Hiller Highlands Homes For Sale
High in the hills of Oakland is Hiller Highlands, a development of townhomes set in a raised canyon with sweeping views across the San Francisco Bay Area. Hiller Highlands was entirely rebuilt in 1994 after all of the previous luxury homes were lost in the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm. The new shared-wall townhouses for sale in Hiller Highlands in the present day are modern and open in style, offering some of the premium benefits of a homeowners association, while retaining many of the benefits of single-family home ownership. [Read more...]
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Originally, Hiller Highlands began as a pet project by the inventor Stanley Hiller, Sr., who was trying to demonstrate that single channel underground utilities could be effective. In an attempt to gain PG&E's interest in his invention, Hiller divided his large hillside property into 27 undeveloped lots with underground utilities. But PG&E refused to connect to Hiller's newfangled invention, leaving the lots unsold until 1963. Stanley Hiller's mansion remains, and is now the main building for the private Bentley School campus, located just west of the Hiller Highlands development at the foot of Hiller Drive.
Hiller Highland homes are distinguished in the East Bay for their unparalleled 180-degree views of the entire bay and surrounding cities. The steep incline of Hiller Drive allows nearly every house to face out to a splendid panorama without obstruction. The microclimate of the canyon is also unique, adding a slight coolness and breeze to the hottest Bay Area days. Though the real estate here falls in the moderate pricing ranges for the east bay, some of the larger homes are million dollar properties.
Where is Hiller Highlands?
The townhouse development is situated above the top half of Hiller Drive, a loop which begins and ends where scenic Highway 13, Tunnel Road, and Caldecott Lane converge. Tucked away from the freeway noise by the configuration of the canyon for the most part, Hiller Highlands is conveniently located about 2 minutes west of the Caldecott Tunnel, as well as the on/off ramps for Highway 24 to Moraga-Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Concord (through the tunnel), and westbound to downtown Oakland or San Francisco.
Highway 13 leads to the shopping district in Montclair Village less than 5 minutes away. Tunnel Road winds down the hill past the iconic Claremont Hotel, turns into Ashby Avenue, and takes one into Berkeley, Emeryville, and eventually the freeway entrance to I-80 east and westbound along the water's edge.
Things to Do Near Hiller Highland
Outdoor enthusiasts will find many recreational opportunities immediately adjacent to Hiller Highlands, and not far beyond. Lake Temescal is close by for summer swimming, grassy picnic areas, and a lovely walking trail around the little lake. The North Oakland Regional Sports Center is a popular field enjoyed by children and adults, directly next to the lake.
Take a short drive up into the hills behind Hiller Highlands, and one will quickly find themselves on Grizzly Peak, where a dozen hiking trailheads begin, the Berkeley steam train amuses families and out-of-town guests, and all the other treasures of Tilden Park and the other East Bay Regional Parks await exploration. Down the hill from Hiller, and back in "civilization," an afternoon's entertainment can easily be had. Take Tunnel Road and Ashby down to College Avenue, where the Elmwood neighborhood offers many pleasures: the historic Rialto Elmwood Theater, specializing in a diverse mix of independent and foreign films; Sweet Dreams candy and toy store, with its joyful assortment of cool and unusual gifts for all ages; the pet store with its colorful collection of exotic birds (and the occasional cute kitten up for adoption); and a boggling array of food choices from sushi to Mediterranean, Chinese to Indian, and some of the best Italian ristorantes in all of the East Bay.
In this 3-block stretch of College Avenue, there are also several hot-spot cafes with good wifi, and lots of book stores, jewelry, specialty, and clothing boutiques for casual browsing. Back at home, Hiller Highlands residents enjoy membership at the Hiller Highlands Country Club. Modest banquet facilities mix with pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and tennis courts, and even a tiny putting course, all with the signature stunning view. The nearby Claremont Hotel Club & Spa is also a popular gathering place for gracious dining and entertainment. Swimming and tennis memberships are available, as well.
Hiller Highlands Schools
Hiller Highlands is nestled next to some of the most highly-rated private elementary and secondary schools in the Bay Area: The Bentley School, and College Preparatory School (CPS). It is also home to one of the most beloved public schools, Kaiser Elementary (praised by parents for its small size and caring teachers).
Other schools serving the Claremont Hills neighborhoods include: John Muir Elementary, Anthony Chabot Elementary, Claremont Middle School, and Maybeck High.