North Long Beach – The New Frontier
By Val Lerch, Councilmember 9th District
Thirty years ago the leaders, businesses and citizens of this great City of ours made conscious and subconscious decision to turn around the decaying and blighted downtown area of the City.
For thirty years we have focused our efforts and vision to make Ocean Boulevard and the immediate surrounding area a place that every citizen could take pride in.
Our efforts have paid off our downtown area is a place that is talked about all over this nation. It is a designation place for conventions, businesses and tourists. Businesses are now competing to be in the downtown area.
The perception of Long Beach has changed. People who once thought that Long Beach was "a ghetto by the sea" are now eating dinner in our restaurants. Buying condos for over a million dollars. Renting apartments at twice the rate for an apartments in other parts of the region.
Our vision and efforts have worked. Congratulations Long Beach.
It is now time to do the same for North Long Beach. We must now make a conscious and subconscious decision to change the "Top of the Town". We must now put our combined efforts and focus to turn around the decay and blight that has plagued the commercial corridors of North Long Beach for over thirty years.
I am not talking about the neighborhoods for the most part our neighborhoods in good shape. I would put them up against any neighborhood in this City. I am talking about the commercial corridors.
Our medium income is increasing every year and our spend able income is escaping to Lakewood and Cerritos because we do not have commercial or retail outlets. We do not have an area that is inviting, no national set down restaurants, nor do we have a national full service grocery store.
Some will ask why North Long Beach and not other parts of the City and I will answer that this community has worked for over 11 years planning and waiting for the right time. We created a redevelopment area to bring in additional money to facility our change. We have worked on the infrastructure, added new parks, transferred redevelopment money to help with public safety and built public buildings. We have patiently waited, planned and saved our money and the time is right.
We have created a new frontier for developers and business, the land and opportunities are available. Come and see what we are doing up North. Be a part of it.