“Characterized by affordable housing and neighborhood amenities, the Belle Haven neighborhood is richly diverse and offers plentiful opportunities for entry level homebuyers.”
The primarily residential borough of Belle Haven (MLS #310) is also referred to as East Menlo Park, possibly because its atmosphere tends toward that of East Palo Alto rather than other high-end neighborhoods of Menlo Park.
Both major subdivisions of Belle Haven, Newbridge Park and Belle Haven City, are replete with modest ranch homes, most constructed between 1946 and 1953. Built to allow the post-Depression working class into the home buying market, these houses offer today’s first time buyers entry into the often-pricey Bay Area real estate market. The median sale price in Belle Haven is $502,000, the lowest not only in Menlo Park but also along the entire Peninsula.
The single anomaly in Belle Haven is the Clarum Homes tract where homes sell for upwards of $800,000. Built in 2007 around the city’s Hamilton Park, the 47 two-story houses were modeled after Sunset Magazine’s 2005 eco-friendly Idea House. The Clarum homes offer environment amenities including solar panels and tankless water heaters.
Belle Haven offers a variety of amenities to it’s inhabitants, including a community center, swimming pool, two parks, a library and a small shopping complex. With social media giant Facebook’s main campus on the outskirts, Belle Haven’s proximity, diversity and affordability is the perfect location for many of its employees to set down roots.
Neighborhood Price Point
- One of the most affordable neighborhoods for entry level homebuyers
- Bountiful neighborhood amenities including pool, library and parks
- Clarum Homes offer higher end yet still affordable, eco-friendly dwellings
- Proximity to Facebook campus and other high tech employers
- Active neighborhood committee dedicated to future of Belle Haven
History of Belle Haven, Menlo Park
Belle Haven was once part of a 2,000-acre parcel owned by Isaiah Churchill Woods and the Adams & Company Bank, which was purchased after the California Gold Rush. In 1852, Woods founded the original townsite in San Mateo County that he christened Ravenswood, a combination of his last name and the large ravens found in the area. When his original plan to build a wharf between San Francisco and San Jose proved unsound, he began selling off plots of land.
With the opening of the Dumbarton Bridge in 1927 came the development of its namesake, the subdivision of Newbridge Park. Despite its proximity to the bridge, the area was still challenging to reach and the development failed to thrive.
In the 1930s, the Bayshore Highway was improved, and with it, Belle Haven’s growth ignited. But the region as a whole didn’t gain traction until after World War II.