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What is a Platinum Triangle?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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The term “Platinum Triangle” is used to describe an extremely exclusive section of Los Angeles, comprised of three neighborhoods: Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, and Bel-Air. Even people who are not familiar with Los Angeles are often familiar with the neighborhoods in the Platinum Triangle, because they have become famous for their exclusivity. Living in this region of Los Angeles, as you might imagine, requires substantial wealth; home sales in the Platinum Triangle routinely set new residential sales records for the United States.

Like other exclusive neighborhoods, this area is characterized by having a generally extremely wealthy population, with the large houses, flashy cars, and costly style to match. Businesses in the area tend to cater to wealthy clientèle, featuring costly items and only the most current fashions. Outsiders often like to visit this neighborhood to get a glimpse of the lives of the rich and famous, shopping in the same boutiques frequented by movie stars and eating in luxurious restaurants and cafes.

The generally wealthy residents of the Platinum Triangle carry a great deal of social clout, both because of their wealth, and because of their positions in society. Many residents are prominent in the film industry, and the area also houses musicians, star athletes, and other socially prominent individuals. The citizens of the area often use their collective clout to push for special ordinances and other privileges in the Platinum Triangle, arguing that they deserve to get the most out of their very high property taxes.

This neighborhood isn't just expensive to live in because rich people live there; it's also generally viewed as a very nice neighborhood, which in turn feeds into the cost of real estate. Homes are often set on large lots with mature landscaping and a variety of design and safety features, and the views are stellar, commanding a sweeping vista of the city of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. Many homes also feature a range of amenities, from movie theaters to ballrooms, designed to appeal to the wealthy.

Critics often denounce the Platinum Triangle as being extremely ostentatious, and also rather shocking when compared with the extremely impoverished regions of Los Angeles. Many people differentiate between the “new money” residents of places like Beverly Hills, where houses tend to be especially flashy, and the “old money” of Holmby Hills, which tends to have more modest architecture and landscaping.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a America Explained researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By wavy58 — On Oct 27, 2011

@orangey03 - You are right about job proximity being a reason for living there. My cousin is an actor, and he has to live in California for work purposes.

He chose to live in Holmby Hills, because the homes aren’t quite as outlandish there. He has a nice house, but it is average-looking when compared to most of the homes in Beverly Hills and Bel-Air.

He isn’t about flaunting his wealth or fame, and he would prefer to hide away in a rural setting. However, his work requires that he be available when needed, and his agent sometimes finds him jobs at the last minute.

By Perdido — On Oct 26, 2011

Every television show that includes the name of the cities “Beverly Hills” or “Bel-Air” shows the actors living in mansions and dressed in expensive clothing. Sometimes, poor friends of the main characters are thrown in to show the contrast in lifestyles, but the focus is on the glamor and the type of life that money can buy here.

My college roommate was from Beverly Hills, and she told me that everything I’ve seen on television about it is true. She had some of the most expensive jewelry and designer clothes I have ever seen, and I probably never will see them in stores around my home.

She kind of stood out amongst the regular college kids in sorority t-shirts and jeans, but she liked the attention. I think that in her hometown, she just blended too well, so getting noticed for wearing what was her normal wardrobe back home was a nice change.

By shell4life — On Oct 26, 2011

I wonder how starstruck visitors to the Platinum Triangle can afford to shop at these boutiques! They must save up for years to have the privilege of buying merchandise from the same stores as their favorite celebrities.

I have a feeling that even the restaurants must charge a fortune. Of course, if your aim is to catch a glimpse of someone famous, it might be worth it to you.

Personally, I like to go on vacation every year, and I can only afford the basic amenities. I will probably never see the Platinum Triangle, but then again, I’m not really into following stars around.

By orangey03 — On Oct 25, 2011

I’ve often wondered why stars move to California. Probably most of them want the prestige and amenities that come with living in an area like the Platinum Triangle.

Perhaps they also want to be close to the studios and agencies that they have to visit frequently for work. It would be hard to hop a plane every time you have to go do your job.

I don’t think I would want to live in the Platinum Triangle if I were rich and famous. For one thing, California is prone to earthquakes and wildfires. I would prefer to be in a safer area out in the country for privacy.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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