Menlo Park’s Allied Arts Offers Tranquil Feel Without Sacrificing Convenience

Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park, Calif.
The Allied Arts Guild complex in Menlo Park.

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.

“The nice thing about this neighborhood is that it is really walkable,” wrote user NikkiDKatt on Pacific Union’s Allied Arts neighborhood reviews page. “Being within walking distance of things like the supermarket and public transportation is a big deal for us.”

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.

(Photo: Flickr/Marie)

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