Magnolia Industrial Group, Inc.

Redevelopment project underway in Wrigley

By Greg Mellen, Staff Writer

Posted: 10/14/2009 06:34:38 PM PDT

LONG BEACH - Contrary to popular belief, Redevelopment Agency projects are not dead. Although the state's budget crisis has taken a bite out of the agency and its projects, work continues at various sites in the city.

Although Long Beach faces losing $30 million in funds to the state in the spring, including $10 million earmarked for land acquisition and other projects, you'd never know it if you travel Pacific Avenue.

Last week, workers began on the long-awaited $600,000 Wrigley Village Streetscape Improvement project on Pacific that will stretch from Pacific Coast Highway to Burnett Street.

Soon the new medians along the commercial stretch of mostly small independent storefronts will be planted with a variety of drought-tolerant shrubs and trees.

The trees will be fast-growing tipuana tipus while underneath, a variety of about 10 kinds of shrubs could be planted.

The Wrigley Neighborhood Advisory Group will meet today at 6 p.m. at the Wrigley Village Community Police Center, 2023 Pacific Ave., and decide about the next phase of the project, which will call for new lighting for the area.

This could include a number of upgrade options with decorative or historically styled street lighting that will provide better pedestrian visibility on the often dim stretch.

"We're really excited to be moving forward on this part of that part (of the project)," said Annie Greenfeld of the Neighborhood Advisory

Group. "I think this will show the shop owners that the city really does care and is coming through for them."

Greenfeld says she hopes the project and upgrades will encourage store owners to create a business improvement district in the area.

Long Beach has a number of such districts scattered throughout the city, notably in Belmont Shore and Bixby Knolls.

In the districts, store owners assess themselves an extra fee, which is paid when they renew their business licenses. This money is pooled and can be used for cleanups, beautification projects, advertising, marketing and special events that theoretically will increase visibility, foot traffic and shopping in the area.

The final piece of the project will be a "gateway" area at the Pacific Coast Highway intersection that will identify the area.

"We want to make people want to walk the neighborhood," Greenfeld said, "but people have to feel safe."

The project is slated to be completed by early next year.

greg.mellen@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1291

Posted in Long Beach CA by graeber on 10/16/2009
Last updated by dbachner on 10/17/2009
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