Bruce’s to Sell Beachfront Property Back to L.A. County for $20 Million

D.T. Carson

After a hard-fought decades long battle to reclaim beachfront property that was stolen from their great-grandparents, Charles and Willa Bruce in 1929, by the city of Manhattan Beach, members of the Bruce family were handed the deed to the property back last year. The high profile celebration was attended by L.A. County officials, state representatives and Governor Gavin Newsom who’d signed SB796 (authored by State Senator Steve Bradford) enabling Los Angeles County to return the beachfront property to their descendants, continuing the state’s leadership to redress historical injustices and advance equity.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors—who’d voted unanimously to move forward with a land transfer to the Bruce family in motions co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Holly Mitchell offered the family two options. They could lease the land back to the county for $413,000 a year or sell the property to them for $20 million.

This week the family—none of whom reside in Southern California— decided to sell the property back to the L.A. County.

“They are exercising a right that should have never been taken away from them,” State Sen. Steven Bradford said in a statement. “I understand why the Bruce family would want to sell the property. The current zoning regulations would prevent the Bruce family from developing the property in any economically beneficial manner. Based on that fact it leaves L.A. County as the only logical purchaser of the property.

“In no way does selling the property diminish the powerful example that the return of Bruce’s Beach represents in America,” Bradford continued. “They were able to reclaim what was rightfully theirs.”

      Responding to the sale L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn remarked, “This fight has always been about what is best for the Bruce family, and they feel what is best for them is selling this property back to the county for nearly $20 million and finally rebuilding the generational wealth they were denied for nearly a century. This is what reparations look like and it is a model that I hope governments across the country will follow.”
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