Carson’s long-awaited and sometimes controversial Boulevards at South Bay project passed a major hurdle Tuesday when developers told the city council that county officials have approved the parcel map, meaning that soil remediation will be started and completed next year and that the construction process will commence in 2015.
The Boulevards, a 168-acre mixed-use development at the junction of the 405 Freeway and Avalon Boulevard, has been a controversial project in the works for some 11 years, when the former landfill site was closed in favor of factory outlets, hotels, restaurants and multi-family units—all designed to inject as much as $5 million annually in to the city budget.
The biggest problem has been cleaning up the old landfill, and assuring the public that no toxic elements remain. Also, securing tenants has been a challenge because of the economic downturn. It was announced that retail giant Costco will be one of the anchor stores.
“This is a great investment for the city of Carson,” said councilmember Mike Gipson. “This development will provide plentiful jobs for residents, while identifying Carson as one of the southland’s premier shopping districts.” The Boulevards will be the first new major shopping district south of LAX, and Carson officials cited the new Tom Bradley International Terminal as the impetus for future travelers to take the 22-minute drive down the 405 and invest in the city.
“This will change the face of Carson forever,” said Mayor Jim Dear. “We want this revenue to go first to public safety; the citizens of Carson will benefit greatly from the added revenue. We can bolster our Sheriff’s protection by focusing on the needs of our residents, and provide services that will improve our quality of life.”
There will be several hotels—one of which is scheduled to have 150 rooms—and, in what may have been the most exciting news to the council, a number high-end factory outlet stores the council hopes will surpass the popularity of the Citadel in City of Commerce or the Cabazon and Desert Hills outlets near Palm Springs.
Carson sold $35 million in bonds in 2009 to help finance construction of The Boulevards which is expected to bring in roughly 6,000 permanent jobs; the Costco arrival alone could realize more than 100 local hires. Construction of the whole project could result in a minimum of 2,000 jobs.
In celebration of its 45th anniversary, the city of Carson will present a jazz festival on September 28 at Anderson Park, 19101 S. Wilmington Ave. The afternoon activities will also help usher in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and will also feature a health and wellness expo. There will be free mammograms for 25 qualifying low-income Carson residents. Among the artists scheduled to perform are Lenny Williams, former lead singer for Tower of Power; blues great Guitar Shorty; jazz legend Barbara Morrison; and the trio Jazz in Pink, and R&B star Aalon.