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Warner Center Expansion Goes Into Overdrive

Image courtesy Rich Krugel Facebook
There has been a barrage of Warner Center development news hitting the newswire in the past month which doesnt seem to stop. The latest is the $3 billion conversion of the old Rockedyne site which is nothing new but is becoming closer to fruition. Take into consideration the following:
  1. Westfield drops hotel plans at Village at Wesfield Topanga published on February 28, 2014.
  2. Westfield Village Project Gets $59 Million Tax Break from Los Angeles City Council published on March 4, 2014. 
  3. Westfield Village at Topanga in Warner Set for 2015 Opening published on March 6, 2014.
  4. Lawsuit Over The Village at Westfield Topanga Resolved published on March 19, 2014. 
  5. Westfield Topanga Breaks Ground on $350 Million Village Project published on March 24, 2014. 
  6. Warner Center's Rocketdyne Site Slated for $3 Billion Project published on March 26, 2014. 
My favorite articles above are the hotel being dropped and the tax credit. Why would Westfield drop a hotel now? What happened to their previous projections that showed it would work? Isnt more hotels in the area the solution? 

And the same with tax credits. Why cant we offer tax credits to manufacturing companies that increase the local GDP and provide high paying jobs? Why is it limited to these retail type corporations that really only hire minimum wage teenagers and a few adult managers? 

Moving onto the picture above which I dont know who generated it, is a great picture that really captures all the activity taking place in a very finite area which also highlights the corporate stores already in existence that it begs the question, do we really need more? Is "more" going to really add more jobs or destroy jobs at other areas as people flock to this shopping center behemoth? And are these jobs high paying jobs that can support a family purchasing an average $500K single family home in Winnetka? Remember when this area used to house manufacturing centers along with highly skilled and paid jobs.

This project has been a sensitive area for me that I have been highly critical which I first talked about it in 2011 in one of my very first posts on this blog and continued to provide coverage with each new development. You can read some of those old posts shown below: 
  1. Small Creek Threatened near Topanga Mall.....March 3, 2011.
  2. BTTF Series #5: The Promenade Mall at Woodland Hills....May 19, 2011.
  3. Voice Your Concerns for the Proposed Village at Westfield Topanga.....August 2, 2011. 
  4. The Village at Westfield Topanga is Coming....Hang Onto Your Hats....March 1, 2012.
  5. Woodland Hills Homeowners File Lawsuit over Westfield Topanga Village.....April 17, 2012.
  6. Westfield Begins Preparation for The Village at Topanga.....January 29, 2013. 
  7. Demolition Underway for The Village at Westfield Topanga......August 2, 2013
  8. Historic Rocketdyne Engine Moves Down the Street to Nordhoff and De Soto....October 6, 2013.
My opinion hasnt changed one bit for this project and I continue to question the purpose behind these massive projects and wonder what will happen once completed, to traffic, small businesses, and the massive increase in available housing.  Those questions seemed to have already been answered by the City Council, Westfield, and other developers as not being an issue or already resolved. Obviously, at this point, nothing can be done and the projects are full steam ahead. I guess time will only tell to who wins and loses with these projects. But there cant be all winners and somebody will take a hit. 

One of the early victims of this project was the old Home Savings Millard Sheets inspired mural by Marlo Bartels and Astrid Preston that was most recently occupied by a Fedex Office store. It was demolished without preservation but I hope I am wrong. If it was completely demolished, than you know that negligence and ignorance has already started. Below you can find a picture of it that I took before razing commenced. 

And dont forget all the apartment activity taking place. 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

Here are some random pictures I found on Facebook of the old Warner Center.

Image courtesy Dean Field Facebook
Image courtesy Gordon Ross Facebook
You can view more SFV Architecture and Real Estate here.

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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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