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Brentwood

Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010.

Brentwood began as a farming community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.

History

Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Brentwood was named after Marsh’s ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.

Brentwood’s first post office was established in 1878. The city incorporated in 1948.

Balfour, Guthrie & Co., a British investment company, purchased the John Marsh ranch in 1910. The company invested heavily in other California agricultural properties as well. In 1910, it built the Brentwood Hotel at Oak Street and Brentwood Boulevard, across from the railroad station. This replaced an earlier hotel on the same site that had burned down in 1903. The hotel was razed in 1967, and replaced by a service station.

The Brentwood water tower perhaps symbolizes the city’s transition from a rural farm community to a modern bedroom community. This landmark on Walnut Street, across the street from the Brentwood Park and Ride lot, is the tallest structure in the city. It is no longer used for its original purpose, but now serves as a cell phone tower. City water is stored in large tanks atop hills outside the city.

During the 1990s, a great deal of retail stores were built along the Brentwood/Antioch border on Lone Tree Way at the SR 4 Bypass, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from downtown Brentwood. This includes major tenants such as Kohl’s, Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, Lowes. Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, actually on the Antioch side of Lone Tree Way, includes Target, Sport Chalet and Barnes & Noble. JC Penney opened its Slatten Ranch store in March 2008.

Brentwood Water TowerThe Streets of Brentwood, an outdoor lifestyle retail center, opened in Brentwood in the Fall of 2008. The Streets of Brentwood’s upscale shops include Banana Republic, Coldwater Creek, DSW Shoes, Jos. A. Bank, REI, Swarovski, Victoria’s Secret, and White House/Black Market. The only all-digital Rave Motion Pictures in the San Francisco Bay Area is located in the Streets of Brentwood. Dining establishments found in Streets of Brentwood include Bangkok 101, BJ’s Brewhouse, Mel’s Diner, Grazie! Grill, Salad Makers, and Red Robin.

The city broke ground for a new civic center in November, 2009. The Mission-style architectural inspiration for City Hall, the main building, was the 1910 Brentwood Hotel. Related facilities include a parking garage and a community center. City departments began moving into the new facility in October 2011, and the former city hall was demolished during November 2011.

Demographics

The 2010 United States Census[10] reported that Brentwood had a population of 51,481. The population density was 3,477.3 people per square mile (1,342.6/km²). The racial makeup of Brentwood was 34,969 (67.9%) White, 3,389 (6.6%) African American, 333 (0.6%) Native American, 4,051 (7.9%) Asian, 202 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 4,964 (9.6%) from other races, and 3,573 (6.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,779 persons (26.8%).

The Census reported that 51,335 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, 141 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 5 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 16,494 households, out of which 8,047 (48.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 10,560 (64.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,823 (11.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 825 (5.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 794 (4.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 141 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,616 households (15.9%) were made up of individuals and 1,355 (8.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11. There were 13,208 families (80.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.47.

The population was spread out with 16,058 people (31.2%) under the age of 18, 3,854 people (7.5%) aged 18 to 24, 13,991 people (27.2%) aged 25 to 44, 11,703 people (22.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,875 people (11.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

There were 17,523 housing units at an average density of 1,183.6 per square mile (457.0/km²), of which 12,580 (76.3%) were owner-occupied, and 3,914 (23.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.0%. 38,410 people (74.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 12,925 people (25.1%) lived in rental housing units.