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VALLEY FOCUS

Plan Would Create Shopping District

June 18, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

A two-mile stretch of Reseda Boulevard that makes up a proposed business improvement district has tentatively been named "Northridge Oasis."

The designation, however, does not mean there will be palm trees and waterfalls along the proposed district, which runs from Lassen Street to Roscoe Boulevard, said Walter Prince, a director of the 15-member Northridge Business Improvement Advisory Board.

During a public meeting Tuesday night at Cal State Northridge, an eight-minute video depicted the proposed district as a pedestrian-friendly main street reminiscient of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The video also showed fountains, outdoor plazas and a parking structure to serve both students and business patrons.

The video was produced by CSUN and the Ackerman Group, a Woodland Hills-based consulting firm, which were recruited by the advisory board to design most of the improvements.

"Our ultimate goal is to get more shoppers into the area," Prince said. "We have a 25,000-student population at CSUN that doesn't stay here and shop here after school or come out here at night because there's no place for them to gather."

Prince suggested the addition of coffeehouses, bookstores and other gathering spots for students along the proposed district would help support the local community.

A proposal is expected to be ready for City Council approval by July 1, Prince said. He cautioned, however, that the establishment of a business improvement district is only a first step.

"We have to convince people who are in the district to have patience while we get this thing up and operating," he said. "It's going to be a great project but a long-term project and they have to realize that it's not going to happen overnight."

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