Will redevelopment bring back Huntington Park's golden days of the 1920s?
Developer Loren Bloch believes that what much smaller Huntington Park is doing may help bring a new era to Los Angeles' inner city.
Bloch, president of Community Dynamics Inc., together with Salar Development Co., both of Century City, is completing construction of Phase 1 of Huntington Walk, a 72-unit single-family detached home project near Slauson and Miles avenues. The first phase will consist of 27 homes.
Six other projects encompassing 253 single-family homes are under construction.
"Huntington Walk is the kind of project that will bring young families back to the inner city," Bloch says. "It's only five miles from the jobs in downtown Los Angeles. People can spend time with their families, not just traveling."
The two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are priced from $118,600 to about $140,000. Buyers can pay as little as 5% down and get 8.5%, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. The homes range in size from 1,377 to 1,732 square feet.
"The city wanted the homes to have a traditional, almost Victorian appearance," said architect Gary Gregson of Corbin/Yamafuji & Partners.
Huntington Walk is one of 102 redevelopment projects in Huntington Park, a city encompassing only three square miles.
"From 1965 to 1979, the city experienced rough times," said James Funk, the city's redevelopment director. "After the Watts riots, a research report prepared by the RAND Corp. called Huntington Park one of the nation's most troubled and distressed cities."
Then, in 1978, the city embarked on a redevelopment renaissance.
In 1976 a special census showed the city's population was 37,000. Today, Funk said, it has more than 52,000 residents.
"When we started out we had exactly $2,000 with which to buy and negotiate property. Today, the new projects generate an annual $1 million in sales tax revenue and $2.5 million in property tax revenue to be used for redevelopment," he said
"At the completion of all the 102 projects the additional annual property tax revenue will exceed $5.5 million."