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Westfield Begins Preparation for The Village at Topanga

In case you missed it back on January 22, the Daily News reported that 'Preliminary Work Begins on The Village at Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park' which surprised the heck out of me that I had to visit this location in person late at night. I was rather shocked considering that the Woodland Hills homeowners filed a lawsuit back on April 16, 2012 which in turn caused the Woodland Hills/Tarzana Chamber of Commerce to kick that group out since the Chamber is huge proponent of this project; really, you dont say! 

The good news is that this 'preliminary' work is only to remove trees and no other projects are scheduled at this time. At any rate, big corporations always win (courtesy of fancy dinners with the city council) and I expect this project to proceed as planned. I mean how can anyone say no to this project that is going to bring so much tax revenue and jobs but yet we cant get historical status for Henry's Taco stand in Studio City on top of other historical sites that closed in 2012

So what concerns me is the fact that there are two items of significance on this site that I believe will be demolished. The first is a cool little creek at the corner of Victory and Owensmouth that you dont normally see in this concrete jungle and I dont think many people walking by even notice.

The second item is a Millard Sheets inspired mural by Marlo Bartels and Astrid Preston designed in 1989 for the Home Savings Bank. There are other examples of these murals throughout the Valley and SoCal as well as the rest of the nation. These are unique pieces of art that you dont see anymore with the 'big box' and strip mall designs. I hope this mural is saved because its a piece of Valley history depicting Woodland Hills back in the late 80's. 

My other concerns are the massive apartment development in this tiny area of the West Valley. In addition to the The Village, there will be 2000 new apartment units added which I talked about previously taking place nearby the Orange line, at the former Valley Music Theatre (click here for updated pic), and former Catalina Yachts manufacturing site which are all shown in the map below. 

View Woodland Hills Development in a larger map

Good luck to the significant jump in traffic, the decay of small business, and a glut of available housing!

Below are more pics of the site. I am trying to remember what used to be here which I believe was the Topanga Theatre, Yankee Doodles, Coco's, and Black Angus. I know there were others but I cant remember. Anybody want to chime in?

Image courtesy Google Earth showing  October 2007

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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