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Though it has been inhabited since native populations settled there, the city of Brea, California began its modern life at the turn of the 19th century as the village of Olinda, a holding of the Union Oil Company of California. The nearby village of Randolph was created to house oil workers and their families. The two villages merged in 1917 and were officially incorporated as Brea, the Spanish word for tar, on February 23 of that year.
After the oil wells dried up, the fledgling city turned to agriculture, relying mostly on citrus production. In its 21st century incarnation, it is a major commercial and arts center that was voted one of the top 5 suburbs in the western United States; Brea's public arts program has been a model for similar programs nation wide.
The current city identity was initially forged and opened up to economic opportunity by construction of the Orange Freeway system and anchored by the opening of the famous Brea Mall, both in the 1970's. It has continued to flourish since that time and the newly redeveloped downtown area has encouraged more businesses from every type of industry to locate there, creating a new economic boom.
This restructuring has created a thriving arts and commercial district featuring upscale shops, dining, and quality entertainment that ranges from movies to live music and comedy shows. All of this has the added benefit of being located in a city that is surrounded by the natural beauty of the area and all of its attractions.
Brea is located in the foothills in the northern section of Orange County. It has a current population of just over 40,000 and prides itself on providing a comfortable, homey community with a small town feel and all of the advantages and opportunities of a large metropolis. It is at once progressive and laid back, with outstanding community programs, resources, employment, and housing opportunities.
Housing in Brea consists of mainly single family residences with a sprinkling of condominiums and apartment complexes. The real estate is moderately affordable and you get a lot of house for the price; the median sales price for last quarter was around $497,500. The biggest draw for residents outside of the excellent amenities and quality of life is the economic growth the city is experiencing.
The community is served by the Brea Olinda Unified School District and has six elementary schools, one junior high school, one high school, and one alternative school. It also provides residents with unparalleled emergency services, public libraries, recreation facilities, quality shopping and dining, and plenty of cultural and entertainment venues.
Aside from the nationally-renowned Brea Art Gallery and the excellent Curtis Theatre, Brea's major stake in its claim to the name "City of Art" is through its Art in Public Places program, which incorporates art and sculpture by local, regional, and international artists throughout the city's public spaces.
Brea's proximity to the advantages of Southern California living, the high standard and quality of life, and outstanding community services and programs it affords its citizens make this little city a great place to live, play, and work.
If Brea is an area that you’re considering for your new home, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Feel free to call, text or email with any questions you may have. We're here to help you gather all the information you need to find your new home!
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