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Brentwood, California

Brentwood, California

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Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County, California
Contra Costa County is a primarily suburban county in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 1,049,025...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

. 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
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 and peach
The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

es. Many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990.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.


Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh
John Marsh (pioneer)
“Doctor” John Marsh was born in 1799 in South Danvers, Massachusetts and died in Pacheco, California in 1856. He was an early pioneer and settler in California, and although he did not have a medical degree, is often regarded as the first person to practice medicine in California.-Early life:Marsh...

, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos
Rancho Los Meganos
Rancho Los Meganos was a Mexican land grant in present day Contra Costa County, California given in 1835 by Governor José Castro to Jose Noriega. "Meganos" means "sand dunes" in Spanish. Rancho Los Meganos extends eastward from present day Antioch along the San Joaquin River to the Old River...

, 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
Brentwood, Essex
Brentwood is a town and the principal settlement of the Borough of Brentwood, in the county of Essex in the east of England. It is located in the London commuter belt, 20 miles east north-east of Charing Cross in London, and near the M25 motorway....

 in the County of Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, 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
Antioch, California
Antioch is a city in Contra Costa County, California. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the U.S...

 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
Kohl's Corporation is an American department store chain headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating , 1,089 stores in 49 states. In 1998, it entered the S&P 500 list, and is also listed in the Fortune 500...

, Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. , Trader Joe's had a total of 365 stores. Approximately half of its stores are in California, with the heaviest concentration in Southern California, but the company also has locations in 30...

, Home Depot, Lowes. Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, actually on the Antioch side of Lone Tree Way, includes Target
Target Corporation
Target Corporation, doing business as Target, is an American retailing company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, behind Walmart. The company is ranked at number 33 on the Fortune 500 and is a component of the Standard & Poor's...

, Sport Chalet
Sport Chalet
Sport Chalet operates 52 owned stores in Southern & Northern California, Arizona, Nevada, and most recently in Utah . Most stores are over in size, with many including dive pools and offering SCUBA classes...

 and Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest book retailer in the United States, operating mainly through its Barnes & Noble Booksellers chain of bookstores headquartered at 122 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District in Manhattan in New York City. Barnes & Noble also operated the chain of small B. Dalton...

. J. C. Penney
J. C. Penney
-External links:*...

 opened its Slatten Ranch store in March 2008.

The 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, 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. Other facilities will include a parking garage and a community center.


As shown by the view from Mount Diablo, Brentwood is located on the alluvial plain of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In this picture, Brentwood is in the center right and the city of Antioch is in the center left. North Peak, appears in the foreground between the two cities and largely hides the city of Oakley.

Brentwood has a total area of 14.81 sq mi (38.4 km²), of which 14.79 sq mi (38.3 km²) is land and 0.02 sq mi (0.0517997622 km²) or 0.13% is water. The landscape on the west is marked by rolling hills, native grasses, oak trees, fruit orchards, and vineyards, with a number of public golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....


Public schools

Brentwood's public education system has about 7 elementary, 3 middle, and 3 high schools. The city is served by the Brentwood Union School District, Knightsen
Knightsen, California
Knightsen is a census-designated place in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 1,568, up from 861 reported in the 2000 census.-Geography:...

 School District and the Liberty Union High School District. The Brentwood Union School District runs on a modified traditional school calendar. The Brentwood Union School District has many California Distinguished Schools. Heritage High School includes a full range of Advanced Placement courses and the highest API score in the area, stellar performing arts programs, and championship athletic teams.

Los Medanos College
Los Medanos College
Los Medanos College is a two-year community college in Pittsburg in Contra Costa County, California. LMC has an extension in Brentwood....

 operates a satellite facility at Sand Creek Road and Brentwood Blvd. (Highway 4).

Brentwood was one of 118 cities designated by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA for 2010 - with only 10 in California and only Brentwood, Redwood City and San Francisco in Northern California. Each community selected demonstrated creative commitments to the cause of play and fitness. Brentwood was selected for a variety of reasons, including that fact that it offers the community its Wellness Policy, a community-wide aspirational goal which promotes physical activity and education as the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Brentwood has 58 parks within nearly 12 square miles (31.1 km²), and miles of jogging trails, to support healthy lifestyles.

Public libraries

The Brentwood branch of the Contra Costa County Library
Contra Costa County Library
Contra Costa County Library is a public library that is part of Contra Costa County, California, United States. There are 26 community libraries, access to electronic information via a website, over 455,000 cardholders and more than 7 million items borrowed annually...

 is located on Second Street in Brentwood, across from the Civic Center (currently under construction).


The 2010 United States Census reported that Brentwood had a population of 51,481. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 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
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 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
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 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
POSSLQ is an abbreviation for "Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters," a term coined in the late 1970s by the United States Census Bureau as part of an effort to more accurately gauge the prevalence of cohabitation in American households....

, 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
Family (U.S. Census)
A family or family household is defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes as "a householder and one or more other people related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. They do not include same-sex married couples even if the marriage was performed in a state...

 (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.


As of the 2010 census, there were 51,300 residents. The population density was 2,001.2/sqmi (774/sqkm). There were 7,788 housing units at an average density of 668.8/sqmi (259/sqkm). The racial makeup of the town was 75.38% White, 9.40% African American, 0.75% Native American, 6.99% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 5.96% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.34% of the population.
There were 23,700 households out of which 45.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.2% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 3.2% from 18 to 24, 19.4% from 25 to 44, 33.4% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $87,068, and the median income for a family was $91,796. Males had a median income of $58,059 versus $39,585 for females. The per capita income for the town was $33,621. About 5.4% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.


Agriculture remains important to the local economy, but has declined in relative importance as the city has become more suburban. Local wineries including Bloomfield, Tamayo, and Hannah Nicole have gained in sales and prestige after winning numerous medals in recent years at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the California State Fair. There is no heavy industry and only a small light industrial area in the northeastern part of the city. Brentwood underwent a strong economic boom from 2000 through 2008. Population expanded from 23,302 in 2000 to about 48,000 in 2006, a higher growth rate than other communities in the Bay Area. The boom stalled in 2009, paralleling the economic crisis that affected all of California, but successful new home subdivisions, including a gated community (Carmel Estates), appeared again in 2010. Within an active adult community (Trilogy at the Vineyards), Club Los Meganos opened in 2010 with 34000 square feet (3,158.7 m²) of athletic club, pool and cabanas, gourmet studio, spa, tennis courts, and events center.

Top employers

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees
1 Brentwood Union School District 500-600
2 Liberty Union High School District 400-500
3 City of Brentwood 200-300
4 Precision Cabinets 200-300
5 Safeway
Safeway Inc.
Safeway Inc. , a Fortune 500 company, is North America's second largest supermarket chain after The Kroger Co., with, as of December 2010, 1,694 stores located throughout the western and central United States and western Canada. It also operates some stores in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern...

6 WinCo Foods
WinCo Foods
WinCo Foods is an employee-owned supermarket business headquartered in Boise, Idaho. The company's name was decided by the employees both in the stores and the distribution centers in a contest to rename the company, settling on "WinCo," for the five states in which the company operates its...

7 The Home Depot
The Home Depot
The Home Depot is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.The Home Depot operates 2,248 big-box format stores across the United States , Canada , Mexico and China, with a 12-store chain...

8 Kohl's
Kohl's Corporation is an American department store chain headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating , 1,089 stores in 49 states. In 1998, it entered the S&P 500 list, and is also listed in the Fortune 500...

9 Raley's 100-200
10 Best Buy
Best Buy
Best Buy Co., Inc. is an American specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, accounting for 19% of the market. It also operates in Mexico, Canada & China. The company's subsidiaries include Geek Squad, CinemaNow, Magnolia Audio Video, Pacific Sales, and, in Canada operates...



Public transportation is very limited, so the principal roads leading into the city are very congested with commuter traffic. No freeways served Brentwood directly, until February 2008, when the John Marsh Heritage Highway (also known as the California State Route 4 Bypass or Bypass Road) was built to connect the city's main roads directly with State Route 4 in Antioch. As of mid-2010, the freeway portion of Bypass Road ends at the Lone Tree Way Exit. The bypass continues as a two-lane highway to its intersection with Marsh Creek Road and the end of Vasco Road
Vasco Road (California)
Vasco Road is an unnumbered highway that connects Livermore, California and Brentwood, California. Although it is not part of the California State Highway system, it is the principal north-south commuter route serving eastern Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. The two counties are each responsible...

, an unnumbered highway that is the principal route to Livermore
Livermore, California
Livermore is a city in Alameda County. The population as of 2010 was 80,968. Livermore is located on the eastern edge of California's San Francisco Bay Area....

, Interstate 580
Interstate 580 (California)
Interstate 580 is an 80-mile east–west Interstate Highway in Northern California. The heavily traveled spur route of Interstate 80 runs from San Rafael in the San Francisco Bay Area to Interstate 5 near Tracy in the Central Valley...

, and the Silicon Valley. In 2011, Vasco Road is undergoing further construction/improvement to reduce the driving time between Brentwood and Livermore. Highway 4 is currently undergoing multi-million dollar improvements that are scheduled to add lanes through Antioch and Pittsburg by 2015 in order to reduce the driving time between Brentwood and Concord/Walnut Creek.

Bus service

Local bus service is provided by Tri Delta Transit company. This company also operates express bus service to the Pittsburg/Bay Point and the Pleasanton/Dublin BART rail stations Monday through Friday, several a day, and only in the predominant commute direction. It takes about one hour to reach Pittsburg/Bay Point BART from the Brentwood Park & Ride lot on Walnut Street.


There is no passenger rail service to Brentwood.
The nearest Altamont Commuter Express
Altamont Commuter Express
The Altamont Commuter Express is a regional rail service in California connecting Stockton with San Jose....

 train station is in Livermore. The nearest Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 station is in Antioch, CA.

There is a freight-only rail line that passes through Brentwood, which is owned by Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

. However, the line has been inactive since the early 1990s. Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 does have plans to reactivate this line sometime in the future.


Commercial airports serving this area are:
  • Oakland International Airport
    Oakland International Airport
    Oakland International Airport , also known as Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, is a public airport located south of the central business district of Oakland, a city in Alameda County, California, United States...

  • San Francisco International Airport
    San Francisco International Airport
    San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

  • San Jose International Airport
    San Jose International Airport
    Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is a city-owned public-use airport serving the city of San Jose in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is named for San Jose native Norman Yoshio Mineta, who was Transportation Secretary in the Cabinet of George W...

  • Sacramento International Airport
    Sacramento International Airport
    Sacramento International Airport is a public airport located 10 miles northwest of the central business district of Sacramento, in Sacramento County, California, USA. It is run by Sacramento County...

  • Stockton Metropolitan Airport
    Stockton Metropolitan Airport
    Stockton Metropolitan Airport is a public airport located three miles southeast of the central business district of Stockton, a city in San Joaquin County, California, US-History:...

Other nearby airports serving private aircraft are:
  • Byron Airport
    Byron Airport
    Byron Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located two miles south of the central business district of Byron, a community in Contra Costa County, California, United States...

  • Livermore Municipal Airport
    Livermore Municipal Airport
    Livermore Municipal Airport is located in Livermore, California, USA, east of the San Francisco Bay between San Jose and Oakland.Sierra Academy of Aeronautics operated one of its training centers on the north ramp until December 2007. Other flight schools at Livermore Municipal Airport are Ahart...

  • Concord (Buchanan Field)
    Buchanan Field Airport
    For the other uses, see Concord Airport .Buchanan Field Airport is located in Concord and Pacheco, California, USA, 27 nautical miles northeast of San Francisco International Airport, in Contra Costa County...

Agriculture-related attractions

  • The Brentwood "Cornfest" occurs one weekend in July each year, culminating in a concert. Past performers include Eddie Money, Eric Burdon and The Fixx
    The Fixx
    The Fixx is an English rock band formed in London in 1979. Their hits include "One Thing Leads to Another," "Red Skies," "Stand or Fall," "Saved by Zero," "Sign of Fire," "Are We Ourselves?," "Secret Separation," "Driven Out," "How Much Is Enough?," and "Deeper and Deeper," which was featured on...

  • Numerous local farms operate produce stands or offer "U-Pick" opportunities.
  • A farmer's market is held on First Street in downtown Brentwood on Saturday mornings from May through October.
  • Hannah Nicole Vineyards including tasting room.
  • Brentwood's CoCo County Wine Company in historic downtown Brentwood.

Points of interest

Notable residents

  • Lisa Joann Thompson
    Lisa Joann Thompson
    Lisa Joann Thompson is an American dancer, choreographer, actress, and model who was a Warrior Girl, Laker Girl, Fly Girl, Motown Live Dancer, and Backup dancer to some of the most prominent artists in the musical industry...

    , dancer and actress, In Living Color
    In Living Color
    In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series, which originally ran on the Fox Network from April 15, 1990 to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote, and starred in the program. The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century...

    , Fame L.A.
    Fame L.A.
    Fame L.A. was an MGM U.S. television series from 1997-1998. It told the story of a drama/dance school in Los Angeles where students honed their talents while overcoming various personal problems. It starred Christian Kane, Rosalyn Sanchez, and William R. Moses. Its producers included Patricia...

    , and Motown Live attended Liberty High School
    Liberty High School (Brentwood, California)
    For schools with similar names, see Liberty High School.Liberty High School is located in Brentwood, California, United States. Liberty High School is a comprehensive 9-12 grade high school serving approximately 2700 students.-Overview:...

     in Brentwood.
  • Ron Rivers
    Ron Rivers
    Ron Rivers is a former professional American football player who played running back for six seasons for the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Pittsburgh Steelers for one year....

    —Former NFL
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

     running back
    Running back
    A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

     for the Detroit Lions
    Detroit Lions
    The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League , and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and...

External links