Sherman Oaks is located in the southern San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles. It has two city parks and a senior center. The neighborhood includes eight public and seven private schools. In contrast to much of the Valley, the area is relatively urbanized, with commercial skyscrapers along Ventura Boulevard as well as scattered throughout. Here is a local hub for regional transportation, business, shopping and dining.Sherman Oaks was one of the first Valley communities to experience intensive real estate development. Anticipating the installment of the Los Angeles Aqueduct scheduled for 1913, the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Co. purchased 47,500 acres of the southeast Valley in 1910, which eventually led to the village’s namesake, General Moses Hazeltine Sherman, buying 1,000 acres a year later. Sherman (whose other major venture was the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad) later subdivided his land and sold it at a value of $780 per acre in 1927 as it continued to be developed by both business and residential real estate investors. Sherman Oaks was ravaged by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and many structures had to be rebuilt and retrofitted over the next decade. As a result of this extensive rebuilding, the area community emerged better than ever with new and improved buildings and infrastructure throughout the area.
In 1991, a group of homeowners—living in what is commonly known as the Chandler Estates area—successfully petitioned the city of Los Angeles to re-draw the boundaries of Sherman Oaks from Magnolia Boulevard to Burbank Boulevard to the north, and from Coldwater Canyon to Van Nuys Boulevard to the west, with the goal of including their neighborhood. The request wasn’t anything new to the San Fernando Valley; other neighborhoods had either sought to change their names, or to attach themselves onto more affluent neighborhoods in effort to escape (from what they saw) as growing urban blight and the collapse of their social status. Residents in the area argued, however, that the area was originally part of Sherman Oaks, but had been labeled “Van Nuys” instead through the creation of zip codes in 1962; some residents produced property deeds to present their case.
A few weeks after the Chandler Estates area successfully seceded from Van Nuys, Magnolia Woods (a 45-block area bordered by Van Nuys Boulevard on the east and the San Diego Freeway on the west, and between Burbank and Magnolia Boulevards) also successfully petitioned the city of Los Angeles to secede from Van Nuys and join Sherman Oaks. Home-owners in the area successfully argued that their neighborhood was also part of Sherman Oaks. Twenty-two deeds were produced as evidence. As a result of this change, Van Nuys Middle School became separated from its namesake neighborhood.
In 2009, the Los Angeles City council—once again—voted to redraw neighborhood boundaries to allow an area of some 1,800 homes in Van Nuys to become part of Sherman Oaks (a proposal that attracted criticism from locals).
The 1994 Northridge earthquake caused damages in the surrounding area. The Community Redevelopment Agency sought to manage the rebuilding efforts. The homeowners in the Sherman Oaks area later won a lawsuit to prevent the agency from managing efforts.
Forty-five percent of Sherman Oaks residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a high percentage for both the city and the county. The percentage of those residents with a master’s degree or higher was also high for the county.
Today, Sherman Oaks is one of the most thriving business districts and hubs in all of Los Angeles. Several major radio networks are located within here, including Premiere Radio and Fox Sports Radio, as is the video game developer Spark Unlimited. The area is also home to many financial companies such as Comerica Bank and scores of banks, brokerage houses, and insurance agencies, as well as the agricultural cooperative Sunkist Growers (comprised of more than 6,000 individual citrus growers). Devry University also has a campus in Sherman Oaks and Warner Brothers has a large, modern office building in the Sherman Oaks Business Center. The Sherman Oaks Galleria, perhaps one of the most famous shopping centers in America, is located at the center of town. Credited with inventing mall culture, the Galleria is periodically renovated so that it is always at the leading edge of the premiere shopping experience. The Village at Sherman Oaks is also a popular shopping destination for “Angelenos” and Ventura Boulevard offers a wealth of boutique shops, cafés, fine dining and nightlife.
Buzzing with energy, affluence and vitality, Sherman Oaks is also home to many middle-class families and pockets of comfy, low-key neighborhoods. Residents enjoy many parks and outdoor activities including the state-of-the-art Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park which has and auditorium, two lighted and six non-lit baseball diamonds, lighted football field, indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children’s play area, a 60-person community room, an indoor gymnasium, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and lighted tennis court. Located in the same place as the park, the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Pool is a seasonal outdoor heated swimming pool. The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Senior Citizen Center, also on the park grounds, has an auditorium and multi-purpose room; its banquet capacity is 200 and its assembly capacity is 300. The senior center also has two community/meeting rooms; one can hold 50 people and the other 30. The senior center has two kitchens, a play area, a shuffle board area, a stage, and two storage rooms. The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Tennis Courts facility in the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park has eight courts and the city operates the Sherman Oaks Castle Park, with arcade, batting cages, and miniature golf facilities, in Sherman Oaks.
Homes south of Ventura are considered to be among the most expensive in Los Angeles County, ranging from $2 million to $50 million and home to numerous celebrities, executives, athletes, and entertainers alike. Some of the residents or past residents of Sherman Oaks have been: Paula Abdul, Jennifer Aniston, LeVar Burton, Shane Dawson, Chip Esten, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Grazer, Melissa Joan Hart, Phil Hartman, Paul London, Demi Lovato, Bridget Marquardt, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Elizabeth Olsen, Jean Rogers, Tom Selleck, Dick Van Patten, Shia Labeouf, and Charlie Sheen.
Sherman Oaks area schools include:
5353 Kester Avenue | 818-787-6751
K-5 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictChandler Learning Academy
14030 Weddington Street | 818-789-6173
K-5 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictRobert A. Millikan Middle School
5041 Sunnyslope Avenue | 818-528-1600
6-8 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictSherman Oaks Elementary Charter
14755 Greenleaf Street | 818-784-8283
K-5 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictDixie Canyon Avenue Elementary
4220 Dixie Canyon Avenue | 818-784-6283
K-5 | Los Angeles Unified School District
13061 Riverside Drive | 818-990-4525
K-5 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictVan Nuys Middle School
5435 Vesper Avenue | 818-267-5900
6-8 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictVan Nuys Senior High
6535 Cedros Avenue | 818-778-6800
9-12 | Los Angeles Unified School DistrictUlysses S. Grant Senior High
13000 Oxnard Street | 818-756-2700
9-12 | Los Angeles Unified School District
Portions of Sherman Oaks, including Magnolia Woods, are zoned to Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys. Other portions are zoned to Grant High School in Valley Glen.
Scott Glover of the Los Angeles Times stated in 1993 “many Sherman Oaks residents do not have school-age children, and many others send their children to private schools”.
Private schools include:
13645 Riverside Drive | 818-933-3600
9-12 | CA Private SchoolsThe Buckley School
3900 Stansbury Avenue | 818-783-1610
K-12 | CA Private Schools
15365 Magnolia Boulevard | 818-783-3663
K-8 | CA Private SchoolsVillage Glen School
13130 Burbank Boulevard | 818-781-0360
K-12 | CA Private Schools