8.9 out of 10

Allied Arts / Stanford Park

37.4451437767985 -122.177357031754
Great for
  • Schools
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
  •  
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Pest Free
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students

Reviews

5/5
2yrs+

"Walk to Everything You Need"

Due to its favorable location, peaceful surroundings, and excellent schools, the Allied Arts neighborhood has always been a popular choice with Menlo Park homebuyers.

Just a short walk from both downtown Menlo Park and Stanford University, Allied Arts is bordered by El Camino Real on the east, Creek Drive to the south, Arbor Road on the west, and Middle Avenue to the north. Despite its central location, the small neighborhood retains a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere, in part because it is separated from busy Sand Hill Road by San Francisquito Creek.

The neighborhood – also known as Stanford Park – takes its name from the Allied Arts Guild, a complex that houses nearly a dozen local arts and crafts studios, galleries, and shops. The Allied Arts Guild is also well-known for its lush gardens, where visitors can relax amongst Nile lilies, hydrangeas, rose bushes, and fountains.

Allied Arts residents enjoy easy access to U.S. Route 101, located about three miles to the east, and Interstate 280, four miles to the west. The neighborhood is also roughly equidistant from both the Menlo Park and Palo Alto Caltrain stations, a convenient perk for those who need to commute to San Francisco or San Jose.

Residents have no shortage of shopping and dining options within a quick stroll, including Stanford Shopping Center, a large open-air mall that houses a number of big-name and luxury retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Shreve & Company, and Tiffany & Company. Downtown Menlo Park, with its strip of stores and restaurants along Santa Cruz Avenue, is less than a mile to the north – also a snap to access on foot.

Schoolchildren in the neighborhood attend Oak Knoll School and Hillview Middle School, both of which are operated by the highly ranked Menlo Park City School District. In 2012, the district scored 940 out of a possible 1,000 on California’s Academic Performance Index.

Homes in Allied Arts are situated along tree-lined streets and are constructed in a variety of architectural styles, including bungalows, Tudor-style residences, and contemporary designs. Portions of Allied Arts lack sidewalks, but since it gets less automotive traffic than the neighboring downtown area, strolling in the street is not really a problem.

According to MLS data, in September, the median price for a single-family home in Allied Arts was $1,325,000, a year-over-year increase of 2 percent and 12 percent less than properties in Menlo Park as a whole. Homes in the neighborhood sold for an average of 8.4 percent above their asking prices in September.
Pros
  • Beautiful Older Homes
  • Really Walkable
  • Close to Standford and Public Transportation
Cons
  • Not Cheap
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
2yrs+

"Well-connected Stanford community quarters"

Allied Arts, also known as Stanford Park, is a firmly fixed middle-class Menlo Park community nestled near Stanford University. It is almost exclusively residential, except for the commercial real-estate that lines El Camino Real, but makes for a great family-friendly area. Numerically speaking, the neighborhood is rather small (0.3 square miles), spanning less than a dozen blocks of orderly suburban terrain. And is also a predominately white community (over 80%) and made up of just under 2,000 residents.

Allied Art’s residential quarters offer a step above the suburban anonymity you might expect. The area is a flat, tree-lined terrain bounded by El Camino Real to the north, Sand Hill Road to the east, Arbor Road to the south and Middle Avenue to the west. Residences are mixed between one and two-story houses (many of which are mission revivals). They are situated on rather bushy properties, some of which are hidden beneath the wooded landscape. The Stanford University Medical Center and its adjacent apartments is within a couple blocks of the neighborhood’s limits and houses some of their students. While wealthier properties are cornered towards the southern end of the neighborhood. According to the 2010 US Census, the average estimated house values are up in the millions (about $1.5 average) with rents exceeding $2,000/month. Moreover, median household incomes are a wealthy 130,000/year.

For your commercial needs, a somewhat sizable shopping plaza is located across from San Hill Road. The area provides a department store shopping hub with a Macy’s, and other smaller shops and restaurants. Elsewhere, a small youth soccer league skirts the western corner while Nealon Park is the district’s only community park and is equipped with a couple public tennis courts and a nice children’s playground.
Pros
  • Beautiful Older Homes
  • Really Walkable
Cons
  • A Little Busy
  • Astronimical Home Prices
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Home Sweet Home"

So this is home sweet home for me and the BF. We rent a little studio right on Middle Street which we got for $1100. Given that one bedrooms can go for as much as $1700 and some 2 bedrooms around here go for as much $2500, we actually felt pretty lucky to get it at that price.

The nice thing about this neighborhood is that it is really walkable. You don’t really need a car to live here, though, since this is California everyone gets one anyway. From where we live I am only four blocks from the supermarket and the bus stop that takes me up to school. We only have one car, so this helps a lot.

It is also nice because I believe in leaving as little of a carbon footprint as possible, so being within walking distance of things like the supermarket and public transportation is a big deal for us. The BF works in the city, so having the Cal Train station nearby is helpful as well.

When I am not in a hurry I like to get off Middle Street (which gets a bit too much traffic to be a thoroughly pleasant walk) and go to some of the interior streets like Partridge and College there are these really beautiful older homes. The streets on the inside of the Stanford Park neighborhood are really quiet and leafy—a bit like the nicer parts of Berkeley.

I really like the aesthetics of the neighborhood. The other day I actually was looking up what it would cost to buy one of these homes in the area. (Not that we feel we are that close to being able to buy, but we are slowly beginning to get a feel for prices.)
There weren’t too many of them for sale but it looks like these are all pretty much million dollar homes in the area. I guess that whole thing about location is true.

There is not real nightlife in Stanford Park, but you are so close to Palo Alto that you are practically within walking distance of the real action.

Overall, I really love living here—it is perfect for us while I’m still a student and we are just getting started.
Pros
  • Beautiful Older Homes
  • Close to Standford and Public Transportation
  • Really Walkable
Cons
  • Astronimical Home Prices
  • A Little Busy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students

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