The Willows Homes For Sale
The Willows Neighborhood | Menlo Park Homes For Sale & Real Estate
Neighborhood Introduction & History
Two words best describe The Willows: charming and diverse. Bordered by Willow Road, Highway 101 and East O’Keefe Street, Middlefield Road and San Francisquito Creek, The Willows was at first known as North Palo Alto. Originally developed in the 1920s, Developer Si Simon later built a series of “Simon Built” homes along Central Avenue that are still well-known today. In 1953, after the incorporation of Menlo Park, and with its contemporary borders, the area was given its present name. Residents say there’s no tract feeling in most of the area — but many mature trees and rambling, twisty roads. The Willows, with its humbler beginning, has been gentrified over the last several years. Many of the newer influx of homeowners are Silicon Valley employees with young families who want the excellent school district, the modest prices, and the easy access to Highway 101 and the Dumbarton Bridge.
Housing types & styles in the Neighborhood
The Willows has a variety of homes and lot sizes. Many homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s as bungalows, often with only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The rest were primarily built in the 1940s and 1950s, and are a bit larger. Rebuilt or newly constructed homes are often significantly larger, as builders often maximize the amount of square feet of living space allowed on lots in The Willows. Lot sizes vary widely too, ranging from 5000 square feet all the way up to half an acre. Styles range from simple stucco bungalows to mid-century ranchers to large modern homes. There are also a few impressive historic homes.
Quick fact: The Willows were once known as Menlo Park’s inexpensive neighborhood, but with the revitalization attempts of the neighborhood, it is now rising in value and costs. The neighborhood now has a median home of $1.96M in July 2015.
Restaurants & Shopping
Willows residents enjoy a small shopping strip at the corner of Menalto Avenue and Gilbert Avenue with several great local businesses. For those living in The Willows, the largest variety of shops and restaurants can be found in nearby Ravenswood Shopping Center, Menlo Park, or Palo Alto. MP and PA feature unique and upscale retail shops and restaurants surrounded by tree lined streets. Chains are common here, too, however, affording residents a wide variety of choices. Nearby Facebook HQ hosts a weekly farmers market in its parking lot on Sundays.
Family Lifestyle, Parks & Activities
Located adjacent to the Willow Oaks Elementary School, Willow Oaks Park provides a convenient location for weekend soccer matches or an afternoon tennis game as well as a comfortable meeting spot for neighborhood residents and a popular off-leash dog area. Residents also often enjoy walking the neighborhood’s many sidewalks and tree-lined streets, as well as along the San Francisquito Creek. The Willows’ proximity to downtown Menlo Park and Palo Alto affords residents easy access to farmers’ markets, parks, concerts, festivals, nightlife, and a variety of family activities.