Exciting Times in Warner Center
Recently I met with the Warner Center Association (WCA) to talk about some of the exciting projects in the works, both private development and infrastructure investments in the Warner Center 2035 Plan (WC2035). This year the WCA’s dedicated group of property owners and businesses remains deeply involved in the local community and celebrated their 40th anniversary.
The most exciting recent news in Warner Center is the sale of the Westfield Promenade site. While I don’t have specifics to share, it has been widely reported that the Superbowl Champion LA Rams owner Kroenke Group has purchased the property. The Rams and Stan Kroenke are active community partners in LA, and I’m confident that they will be good neighbors if they pursue a practice facility at the stadium that is already entitled for that location.
The Promenade redevelopment plan approved by the City Council includes over 1,400 new units with the first ever affordable housing units in Warner Center, hotels, offices, retail, and over 5 acres of public open space. The approved entitlements will carry over to the new owner to guide any construction plans, and once information is available about their designs I’ll share them with you.
Warner Center has become the West San Fernando Valley’s thriving downtown and is home to about 14,000 Angelenos and businesses like Anthem Blue Cross, Farmers Insurance, Kaiser Permanente and URW/Westfield, with over 50,000 jobs. Warner Center is a great place to live and work, with thousands of new units open or under construction to help address the housing shortage. Every development pays mitigation fees to help address issues related to growth. The plan assumes that more than $160 million in such fees will be used to implement needed mitigation measures.
Warner Center is envisioned as a transit and pedestrian friendly neighborhood, but with its wide streets and long blocks we have to make some changes to realize this vision. In addition to WCA, the WC2035 Plan Implementation Board (PIB), comprised of local residents, business owners, and stakeholders in and around Warner Center serves as an advisory body that guides the investment in local infrastructure, and makes sure that mitigation measures get done to minimize potential negative impacts from development. The PIB is developing a work plan for crosswalk and signal enhancements to improve safety and walkability. Efforts like the Warner Connects Transit Management Organization will help reduce traffic and carbon emissions while improving mobility for cleaner, greener transportation options in the Valley.
A few years ago we launched the Metro Warner Center Shuttle which replaced the Orange Line Stop at the Canoga Station with a new line connecting riders to 10 new stops including Westfield Topanga, Warner Center Corporate Park, and Kaiser. This local circulator assists with traffic as it helps local residents and workers get around without cars.
We can also bridge the transportation gaps that exist in Warner Center, with help from the State of California’s first-ever Transportation and Technology Innovation Zone (TTIZ). In November 2020, the City Council passed my motion to designate the Warner Center as a TTIZ to support the testing and development of innovative and potentially automated technologies for movement of goods and people. I reached out to Senator Henry Stern who secured a budget earmark for the Innovation Zone, allocating $250,000 toward this effort. The TTIZ encourages transportation-related businesses to start up, locate, and hire locally, with many diverse jobs, spurring investments needed to reduce vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions from transportation.
Warner Center is a major local asset and my goal is to make the area safer, greener, and the most welcoming destination in all of Los Angeles.
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