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Signal Hill, The City Within a City

shannonjones Featured Articles , Real Estate , Signal Hill Leave a Comment

Within Long Beach, there lies another city unto itself: Signal Hill. With a history going back to the time of California’s first exploration to the present energy giant it is now, there’s a lot to love about the 2.2 square miles that makes up Signal Hill.

Signal Hill of the Past

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Signal Hill was originally named for its use to local indigenous cultures. Acting as a high point to communicate with natives on Santa Catalina Island using smoke signals, the local Puva and Tongva tribes occupied this location as far back as the 1500s. When Spanish settlers arrived in the 1700s, the site became known as ‘Loma Sental‘, which is translated as ‘Signal Hill’.

The first landowner within Signal Hill was Manuel Nieto, who received the land as a grant from King Carlos III of Spain in 1784. Later, Nieto split his property into six separate ranches. Two of the most recognizable of these are Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos, which are still a part of modern day Long Beach. These ranches were later sold to the Bixby family in the 1800s.

The area that became the modern city of Signal Hill continued to develop during the turn of the century, with homes and open spaces that were used in some of California’s earliest films. Agriculture was strong at the base of the hill.signal-hill-postcard-300x194

A California Oil Dream

The discovery of oil in Signal Hill in 1921 dramatically changed its development going through the 20th century. While Shell engineers initially had reservations about drilling where Union Oil had only found dry wells in 1918, this turned out to be fretting for nothing. The territory surrounding the hill as well as the hill itself quickly became home to more oil derricks than houses, known locally sometimes as ‘Porcupine Hill’ due to its prickly appearance. The oil market also prompted the incorporation of the city in 1924. This was due to zoning restrictions that the city of Long Beach would enforce, as well as a per-barrel oil tax. To this day, the Signal Hill portion of the Long Beach Oil Field is the highest producing, although oil production has slowed since crude oil prices dropped in the 1970s.

The Modern Era

Signal Hill has a unique position within the landscape of Long Beach, both literally and economically. Still largely sequestered to the 2.2 miles that the U.S. Census considers to be the city, a mere 11,400 populate this small enclave.

Signal Hill is special in that it has some of the lowest business taxes in Los Angeles county and no utility tax. This makes it especially appealing to industrial manufacturers and businesses. These occupy as much as 60% of Signal Hill’s property. Of the remaining land, 35% is residential. Major employers and revenue generators for the area include Costco and Office Max, as well as Home Depot.

This abundance of business interest along with their local sales tax yielded a tax surplus in 2014, which the city uses to maintain services, schools, multiple parks, and future developments such as a proposed re-use of an oil field by turning it into a nature preserve. The schools within Signal Hill are widely praised as being of excellent quality, with multiple awards and merits from the state of California.

Due to the border with Long Beach on all sides, there is frequent confusion about whether or not a business or property is governed by Signal Hill. Sometimes you might find yourself using a studio in Long Beach, but using the bathroom in Signal Hill.

The Homes of Signal Hill

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Signal Hill has a high density of apartments, condominiums, and single family homes alike. Due to the flux of the oil industry and development in the area, many of the properties in the city are new, gated, and within reach of a beautiful view on all sides.

The average price of a home in Signal Hill across all types is around the mid $400,000s, with single family homes higher than condominiums. The average age of the occupants is 35 years old, according to the latest census data. Due to the city’s high quality schools, parks, and public amenities, property in this region can go very quickly.

Ready to get started on your home search in Signal Hill, or looking to sell your home in this lovely neighborhood? The Shannon Jones Team can help. See below for a look at homes currently on the market, or fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to contact you. No matter the stage of planning you’re in, we’re happy to advise, make suggestions, and lead you to the best move you’ve ever made.

Homes for Sale in Signal Hill

$2,795,000
For Sale
4
Beds
1
Baths
4,195
Sq Ft
1790 E Burnett
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$1,199,000
For Sale
5
Beds
5
Baths
3,446
Sq Ft
2557 Eastwind Way
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$1,195,000
For Sale
3
Beds
4
Baths
2,834
Sq Ft
2273 Westwind Way
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$1,167,000
For Sale
4
Beds
5
Baths
2,834
Sq Ft
2273 Westwind Way
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$953,020
For Sale
4
Beds
3
Baths
2,794
Sq Ft
2512 Quiet Sands Drive
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$952,720
For Sale
4
Beds
3
Baths
3,152
Sq Ft
2524 Quiet Sands Drive
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$799,000
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
2,945
Sq Ft
2100 Stanley Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$775,999
For Sale
4
Beds
2
Baths
1,765
Sq Ft
3350 Gundry Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$718,000
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
2,285
Sq Ft
3365 Lemon Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$715,000
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,977
Sq Ft
2288 Jeans Court
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
Short Sale
$700,000
For Sale
3
Beds
3
Baths
2,058
Sq Ft
2218 Ohio Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$679,999
For Sale
5
Beds
2
Baths
2,120
Sq Ft
3330 Gundry Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$635,000
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,867
Sq Ft
3000 E 19th Street #105
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Condo - Active
$624,500
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,879
Sq Ft
1865 Orizaba Avenue #105
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Townhouse - Active
$619,950
For Sale
3
Beds
3
Baths
2,005
Sq Ft
2375 Ohio Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Townhouse - Active
New Listing - yesterday
$615,000
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,394
Sq Ft
3340 Orange Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$604,900
For Sale
3
Beds
1
Baths
1,136
Sq Ft
2044 Raymond Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$599,900
For Sale
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,870
Sq Ft
1870 Gladys Avenue #105
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Condo - Active
$589,999
For Sale
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,420
Sq Ft
1812 Junipero
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Single Family Residence - Active
$564,000
For Sale
3
Beds
3
Baths
1,662
Sq Ft
1820 Orizaba Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Townhouse - Active

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