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FOCUS : Dynamic Revitalization

March 03, 1988|Susan Greene and Henry Rivero | Clipboard researched by Rick Vanderknyff, Susan Greene, and Henry Rivero / Los Angeles Times

Santa Ana, the county seat since 1889, is the second-oldest and largest city in Orange County. Through its unique revitalization plan, the city is looking inward, not outward, by encouraging inner-city development.

One of Santa Ana's goals--the five-year maintenance and beautification program--started last year and is considered to be the backbone of the city's plan.

The program partly involves the preservation of the the largely residential French Park and Heninger Park, which have been designated as historic districts by the city. The areas contain a number Victorian-style homes, many of which are in various stages of renovation.

Several of the homes now in French Park were not originally in the neighborhood. Previously in outlying areas, they had been scheduled for demolition to make way for other developments. Instead, they were sold to individual buyers who moved them onto empty lots and restored them to their original condition.

The Fiesta Marketplace, which is scheduled to open this fall, is another major renewal effort. The $10-million Spanish-style project involves the rehabilitation of a number of run-down businesses into a downtown shopping center which would include shops, restaurants, roving entertainers and a three-screen movie theater.

Though designed as an attraction for the large Latino population, the Marketplace could as well become an attraction for tourists to the county. It may also help to compensate the local merchants who lost business with the closure last year of the swap meets at Eddie West Field in the Civic Center and at Rancho Santiago College.

MainPlace/Santa Ana opened last September. Formerly known as Fashion Square, the $90-million renovation project more than doubled the size of the shopping center and added space for 140 new shops. It may become the second-largest grossing shopping center in the county, behind South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

In addition to the retail centers, another city structure that has received a major facelift is the old Courthouse at Broadway and Santa Ana Blvd. Originally opened in 1901, the gothic-style structure was rededicated last Nov. 12, following a four-year rehabilitation--and 86 years to the day after its first open house.

Unlike the rest of the county, Santa Ana welcomes developers by not restricting growth to broaden its tax base.

Perhaps the city's most ambitious new development is MacArthur Place, an "urban village" which is slated to rise on a 66-acre plot northeast of Main Street and MacArthur Boulevard. The 20-year, $600-million mixed-use project may include up to 15 separate buildings--some as high as 18 stories--comprising offices, shops, homes and recreation facilities.

Another project on the city's agenda is the broadening and improvement of its city services. This can already be seen in the city's Fire Department, which is the only one in the county to have received a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office, the highest a fire department can receive.


City Council: Daniel Young (mayor), Patricia McGuigan (mayor pro tem), John Acosta, Wilson B. Hart, Daniel Griset, Miguel Pulido, Jr., Ron May.

City Manager: David Ream

Fire Chief: Bud Carter

Chief of Police: Clyde Cronkhite


Population: (1986 est.): 237,839

Area: 26 square miles

Incorporation: June 12,1886

Median household income: $25,734

Median home value: $80,515

Racial/ethnic mix: white, 62.6%; Latino, 52.0%; black, 4.3%; other, 33.1%

(Total is more than 100% because racial/ethnic breakdowns overlap).

City Services

City Hall: 20 Civic Center Plaza (714) 647-5400

Police (business): 24 Civic Center Plaza (714) 834-4801

Fire (business): 1439 S. Broadway (714) 647-5700

Post Office: 3101 Sunflower Ave. (714) 662-6200

In Emergency, Dial: 911

Employment status

Employed persons: 96,012

Unemployed: 46,606

Not in labor force: 5,472

Per capita income: $6,584


By sex and age


0-5 years: 12,579

6-13 years: 15,308

14-17 years: 6,764

18-24 years: 12,935

25-34 years: 23,496

35-44 years: 16,257

45-54 years: 9,781

55-64 years: 9,018

65 years or over: 12,579


0-5 years: 13,227

6-13 years: 16,087

14-17 years: 7,150

18-24 years: 13,704

25-34 years: 25,621

35-44 years: 17,994

45-54 years: 9,891

55-64 years: 7,984

65 years or over: 7,507

Median Age: 29.3 years

Statistics: Donnelley Demographics

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