5.1 out of 10

Hiller Highlands

37.8514292187717 -122.227030730695
Great for
  • Schools
  • Childcare
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Planned Community along the Noisy Tunnel"

This was the epicenter of the 1991 Oakland Firestorm and it ravished this area razing every house in the area. Since then, however, developers took the opportunity to build a series of condominium homes along the hills just above the western bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. The homes can be quite expensive. The location offers great views of the Bay Bridge and the eastern face of San Francisco. The canyon is often overcast until midday, which keeps the area cool throughout the summer, but can be a bit oppressive for lovers of the sun.

Several drawbacks keep the prices somewhat tempered. First, the proximity to the highway and tunnel make traffic noise a constant fact of life for most Hiller residents. The developers try to package the area as an upscale community emphasizing the Hiller Highlands Country Club (little more than a pool and a couple of tennis courts) and the nearby Claremont Hotel, but the planned appearance of the homes gives the impression of slightly upscale tract housing and breaks from the diversity and beauty of the Berkeley’s more organic neighborhoods. (In fact, the area is most reminiscent of the planned condominiums along the Burbank Hills in southern California). In addition, since the fire few trees have grown back and the hills still have somewhat of a bare look to them, like a bald spot along the East Bay.

There is Kaiser Elementary school in the neighborhood and some businesses such as Savage Jazz Dance company, but much of the area has a forced feeling rather than a natural feel to it. One highlight of the area however, is the Bentley School, a very expensive K-12 private school with a magnificent reputation whose location says good things for the future of this community.
  • Newer Homes
  • Nicely Planned Neigbhorhood
  • Access to Freeway
  • Wildfires and Erosion Problems
  • Overly Cosmetic
  • Freeway Noise
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers

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