Seaside community in the Santa Monica Bay and the Westside region of Los Angeles, California.
In the 1870s, Playa Del Rey was the location of the first attempt at a dredged harbor in Santa Monica Bay. Within three years, winter waves brought flooding, but what remained of man’s early efforts became the Playa Del Rey Lagoon, now a regional public park.
Construction in Playa del Rey surged in 1928 with the development of the Del Rey Hills neighborhood in the Eastern part of the community (to the East of Pershing Drive), and the move of Loyola Marymount University to the adjacent community of Westchester.
The vast majority of land in Playa del Rey is zoned for residential purposes only. It is known for its large ocean-view estates, but the bulk of the population lives in the eastern portion, which is densely developed with apartment and condominium complexes.
Locals refer to the small area of housing closest to the beach, where Culver Boulevard joins Vista del Mar, as The Jungle, a nickname given to a group of closely built apartments built in 1956, bounded by Trolley Place and Trolleyway Street on its east and west respectively, and including the streets Fowling, Rees, Sunridge and Surf. The small sidewalks between homes had/have deep green overgrowth, which added to the name.
Today a bridge between Playa Del Rey and the jetty between Ballona Creek and the Marina is accessible to foot traffic and bicycle traffic, but not to automobiles. Bikers, skaters and joggers can cross this bridge to continue north to Santa Monica, and to the South Bay.
As Playa del Rey is located in the heart of Silicon Beach, the economy has become largely driven by the tech sector. The neighborhood is also home to a large number of airline and aerospace employees owing to its proximity to LAX.
Playa del Rey is within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Notable schools in the area include Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets (6–8) and St. Bernard High School is a private Roman Catholic school in the area.