Two New Large Scale Developments in Van Nuys


The San Fernando Valley Business Journal reported that two new proposed housing projects, one on Sherman Way west of VNB, the other near Oxnard and VNB, are in the works. Principals in the projects showed their plans to members of the Van Nuys Community Council the other night.

Here is the article as it appeared in the SFBJ:

Residential Developments Proposed for Van Nuys

By KAREN E. KLEINWednesday, May 20, 2015

Developers floated two residential proposals before the land-use committee of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council on Tuesday, including a subdivision that got the green light to move forward.

Storm Properties Inc., a Torrance residential developer, wants to build a $29 million small-lot subdivision that marks its first foray into the San Fernando Valley.

The proposal calls for 58 single-family homes at 14700 Sherman Way, just west of Van Nuys Boulevard. Small-lot homes are separate residences but can be so close that the units can have the appearance of condominiums.

Alan Kwan, the firm’s director of acquisitions, said they would be priced from the mid-$400,000s to the mid-$500,000s.

The subdivision got a positive response from the land-use committee, which recommended that it move forward to the full Neighborhood Council next month.

The vacant land was originally bought as an expansion site for Church on the Way, whose main sanctuary is at 14300 Sherman Way. Kwan said the church’s plans have changed and his firm is in escrow to buy the parcel for an undisclosed price.

Storm Properties has concentrated on residential infill projects in the South Bay, but the firm is increasingly interested in the San Fernando Valley.

“We love Van Nuys in particular. It seems to get a bad rap, but we look for areas where we can get a lot of value and where neighbors are supportive,” Kwan said.

The second project is a mixed-use, transit-oriented development slated for 4.5 acres at 6100 Van Nuys Boulevard. It would feature 384 apartments and about 17,000-square-feet of retail space at the busy corner of Oxnard Street. It is adjacent to the Orange Line busway.

Keyes Automotive Group operated a showroom on the property, which is owned by a family.

Brad Rosenheim, principal of Rosenheim and Associates Inc., a Woodland Hills land use consultancy, represents the landowners. He said the project is still in preliminary stages.

“We’ve got a lot of work left to do on this,” said Rosenheim, who plans to return to the committee with more detailed plans.

Van Nuys, Tijuana.


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North of Victory, along such streets as Langdon and Orion, there are beautiful homes, lovingly maintained, with lush plantings and comely architecture.

But out on Sepulveda, between Lemay and Haynes, the meridian that breaks along the west side is like a hellish scene out of Tijuana. There are discarded toilets, papers and plastics, cans and bottles, televisions, even a picture of a holy saint thrown down like so much garbage.

Trash

What civilized place would permit the public areas to look this deplorable? Have we no pride or self-respect at all?

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The Election is Over


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On March 3, 2015 Incumbent Nury Martinez won re-election as the Councilwoman for the 6th District in Los Angeles. She beat her challenger Cindy Montanez.

In the months leading up to the election, Ms. Martinez’s office answered every small request I sent them.

They got the streets at Victory and Columbus, repainted with the “Do Not Enter” marks on the asphalt.

They put out patrols and arrested prostitutes.

They picked up discarded couches and debris.

They even got the curb painted in front of one house to get rid of gang tags.

Every request I made was answered with exquisite formality, sometimes with an email and a phone call.

There was again that tireless optimism in the air, that this time, finally this time, Van Nuys would cease being the dumping ground of governmental neglect and indifference.

But the election is over. The blight has returned.

The helicopters circle overhead unceasingly. Every day, every week, there are new acts of violence: a woman is stabbed to death in an alley, an LAPD officer barricades herself inside her house, a man stands on a balcony on Sherman Way pointing a gun at children below.

And garbage and debris pile up in parking lots, along curbs, while every request to “311” or Nury Martinez is ignored. There are shopping carts full of garbage in the Wendy’s parking lot at Erwin and Sepulveda, and there are many sofas and chairs dropped along the median and the sidewalks north of Sepulveda on Victory.

These are the small illegalities hanging like a noose around the neck of Van Nuys.

And when someone abuses a handicap parking placard, or breaks into your home, or throws a loud party and drops beer cans on your lawn, maybe it doesn’t rise to the level of the war in Syria. But it still sucks. And there is nobody who seems in control in Van Nuys.

Why run a city like this?

Alma Imogene Payne Waters (1922 – 2014) at 14336 Gilmore St., 1952


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Don Waters (b. 1954), who grew up in Van Nuys and now lives in Missouri, has been a longtime reader of this blog.

After seeing my recent photos of Gilmore Street, he recognized one particular bungalow court at 14336.

His parents, Donald (1929-2007) and Alma (1922-2014) had lived there in the early 1950s.

A 2007 obituary provides some family biography.

Don, very considerately, sent me a 1952 photograph of his mother, standing in the courtyard of the complex.

It must have been a quite pleasant neighborhood to live in: schools, government offices, stores, and churches, within walking distance.

In 1952, the San Fernando Valley was on the precipice of speeding into the future full throttle.

And now, in 2015, we look back and wonder what went so very wrong.

Nobody wears skirts in Van Nuys anymore.

116Imo@VNapts

Gilmore St.- Diptychs


Here are six diptychs I created from yesterday’s walk down Gilmore St. between Kester and Tyrone.

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“You write a blog to improve Van Nuys? That’s good cause this place needs a lot of improvement.”-Man at Central Lutheran Church

 

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A Van Nuys Experimental District.


What if there were a Van Nuys Experimental District for architecture?

I mentioned this to Andreas Samson last night, the idea of building, near the Busway and the Civic Center, a walkable but unique area of designed urbanism.

Integrating old buildings against striking new ones might help bring revitalization to the dead zone.

Looking online at photos at Archello reveals that the rest of the world, from Vietnam to Australia, already does that.

Here are some examples of new urban design–some of which may be applicable to Van Nuys:

Location Belgium Roeselare/Office building HECTAAR - Photographer: Thomas De Bruyne – Cafeine

Location Belgium
Roeselare/Office building HECTAAR – Photographer: Thomas De Bruyne – Cafeine

Location Belgium Roeselare/Office building HECTAAR - Photographer: Thomas De Bruyne – Cafeine

Location Belgium
Roeselare/Office building HECTAAR – Photographer: Thomas De Bruyne – Cafeine

Location Belgium Roeselare/Office building HECTAAR - Photographer: Thomas De Bruyne – Cafeine

Location Belgium
Roeselare/Office building HECTAAR – Photographer: Thomas De Bruyne – Cafeine

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units
by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units
by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units
by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

9 Houses and 24 bioclimatic collective housing units
by Fleury, Benjamin / Photo: Emmanuelle Blanc

RDP-IWMC Ha Tinh Office - Photographer: Nguyen Tien Thanh

RDP-IWMC Ha Tinh Office – Photographer: Nguyen Tien Thanh

RDP-IWMC Ha Tinh Office - Photographer: Nguyen Tien Thanh

RDP-IWMC Ha Tinh Office – Photographer: Nguyen Tien Thanh