Gardena is a city in Los Angeles County, California and part of the region called South Bay.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles, over 99% of which is land. Gardena is bordered by Athens on the north, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Harbor Gateway on the east and south, Torrance on the southwest, Alondra Park on the west, and Hawthorne on the northwest.
Based on archaeological findings, Tongva Indians hunted and fished in the area of today’s Gardena.The Tongva Indians, also known as Gabrielino Indians, are probably descendants of those who crossed from Asia to North America around 10,000 years ago.
In 1784, three years after the foundation of Los Angeles, Juan Jose Dominguez (1736–1809), a Spanish soldier who arrived in San Diego, California in 1769 with Fernando Rivera y Moncada, in recognition of his military service, received the roughly 43,000-acre Spanish land grant, the Rancho San Pedro. Part of this land contained what became known as Gardena Valley. After the American Civil War veterans bought parts of the land, soon ranchers and farmers followed suit. Union Army Major General William Starke Rosecrans in 1869 bought 16,000 acres. The “Rosecrans Rancho,” was bordered by what later was Florence Avenue on the north, Redondo Beach Boulevard on the south, Central Avenue on the east, and Arlington Avenue on the west. The Rosecrans property was sub-divided and sold in the early 1870s. One of those became the 650-acre Amestoy Ranch. Gardena proper began in 1887 when the Pomeroy & Harrison real estate developers subdivided the ranch, anticipating that the coming of the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway. Civil War veteran Spencer Roane Thorpe is credited with starting the first settlement in Gardena in 1887. Railroads put Gardena on the map following a real estate boom in the Los Angeles area in the 1880s. Some believe the city was named for its reputation for being the only “green spot” in the dry season between Los Angeles and the sea. Because of its acres of berries, the city was dubbed “Berryland”. The Strawberry Day Festival and Parade was held each May annually. The berry industry suffered at the time of World War I as other crops were supported by the war economy. Japanese Americans settled in Gardena throughout its history.
The City of Gardena became incorporated on September 11, 1930 to protect itself from heavy county tax imposed on a planned project at a part site.
The population was 58,829 at the 2010 census, racially diverse. There were 21,472 housing units of which 47.9% were owner-occupied, and 52.1% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.6%.
Top 10 Employers
According to the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
1 Hustler Casino 696
2 Memorial Hospital of Gardena 603
3 Normandie Casino 497
4 Southwest Offset Printing 490
5 Hitco Carbon Composites 400
6 Ramona’s Mexican Food 235
7 Nissin Foods 224
8 Sam’s Club 190
9 Target 186
10 United Parcel Service
In 2006, Gardena has adopted a specific plan for the Artesia Corridor, south. This specific plan will provide a new vision for the revitalization of the south side of Artesia Blvd located between Normandie Avenue and Western Avenue.
Located along one of the City’s primary arterial corridors, the Artesia Corridor Specific Plan area provides a prime opportunity to create a new community gateway into the City and to establish a new node of activity that will bring vitality to the surrounding area. Historically, Artesia Boulevard has served as one of Gardena’s major east-west thoroughfares in the southern end of the City. Comprised of predominantly modest commercial and light industrial uses lined by limited streetscape treatments, this portion of Artesia Boulevard has traditionally been a “pass-through” street, with the majority of the traffic traveling through the area to another destination in a neighboring city.
As the City’s population continues to grow, it will become increasingly important to make sure undeveloped and underutilized properties implement techniques that encourage the most efficient use of land with each new development proposed. According to the 2006 General Plan, the City of Gardena is almost completely built out, with approximately 44 acres of vacant land remaining. The Artesia Corridor Specific Plan contains approximately 15 acres of vacant land—nearly a third of the total remaining land within the City. Moreover, the combined acreage and depth of these parcels represent a critical mass of property that can support the development of a large project. It is therefore critical that the City establish clear direction for the location, type and intensity of development in this area.
The Artesia Corridor Specific Plan provides a new vision for Artesia Boulevard between Western and Normandie Avenues, adjacent to the Dominguez Channel. The City created the Specific Plan to transform this 44-acre area into a special place for the residents and property owners of Gardena. The provisions of this Specific Plan will foster the creation of a recognizable, landmark development for Gardena that appeals to the City’s diverse population, stands out from other development along Artesia Boulevard, and provides much-needed gathering spaces for the community.
Redevelopment of the area demands a balance of land uses to retain the City’s commercial base and increase valuable sales-tax dollars while providing much-needed upscale housing for existing residents or attract new young professionals. A key objective includes the introduction and integration of new retail and residential uses to complement and enhance existing uses such as Marukai. By creating a “mini destination” at the Artesia Corridor Specific Plan site where patrons can experience a unique and desirable shopping environment.
The Plan creates a unique mixed-use environment with a combination of commercial, residential, and live/work uses oriented around a centralized main street.
- Redondo VillageRedondo Village is located in the southwest portion of the City of Gardena and consists of the two-gated residential villages on approximately five (5) acres. A variety of single-family detached residential patio home products are offered in Redondo Village. Redondo Village is located at 2425 W. Redondo Beach Boulevard, Gardena.
- Emerald SquareEmerald Square is a development of 154 single-family detached homes on individual lots within a 21.5-acre site. The architectural theme of the development is California Traditional. There is a common recreation area consisting of a swimming pool, spa, large sun deck area and accent landscaping. There are two-story units and each house has a two-car garage and driveway. Emerald Square is located at 17737 S. Vermont Avenue, Gardena.
- Carnelian HomesCarnelian Homes is a development of 101 single-family detached homes on an 11.4-acre site. There is a common recreation area and each unit is two-stories and has a two-car garage.
Carnelian Homes is located at 13901-13915 S. Vermont Avenue, Gardena.
- Cottage PlaceCottage Place is located in the Northeast portion of the City of Gardena and is a development of 35 single-family detached condominiums within a gated community. Housing floor plans are three-stories with living room & kitchen on the second floor. Cottage Place is located at 14417 S. Budlong Avenue, Gardena.
- San LorenzoSan Lorenzo is a collection of nine beautiful luxury homes priced from high $500,000s. The homes consists of 3 bedrooms, loft, upstairs laundry room and 2 ½ baths.
San Lorenzo is located at 1460 W. 166th Street, Gardena.
- Gardena VillageGardena Village, a new upscale development in Gardena, is conveniently located near the Harbor, Santa Monica, Century, and Artesia Freeways. It is in a privately gated enclave and displays open expansive floor plans, functional living space and warmth in architecture. Gardena Village is located at 1700 W. Artesia Boulevard, Gardena.
Reference sources: Wikipedia and City of Gardena websites