Bel Air (or Bel-Air) is a residential neighborhood on the Los Angeles Westside, in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in the U.S. state of California. Founded in 1923, it is the home of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden and the American Jewish University.

The majority of the area now known as Bel-Air was originally a rancho, granted to Maximo Alanis by the Mexican Governor of Californias, Manuel Micheltorena on February 24, 1843. The rancho’s name was “Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres” (Saint Joseph of Good Air).

In 1922 Alphonzo Bell, a farmer who had struck oil a few years prior in Whittier, CA, purchased the Danzinger family estate. It is from those 1,700 acres that Mr. Bell began the original subdivision of a Westside Community that his wife named: Bel-Air.

Mrs. Bell’s appreciation for Italy was highlighted in the naming of the streets, most with Italian names like Bellagio, Nimes, St. Pierre, Cuesta and Capello. While often believed that Alphonzo Bell’s last name was the inspiration for the name Bel-Air, it’s been rumored the original rancho “Saint Joseph of Good Air” and Mrs. Bell’s love of Italy was the actual inspiration for our namesake: A combination of the Italian word for “good” or Bello and the English word for “Ayres” or Air, hence, Bel-Air.

The first Tract for the new community of Bel-Air was filed in 1923 and consisted of 128 lots for homes to be built. In 1925, a second tract was filed expanding the community considerably. In the following years, the institutions that helped define our world-renown community were:

  • In 1924 the Bel-Air Country Club was incorporated.

  • In 1931 the Bel-Air Garden Club was organized.

  • In 1942 the Bel-Air Association was formed.

  • In 1946 the Hotel Bel-Air opened.

Much of the grandeur and idyllic nature the name Bel-Air evokes stems from the early masters that designed and built our homes. Notable Architects who developed early estate properties in Bel-Air include: Summer Spaulding, Burton Schutt, Gerard Colcord, Butts and Butts, Wurdeman and Beckett, Roland Pearson, Paul Williams, Deman Scott, Robert Finkelhor, Roland Coate, James Delano, Paul Hunter, Wallace Neff, Gordon Kaufman, George Allison, John Byers, H. Roy Kelley and J. Pierpoint Davis.

Despite Mr. Bell’s infamous policy of not allowing Hollywood actors to purchase property in Bel-Air, the community nevertheless has been called home by some of the biggest movie stars and entertainment moguls the world has seen. From the Beatles to Ronald Regan, Bel-Air has been the peaceful retreat for many.

 

Mission Statement

Our Values

Our guiding principle is to treat those with whom we come in
contact-our customers, our associates, our shareholders, our suppliers,
and our communities-the same way we would expect to be treated in
similar circumstances.

Our Customers

To deliver fully on our commitments by providing superior value
through innovation, creativity, and personal attention, thus meeting or
exceeding every customer's expectations.

Our Associates

To provide everyone with opportunities for meaningful challenges,
empowering them to achieve and be rewarded in an atmosphere of total
trust and respect, thus becoming a model for teamwork and open
communications throughout our organization.

Our Shareholders

To achieve long-term profitability and growth that yields returns
that meet or exceed those that our shareholders could achieve through
alternative business investments.

Our Suppliers

To treat our suppliers fairly and forthrightly, to fully live up to
our agreements, and to develop solid and stable long-term relationships.

Our Communities

To actively support our communities through individual and corporate
involvement and to achieve respect and admiration for our integrity,
commitment, insight, and progressiveness.

And finally:

To be committed to excellence by living each of these values every day.