Century City on January 25, 2009
Century City is a 176-acre (71.2 ha) neighborhood and business district in Los Angeles, California, United States. Located on the Westside to the south of Santa Monica Boulevard around 10 miles (16 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles, Century City is one of the most prominent employment centers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and its skyscrapers form a distinctive skyline on the Westside.
The district was developed on the former backlot of film studio 20th Century Fox, and its first building was opened in 1963. There are two private schools, but no public schools in the neighborhood. Important to the economy are the Westfield Century City shopping center, business towers, and Fox Studios.
According to the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Century City constitutes census tract 2679.01. As shown on the map published on the Century City Chamber of Commerce website, Century City is generally bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard to the north, the city of Beverly Hills to the east, Pico Boulevard to the south, and Century Park West to the west (including the west side of Century Park West between Santa Monica Boulevard and Constellation Boulevard). These boundaries correspond with those recognized by the Century City Business Improvement District Association. Neighboring Century City are Beverly Hills to the east, Cheviot Hills to the south, West Los Angeles to the west, and Westwood to the north.
The Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times extends Century City's western boundary to Beverly Glen Boulevard. However, this more expansive definition is not consistent with other L.A. Times reports: a 1999 article sets Century Park West as Century City's western boundary, and a 2017 article refers to the neighborhood to the west of Century City (between Century Park West and Beverly Glen Boulevard) as distinct from it.
Two specific plans cover the neighborhood: "Century City North Specific Plan for the retail, office, and entertainment functions in Century City," and "Century City South Specific Plan for multi-family homes, office tower, hotel and Fox Studios," according to the community plan set forth by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.
The land of Century City belonged to cowboy actor Tom Mix (1880-1940), who used it as a ranch. It later became a backlot of 20th Century Fox, which still has its headquarters just to the southwest. The area is named for the 20th Century Fox's Century Property.
In 1956, Spyros Skouras (1893-1971), who served as the President of 20th Century Fox from 1942–62, and his nephew-in-law Edmond Herrscher (died 1983), an attorney sometimes known as "the father of Century City", decided to repurpose the land for real estate development. The following year, in 1957, they commissioned a master-plan development from Welton Becket Associates, which was unveiled at a major press event on the "western" backlot later that year.
In 1961, after Fox suffered a string of expensive flops, culminating with the financial strain put on the studio by the very expensive production of Cleopatra, the film studio sold about 180 acres (0.73 km2) to developer William Zeckendorf and Aluminum Co. of America, also known as Alcoa, for US$300 million (US$2.4 billion in 2014's money). Herrscher had encouraged his uncle-in-law to borrow money instead, but once Skouras refused, he was out of the picture.
The new owners conceived Century City as "a city within a city". In 1963, the first building, Gateway West Building, was completed. The next year, in 1964, Minoru Yamasaki designed the Century Plaza Hotel. Five years later, in 1969, architects Anthony J. Lumsden and César Pelli designed the Century City Medical Plaza.
Much of the shopping center's architecture and style can be seen in numerous sequences in the 1967 Fox film, A Guide for the Married Man, as well as in a sequence in another Fox film of the same year, Caprice. Century City's plaza as it appeared in the early 1970s can be viewed in several scenes of still another Fox film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972).
Mapping L.A. data
The following data applies to Century City within the boundaries set by the Mapping L.A. project:
The 2000 U.S. census counted 5,513 residents in the 0.70-square-mile Century City neighborhood—or 7,869 people per square mile, an average population density for the city and county. The Southern California Association of Governments estimates that the daytime population amounts to 48,343 on a working day. In 2008, the city estimated that the resident population had increased to 5,934.
In 2008, the median age for residents was 46, older than average for the city and the county. The percentage of residents aged 65 and older (26.4%) was the highest for any neighborhood in Los Angeles County. The percentages of widowed men and women and of divorced men were among the county's highest. Military veterans accounted for 11.9% of the population, a high rate for the city and the county.
The neighborhood was considered "not especially diverse" ethnically, with a high percentage of white residents. The breakdown was whites, 82.5%; Asians, 8.6%; Latinos, 4.4%; blacks, 1.4%; and others, 3,0%. Iran (21.2%) and Canada (6.1%) were the most common places of birth for the 25.5% of the residents who were born abroad—a low percentage, compared to the city at large.
The median yearly income in 2014 was $95,135, a high figure for Los Angeles. The percentage of households that earned $125,000 and up was high for Los Angeles County. The average household size of 1.8 people was low for Los Angeles. Renters occupied 39.6% of the housing stock and apartment owners held 60.4%.
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Westfield Century City and Fox Studios occupy important[clarification needed] acreage in the neighborhood. Westfield Century City underwent an $800 million renovation and expansion aiming to maintain the center's status as one of the Westside's premier shopping and entertainment destinations.
One tower, Constellation Place (formerly the MGM Tower), has the headquarters of Houlihan Lokey, ICM Partners, and International Lease Finance Corporation. Crystal Cruises is also headquartered in Century City along with haircare manufacturer, John Paul Mitchell Systems.
Government and infrastructure
Los Angeles Fire Department Station 92 is the assigned fire station for the district. The Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, 90025, serving the neighborhood.
Santa Monica Airport is nearby. Major roads including Santa Monica Boulevard, the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10), and the San Diego Freeway (I-405) are all located next to Century City. Olympic Boulevard goes through Century City.
Fifty-five percent of Century City residents aged 25 or over had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a high figure for Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Unified School District is the school district of Century City.
Three private schools are located in or near Century City — VINCI Academy Daycare & Preschool, at 1940 Century Park East; Lycée Français de Los Angeles, at 10361 Pico Boulevard; and Temple Isaiah Preschool and Kindergarten, at 10345 West PIco Boulevard.
Century City skyline as seen from Runyon Canyon Park. Feb. 19, 2006
- Groves, Martha and Stevens, Matt (June 18, 2014) "Do all roads to Century City's future lead to more traffic?" Los Angeles Times
- Environmental Impact Analysis
- Century City Interactive Map (map of Century City showing both commercial and residential developments)
- CCBID Map (Note: The map shows non-participatory members in the district as well.)
- Century City Business Improvement District Management District Plan (final)
-  Colored map, Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
- Julie Tamaki (September 12, 1999). "At Home : Living in an Urban Aerie : Century City offers convenience, security, a prestigious business district and views that are terrific". Los Angeles Times.
Century City, which is part of the city of Los Angeles, is bounded roughly by Little Santa Monica Boulevard to the north, Pico Boulevard to the south and Beverly Hills and Century Park West to the east and west.
- David Zahniser (April 4, 2017). "When developers strike deals with homeowner groups: 'Hush money,' or a way to defend L.A. neighborhoods?". Los Angeles Times.
The Tract No. 7260 Assn., which represents homeowners west of Century City, has repeatedly challenged Westside projects on the grounds that they increase traffic and place new burdens on city services. (emphasis added)
- WEST LOS ANGELES Community Plan
- Specific Plans Affecting the West Los Angeles Community Plan Area
- Gary Baum, Why Century City Ranks Among the Worst Real Estate Deals in Hollywood History, The Hollywood Reporter, September 26, 2013
- Online Archive of California: Edmond Herrscher papers, ca. 1890s-1935, 1947-1982 (Collection LSC.1829)
- Vincent, Roger (June 3, 2008), "Next Century Associates buys the 1960s-era landmark built on a former studio back lot.", Los Angeles Times
- Century City Medical Plaza, laconservancy.org; accessed December 15, 2015.
- "Riots and Revolutions: Confronting the Times", Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray
-  "Century City," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
-  "65 and Up," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
- Vincent, Roger. "Energy cells help power Century City skyscraper." Los Angeles Times. February 5, 2012. Retrieved on February 5, 2012.
- Steinberg, Julie. "Bucking the Trend, Houlihan Lokey Still Hiring." Finance (The Wall Street Journal). January 24, 2012. Retrieved on February 5, 2012. "Houlihan Lokey, the Los Angeles-based investment bank,[...]"
- Nash, James. "Lights, camera, Katrina: rebuilding of Louisiana will affect production in L.A." Los Angeles Business Journal at AllBusiness. Retrieved on February 5, 2012. "[...]International Creative Management Inc., the Los Angeles-based talent and literary agency."
- "Contact Us Archived 2011-05-12 at the Wayback Machine." International Lease Finance Corporation. Retrieved on 6 May 2011. "10250 Constellation Blvd. Suite 3400 Los Angeles, CA 90067 USA"
- "Contact Us". Crystal Cruises. Retrieved on January 20, 2010. "Crystal Cruises 2049 Century Park East Suite 1400 Los Angeles, CA 90067"
- "Article: Los Angeles-Based Crystal Cruises Moves to Nearby Location[dead link]." PR Newswire. August 19, 1998. Retrieved on January 20, 2010. "Effective September 8, Crystal Cruises is relocating to larger headquarters a few blocks from its current location in the Century City area of Los Angeles, California."
- "About Us." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
- "Fire Station 92," Los Angeles Fire Department
- "Schools: Century City," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times