“Four distinct boroughs make up South of El Monte, offering untold variety for homeowners”.
The Los Altos neighborhood known as South of El Monte (MLS #214) encompasses a group of four boroughs: Central Los Altos, Rancho, Loyola Corners and South Los Altos. Small in size, each offers its own unique personality and atmosphere.
Rancho and Loyola Corners are the smallest of the four neighborhoods but are the commercial cornerstones in South of El Monte. The al fresco Rancho Shopping Center is top pick of residents from the Central Los Altos and Country Club while the small businesses and shops in Loyola Corners along Fremont Avenue serve as an ancillary downtown.
The streets of Loyola Corners and Rancho are quiet and tree-lined while the homes are mainly 1950’s ranch style on spacious ¼ to ½-acre lots. Residents of these boroughs tend to stay put, choosing remodelling over trading up. A significant number of homes have undergone tasteful and traditional architectural renovation. As such, there is minimal real estate activity in these two areas.
Central and South of Los Altos are the two prevalent segments of South of El Monte and offer much more in the way of real estate activity. Classic ranch homes can be found here along with a large number of homes built in the 1970’s. Deemed the ‘affordable’ area of the city, South of Los Altos homes sell for $200,000 to $300,000 less than houses in other neighborhoods. Not in the Los Altos school district, children in this borough attend either Cupertino or Mountain View Schools. Central Los Altos children attend Covington Elementary, an award-winning Los Altos school that residents feel is a key factor of the neighborhood’s emotional core.
South of El Monte, now a far cry from its fruit orchard beginnings, offers diversity for residents in neighborhood individuality, home styles and prices as well as lifestyle.
Unique personality in each sub-borough
Larger ¼-1/2 acre lots
Diverse options in home styles
One of more affordable areas in Los Altos
Rancho Shopping Center and Loyola Corners offer commercial convenience
History of South of El Monte, Los Altos
If it weren’t for the 1906 earthquake, Loyola Corners along with a significant portion of the Country Club neighborhood, would be Santa Clara University. But the 7.8 magnitude temblor halted plans for the new campus and the University sold their acreage to the Los Altos Country Club. The land remaining after the construction of the club was zoned as residential space while the small business district of Loyola Corners remained.
The other principal impetus in South of El Monte history was the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1907, with aspirations to build a rail line from San Jose to Palo Alto, much of the land that is now South Los Altos was annexed. Noted eccentric and gun heir, Sarah Winchester, who owned ranch land directly in the path of the proposed railway, vehemently opposed the plan. Inevitably, the railroad was built along the path of present-day Foothill Expressway including a station in Loyola Corners.
Development of what was to become South of El Monte was supremely unhurried. In the 1940s, residents were so few and far between, that the Street Numbering and Naming Committee renamed a road “Echo Drive” at the suggestion of a local who claimed her street was so uninhabited, she could literally hear echoes. In the 1950s, the four boroughs of South of El Monte finally found their ‘growth groove’, transforming into the uniquely diverse borough it is today.
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