Crenshaw and Rodeo Retail Development renderings by Charles CompanyEconomic development designed to revitalize the face of the Crenshaw Corridor is taking place in Herb Wesson’s Council District 10 along Crenshaw Blvd.
Within weeks of shepherding the funding for the $150 million second phase of "Midtown Crossings" development at Pico and San Vicente Boulevards, Councilmember Herb Wesson has announced the LA City Council's approval of "District Square," the $93 million centerpiece of a new wave of important economic development projects designed to revitalize the face of the Crenshaw Corridor.
Despite an economic downturn that continues to plague the Los Angeles region, an economic development boom is taking place in Council District 10 along Crenshaw Boulevard.
Spearheading the boom is the new "District Square" development that will be located within the shadow of the new Exposition Light Rail Line and West Angeles Cathedral, on a six acre site at the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Rodeo Road. Developed by the Charles Company, the new three-level 300,000 sq. ft. retail center will feature a Target, Marshall's, Ralphs, Ross Dress for Less and other retail outlets, including full service restaurants.
Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods have never enjoyed such an array of quality retail options; something that other communities in Los Angeles routinely take for granted.
Wesson and his staff were determined to address the need for quality retail in the area, and aggressively pursued the realization of this new project; a process that has taken four years. Their success is a remarkable achievement considering the difficult local economic environment.
Under Wesson's leadership, the City of Los Angeles is providing crucial funding to help finance the project through the assistance of a federal HUD loan, with additional support coming from the Community Redevelopment Agency.
"Together, the Midtown Crossings project and the "District Square" project represent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in capital investment that will create four thousands of construction jobs and 1,800 permanent jobs," said Councilmember Wesson. "We're proving that these are economically viable communities that can support quality retail centers.
"Our longer-term goal with "District Square" is that it becomes a catalyst to ignite an economic renaissance along the Crenshaw Corridor."
Wesson has also been instrumental in two other new Crenshaw development projects that are on the way.
Soon to break ground at Crenshaw and Jefferson Boulevards is "West Angeles Plaza," a $12 million retail project developed by the West Angeles Community Development Corporation and CIM. "West Angeles Plaza" will feature a "Fresh & Easy" neighborhood market and a new Union Bank Building.
Also on Crenshaw, adjacent to "West Angeles Plaza," is a site being developed by Ron Smothers, who is remaking the area where there is now a Burger King, into a redesigned retail center.
"These are exciting times for the Crenshaw Corridor," said Michael Jones, President of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce. "Along with the Exposition Light Rail, and a planned Crenshaw line to the airport, "District Square is another important step in the right direction."
Other completed projects benefiting from the involvement of Wesson and his staff can be seen along Crenshaw Boulevard. They include the recently opened "Rosa Parks Villas," senior housing development, a gateway project at the Santa Monica Freeway; and the "Coliseum Center," featuring Magic Johnson's Starbucks, Wallgreen's, and a Denny's, the first full service restaurant on Crenshaw in many years.
"Improving the quality of life for our residents is what its all about," said Wesson. "We've been able to accomplish something important for this community, and this is just the start."
Among the projects on Wesson's development drawing board soon to start construction include an $8 million two-level retail center at Pico and Hauser Boulevards replacing an auto-body shop; a $30 million affordable housing project providing 60 units that is being developed by Mercy Housing near the site of the original "Fat Burger" at 30th Street and Western Avenue; a $40 million office tower extension of the Samitaur development at Jefferson and National Boulevards; and an $18 million office project developed by RAD Properties also at Jefferson and National.
Improvements at two Council District 10 supermarkets are also planned with the demolition and reconstruction of a new Vons at Pico Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue; and a $4 million remodel of the Ralphs adjacent to "Midtown Crossings."