Slauson Revitalization

_DFB2789Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas provided a progress report on the ongoing Slauson Corridor Revitalization Project during a community meeting this month, drawing enthusiastic responses from residents and business owners in View Park, Windsor Hills and Ladera Heights.

“Revitalization does not come quickly, but we are well on our way,” he told a crowd of about 200 at Knox Presbyterian Church.

“No one can stop me from waging war on blight,” he added. “The commercial corridors of this community have not reflected residents’ expectations for far too long.”

The $28-million initiative is aimed at improving residents’ quality of life while giving businesses an economic boost. The County is investing:
  • $650,000 to give 20 local businesses on both the north and south sides of Slauson Avenue between Angeles Vista and La Brea a facelift by renovating their decades-old storefront facades;
  • $8.5 million to improve 1.3 miles of streetscape on Slauson Avenue between Angeles Vista and La Brea, as well as an adjacent segment of Overhill Drive between Slauson Avenue and Stocker Ave;
  • $18.9 million for four major park improvements.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the progress to date, and find comfort that the vision for additional phases remain intact,” said View Park resident Pernell Cox. “With demonstrated progress, momentum, and a concerted effort from private and County stakeholders, I am more confident that we, residents, will be able to experience a much improved Slauson Corridor in the very near future.”

“The revitalization plan laid out by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas were impressive and exciting,” added fellow View Park resident Ben Kahle. “My family and I look forward to the beautification and developments along Slauson and Overhill, as well as to patronizing the new businesses on the corridor.”

To date, 10 storefront facades on the south side of Slauson Avenue between Angeles Vista Boulevard and La Brea Avenue have been upgraded at an average cost of about $20,000 per business.

Bonnie B’s, Glamour Girl, CJ’s Elegance were among the establishments that received a fresh coat of paint, as well as new display windows, signage, awnings and lighting.

Percell Keeling, owner of Simply Wholesome, said, “We are pleased with the progress of the improvements and look forward to future developments.”

The changes are already having a positive effect on the community. “We’ve heard from the Sheriff’s Department that crime is down, and that business is good,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Another 10 facades, this time on the north side of Slauson Avenue from Angeles Vista to Overhill Drive, will be renovated this fall through spring 2016. Sights are also set on working with property owners to renovate the Windsor Hills Shopping Center Parking Lot, just north of the street.

Due to begin construction in Spring 2016 are streetscape improvements on Slauson Avenue that will make it much more pleasant for patrons to walk, bike and shop along the corridor. Specific improvements include road resurfacing; bike lanes; new trees, lighting, benches and trash receptacles; decorative crosswalks; and drought-tolerant landscaping on medians.

Once those are completed, construction will begin on similar streetscape improvements on Overhill Drive, with completion expected sometime in summer 2018.

_DFB2754Meanwhile, work is underway on the Stocker Park and Hahn Park segments of the 13.2-mile Park to Playa Trail that will connect the greater Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean. A trailhead will soon open at Stocker Avenue, along with a connection to Rueben Ingold Park.

Scheduled to begin soon are renovations to the Kenneth Hahn Community and Interpretive Center, which the public can enjoy by spring 2016. In October, construction will also begin on Stoneview Nature Center in Blair Hills – which will have native gardens, a community kitchen, and many other unique amenities that are new to the Second District.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas thanked the community for embracing the goals of the project. “Interest in seeing change does not translate into unanimous consensus on how things should get done but, regardless, we have found a way to move forward.”