How Hidden Hills, California Became a Celebrity Hotspot

For a city with a population hovering around 2,000 residents, Hidden Hills, California has more than its share of history. Located approximately 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Hidden Hills first gained broader name recognition in the years, with itself and the neighboring city of Calabasas riding the Kardashian coattails to fame. The first three seasons of keeping up with the Kardashians (which aired from 2007 to 2021) were filmed at Kris and Caitlyn Jenner’s 3,900-square-foot family home in Hidden Hills, according to he Los Angeles Times, but attention to the area grew when Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner customized their own sanitary pads in the city in the 1910s. (Over the years, various members of the famous family have bought and sold numerous homes in both Hidden Hills as in Calabasas). In the years since, the city’s popularity among A-listers has only grown, along with its notoriety among its fans.

Hidden Hills was developed in 1950 and incorporated in 1961, making it legally its own town, although it has no shops, offices or anything other than homes and community spaces. During the first decades, the great attraction of the development was its emphasis on rural life. All lots are at least one acre, giving homeowners room for a barn or horse stable. As is still the case now, bridle paths were plentiful and, instead of concrete sidewalks, dirt paths lined the streets. According he Los Angeles TimesAt first there were no security gates, only traffic control gates on weekends. For decades, the houses themselves were secondary to the lifestyle, and most structures were relatively humble ranch-style homes. Providing more upscale housing was key to attracting a high-profile clientele, according to real estate agent and Hidden Hills resident Marc Shevin, who has been selling in the area since 1990.

“The public perception many years ago, when I started selling there, was that it was a very, very rural place, very equestrian, very ranch-type place. [area, with] a lot of old houses,” Shevin says. Although the city has strict guidelines for maintaining the neighborhood’s traditional appearance, it was ultimately the changes (such as replacing smaller homes with 10,000-square-foot mansions and implementing more security) that attracted more celebrities each year. While neighborhoods like Bel Air and Beverly Hills have historically been the flashiest options in Los Angeles, it’s hard for those areas to compete with the acreage and privacy of Hidden Hills. “There’s nothing comparable that will give you that kind of acreage, unless you go further west, toward Thousand Oaks, Westlake,” says The Agency’s Emil Hartoonian, who has been working in the area for almost 18 years.

Image may contain sign, symbol, bench and furniture.

A street sign in Hidden Hills

Photo: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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