Pan American Days” with all sorts of activities at Pan American Park. Lots and lots of dancing! People from the other city were there in their native dress.
    When Lakewood Mall was built we were all amazed as it was quite a difference from going “downtown” to Long Beach.
    Thanks for the memories!

    Thank you, also, for the referral of my daughter, Lisa-Marie, who has moved from AZ to Ft. Myers, FL. The agent there is getting a real workout on this one. Lisa-Marie is a ‘seasoned’ home shopper and is very pleased with the care she is receiving. This mom very much appreciates!
    Marcia Bruce

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