Laurel District Homes For Sale
The Laurel District is a sunny, tree-filled neighborhood that hosts a diverse and vibrant population. A mini melting-pot within the greater Oakland scene, the Laurel community has a distinctive, neighborly feel. People greet each other warmly outside the small but renowned farmer's market—the original Farmer Joe's, whose larger spin-off store can be found in the adjacent Dimond district. The walkable, friendly business district boasts a wide range of inexpensive ethnic restaurants along MacArthur Boulevard. What is now known as "The Laurel," grew from a handful of homesteads built at the turn of the Nineteenth century in the east bay hills—modest houses encircled by vegetable gardens and lush hillsides, family-run dairies and grazing livestock.
Laurel Real Estate Listings
Following the Great Earthquake of 1906, San Francisco's refugees came flocking to the area, and soon the district had both streetlights and sidewalks. By the early 1920s, the Key Route Rail connected this area to downtown Oakland, establishing Hopkins Street (later renamed MacArthur Boulevard) as a lively thoroughfare. The need for housing paced Oakland's industrial boom, and incredible incentives offered more young families the opportunity to buy houses for sale in the district. Growth continued throughout the Depression, and by WWII, the Laurel had two new movie theatres where locals could see the latest news reels. The post-war period brought another housing boom, allowing local businesses to flourish. Much of the commercial district centered along MacArthur was built during the 1940s and 50s. This period is reflected in the simple, unembellished architecture of the neighborhood storefronts, most of which remain. There is a feeling of history and nostalgia that lingers in The Laurel, protected and even cultivated by its modern-day residents.
WHERE IS THE LAUREL DISTRICT?
This neighborhood is nestled at the foot of the Oakland hills, just above Mills College. Its major streets are MacArthur Boulevard and High Street. 35th Avenue intersects the district perpendicular to its lower boundary at I-580. The Laurel and "Upper Laurel" residential boundary hovers at Wisconsin, extending towards Maple Avenue at the northwest end. To the southwest, it is bounded by the "Y" intersection created by Hwy 13 and I-580. The upper/lower Laurel is adjacent to the Dimond district, and these neighborhoods tend to overlap and co-mingle. Easy freeway access encourages a short driving commute to downtown Oakland (as little as 10 minutes, depending on traffic) or San Francisco (25 minutes at off-commute times). Public transportation in the form of AC Transit and Transbay buses run through the area, and casual carpool is available. The nearest BART is Fruitvale station.
THINGS TO DO IN THE LAUREL
The Laurel is home to the annual Laurel Street Fair, beloved within the community and described as "small in size... but it packs a BIG punch!" An old-fashioned wooden dance floor welcomes enthusiastic "swinging and sashaying" to Salsa music, and every conceivable type of food is represented, including African, soul food, Asian cuisine, authentic Mexican, fried chicken, and fish, and BBQ. Families are friendly and the community is strong here. During the summer, block parties abound. Though it's not known for "nightlife," gentrification has brought increased new business to the area. Old neighborhood favorites like The Food Mill are joined by plenty of new cafes, bistros, and bars like Lounge 3411 and the Laurel Lounge to please the 30-something demographic.
LAUREL NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS
Redwood Heights and Laurel Elementary Schools serve the district. Residents are zoned to Bret Harte Middle School and Skyline High School. In addition, the American Indian Public Charter School (AIPCS) and the American Indian Public High School (AIPHS) are alternative public education options for families residing in the area. Housed in a converted church property, these institutions are based on the American Indian Model for education, and now receive a diverse mix of attendees from the Laurel district, including a high number of Asian-American students