Explore economic and job creation opportunities, success at diverse West Valley locations.
WOODLAND HILLS, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Mayor Eric Garcetti toured Blumenfield’s West Valley council district today, highlighting opportunities to spur job creation and economic development, and showcasing successes.
“With nearly 1.8 million residents, mighty freeways, industrial, commercial and residential neighborhoods, the Valley is a regional force unto itself. From Tarzana to Canoga Park, from Reseda and Winnetka to Woodland Hills—the West Valley is open for business and ready to create jobs,” said Blumenfield. “Our goal is to match new job generating projects with each community’s vision for their area. By attracting great development where we need it and where it is appropriate, and preserving the community character and residential nature where appropriate, we will make the Valley stronger and safer.”
“As my administration continues to create jobs and boost economic development across the city, I applaud Councilmember Blumenfield's commitment to improving the economy and quality of life in the West Valley and all of Los Angeles," said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Beginning their day in Warner Center, flanked by the $350 million Village at Westfield Topanga, which broke ground last month, and the 47-acre Rocketdyne property which is in the early stages of planning, Blumenfield and Garcetti met with business and community leaders who are creating the Valley of the future.
In October, Councilmember Blumenfield was able to take the Warner Center 2035 plan over the finish line. The specific plan, cleanest and greenest in the City, was the result eight years of collaboration between the community and the City. Included in the transit-oriented plan are some 30 million square feet of new non-residential space, and some 32 million square feet of new residential space, the potential for 40,000 green jobs and hundreds of millions in total economic impact.
“The recently passed Warner Center 2035 plan is truly in line with the wants and needs of the community, while at the same time providing a framework and incentives that will make Warner Center a destination for world class projects,” said David Allison, Chairman of the Warner Center Association.
Among the business leaders gathered at the site was Jeremy Synder of Tesla Topanga, who encouraged the City to build more EV charging stations and also thanked Councilmember Blumenfield for his many efforts to encourage cleaner vehicles including his extending tax credits and HOV access stickers for zero-emissions vehicles. Additional Blumenfield bills on EV include AB 2502, AB 2853, and AB 2405.
The Mayor and Councilmember were greeted by students from YouthBuild Canoga Park, a competency-based dropout recovery program that provides a high school education leading to a diploma.
“Creating jobs is just one component of economic development,” said Michelle Miranda of YouthBuild. “With the Mayor spearheading initiatives to put our youth to work, it is crucial that our communities support organizations like YouthBuild that prepare young Angelenos for the workplace.”
From Warner Center, Garcetti and Blumenfield toured Winnetka and Canoga Park and headed to Reseda, a classic Valley main-street community, where an active art community and supportive neighborhood are laying the groundwork for a “Reseda renaissance.”
They met with leaders outside the historic Reseda Theater, which was opened in 1948 but has been vacant since 1988. The community would like to keep this location as a hub for the arts community. Sherman Way has 3 former CRA properties which are ripe for reinvestment. Councilmember Blumenfield has advocated to the Successor Agency and Oversight Committee that these sites be kept under the City’s jurisdiction for future improvement. Funding is already in place for a median project on Sherman Way which will help visually improve the street.
“Reseda is a hidden gem in the Valley,” said Spike Dolomite-Ward, a Neighborhood Council leader who has been working to foster the Valley arts community for more than a decade. “The potential is here, the need is here, and the residents here are united with Councilmember Blumenfield in the confidence that our best days are ahead.”
The Reseda Neighborhood Council won the 2013 EmpowerLA Award for the ShopRESEDA Discount Card and the Spend $25 on the 25th program, an initiative to support local small business that has been replicated across the Country.
Before leaving Reseda, Garcetti and Blumenfield stopped by La Reyna de Michoacan, a Mexican Kosher Ice Cream store that makes all natural certified kosher ice cream.
The tour concluded in Tarzana, where a neighborhood united to form a Business Improvement District around the Tarzana Safari Walk. The BID and Walk are an economic development success along Ventura Boulevard, one of the City’s most important commercial thoroughfares. After touring the temporary gallery of the 11:11 Art Collective, an organization that provides San Fernando Valley artists an accessible space to show their work, network, and grow professionally, Garcetti and Blumenfield joined Neighborhood Council leaders from across Blumenfield’s district for lunch at Lyfe Kitchen, an innovative new restaurant that supports local farms and promotes sustainability.
“The Valley has always been a great place to live, work and do business,” said Kathy Delle Donne, who helped found the BID. “In Tarzana, we took that one step further to create a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment that embraces the community, and is embraced by the community.”
“From malls to main-street, artists and small businesspeople are looking to the West Valley for jobs and economic development,” said Blumenfield. “I appreciate the Mayor’s commitment to creating the Valley, and the Los Angeles of the future. Together we will create the Valley it can, should and soon will be.”