City of Good NeighborsCity of Hawthorne
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The city of Hawthorne is located in southwestern Los Angeles, California in proximity to two freeways and currently has approximately eighty-five thousand residents. The city has been referred to as the ‘Hub of the South Bay’ due to its convenient location that offers fast access to Southern California’s assets such as the beaches, entertainment, mountains, culture and sports.
The Hawthorne community is known for its excellent schools and business-friendly city government. The city’s economy has seen its share of struggles. However, it is now looking forward to growth created by new investment. According to the city’s website, “The revitalization and investment that is mushrooming throughout the South Bay region is apparent in Hawthorne as new employers and industry begin to replace the aerospace sector as the foundation of our local economy.”
The plan to enliven and modernize the downtown area in Hawthorne – The ‘Downtown Hawthorne Specific Plan’ – was put into motion in March 2016 and covers the 786 acres that make up the downtown. The $500 million project is currently in progress and includes a one-million-square-foot area for commercial space, restaurants, a movie theatre, a bowling alley and six hundred housing units.
The investment and development of the area is meant to inspire the future evolution of Hawthorne. Part of the vision for this plan is to, “ensure an economically vibrant, safe, healthy and sustainable downtown Hawthorne that supports a range of users, including residents, business owners, workers and visitors.”
A new NFL stadium is breaking ground in Inglewood, California, and it will have a positive impact on Hawthorne which is only one mile away. There will be more job opportunities for residents in the area, and the increased tourism will likely boost the economy. The palatial, two and a half billion dollar stadium with over seventy thousand seats is being built for the Rams and the Chargers and is expected to be open by 2020. The construction will include much more than the stadium; there are plans to transform 298 acres into a sports and entertainment district that surrounds the stadium.
The LA Times reported on the project, stating: “On a piece of land that’s 3½ times the size of Disneyland, the stadium will be surrounded by a development that includes a performance venue, hotel, hundreds of thousands of square feet for retail and offices, homes and a lake with waterfalls.” It will be the perfect place to welcome home the Rams.
There are many advantages for business owners who open or operate a business in Hawthorne. The tax and operating costs are very reasonable, and there are no hidden fees or surprise assessments. The city’s business-friendly permit and approval process eliminates weeks of processing time by going through business licenses, plan checks and building permits efficiently and quickly.
Another benefit is that Hawthorne real estate properties offer highly-competitive lease rates and terms for industrial and commercial space. The most obvious advantage is the city’s ideal location that provides excellent accessibility thanks to the I-105 and 405 freeways. It has a municipal airport, and it is also connected to passenger rail transportation, with three stations on the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority light rail transit system.
Hawthorne is the main headquarters for the aerospace company SpaceX, and Tesla Motors also has its design center at the same location: the Hawthorne Municipal Airport.
In 1939, The Northrop Corporation was established in Hawthorne. It began as the leading aircraft manufacturer in the United States, and by 1994, the company merged with Grumman to form global defense technology and aerospace giant Northrop Grumman. Every year, Northrop Grumman participates in ‘Engineers’ Week’ to help encourage high school students pursue careers in math and science.
Hawthorne has an exceptional school system. Each student at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy completes a total of two hundred and thirty credits and one hundred hours of community service. The school system has extended its education to participate in corporate outreach programs such as Engineers Week, which dramatically increase student motivation and interest in science and math. Industrial manufacturer and defense contractor Raytheon also hosts an orientation with engineer speakers for the students and ends the day with a competition in which partners must create a project such as a radio or even a hovercraft.
Northrop Grumman gets even more involved with Engineers Week. It sends engineers to work with students on an innovation challenge once a week for several months and brings the students back into Northrop headquarters to compete. Students also give a presentation, learn about career possibilities and receive a tour of the building. The interaction with the engineers is priceless; students learn far more about engineering when they are able to be innovative and creative with the support of an educated engineer.
These industry connections have had a huge impact on the school of six hundred students. Although the public charter high school in Hawthorne serves a generally low-income population and most of its students are eligible for the school lunch program, in a list compiled by U.S. News and World Report, it has a place in the country’s top one hundred schools and is number twelve in the State of California. Hawthorne is proud to have a ninety-seven percent graduation rate.
The city of Hawthorne is a great place to work and live; it has a very high quality of life. The temperatures in the city are always among the most pleasant in the Los Angeles basin, and there is access to all sorts of entertainment and culture. Hawthorne is the hometown of the beloved Beach Boys. The band even released an album titled ‘Hawthorne, CA’ and subtitled ‘Birthplace of a Musical Legacy.’ It is the second anthology collection by the Beach Boys.
The city’s mayor, Alex Vargas has been serving the city since 2015. “Alex Vargas’ passion and love for the City of Hawthorne has led him to offer fresh new ideas to fight crime and advance the city’s economic renewal plans,” states his biography. “Through his careful analysis of the issues at hand and leadership based on integrity and transparency, Hawthorne will experience the positive change that it greatly deserves and needs.”
The city council’s vision is to build a strong economy that supports the community’s needs and desires. Some of Hawthorne’s newest projects include a Marriott Hotel, a South Bay Porsche dealership and the microbrewery Los Angeles Ale Works. Bringing business investments and workforce opportunities to Hawthorne is a top priority for the council.