In another case of the unintended consequences of California's wild and wacky tax code, Sonia Southwell, director of community development for the city of Lakewood, got up in front of last week's Lakewood Economic Forecast Luncheon and told everyone that a lack of land zoned for commercial uses is one of the city's largest economic challenges, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Without commercial space, Lakewood can't generate adequate sales tax to maintain services. According to the LBPT, six percent of the land in Lakewood is zoned commercial, which is less than all its more sales-tax-rich neighbors: "Norwalk has 9 percent, Bellflower 13 percent and Cerritos 15 percent." In Lakewood, 53 percent of the land is residential and 24 percent is given to streets (and if you've ever driven down Del Amo Blvd. or Lakewood Blvd., you know how serious the streets of Lakewood are). However, Southwell did point out the success of the city's regional mall, Lakewood Center, and highlighted three forthcoming commercial projects:
-- "A 6,505-square-foot Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Sports Bar scheduled to open in the Lakewood Center mall by late summer or early fall. It will be located in the space occupied by 24 Fitness on Candelwood Street."
-- "A 28,230-square-foot Marshalls retail store is expected to open in the summer in the refurbished Carwood West Shopping Center at Carson Street and Woodruff Avenue."
-- "2,000-square-foot Wienerschnitzel restaurant is scheduled for a grand opening later this month in Carwood West. This fast-food stop, which will replace an older one in Carwood West, is the fourth-most popular Wienerschnitzel in the national chain."
The city also has a couple of dormant parcels to activate, including "a 7.3-acre parcel adjacent to Walmart, 2790 Carson St., the NAZ Plaza at the southeast corner of Palo Verde and South streets and a 32,591-square-foot space at Carwood West." We assume that Lakewood is courting El Pollo Loco or Dairy Queen for those crucial final pieces to its sales tax puzzle.
· Lakewood development challenged by dearth of land zoned commercial [Long Beach Press-Telegram]