Garden Grove

A “Downtown Commission” is proposed

DOWNTOWN GG at its peak in the mid-50s. This view is looking south on what it now Main Street from Garden Grove Boulevard (Orange County Archives).

By Jim Tortolano

Another step toward realizing the vision of a new, expanded central business district for Garden Grove was taken Tuesday night when the city council moved toward considering a change in the makeup of the Main Street Commission.

Mayor Steve Jones’ motion to place on the Sept. 26 agenda a proposal to change that panel’s name to Downtown Commission was passed on a 7-0 vote.

“The area is changing,” said Jones, “and it’s not just that one strip on Main Street.” He hoped that the city could work with the Downtown Business Association to help the DBA expand its reach and “at a future date expand the scope of the commission.”

Garden Grove’s original central business district was grouped around Euclid (now Main) Street and Garden Grove Boulevard. It grew from its origins with the city’s founding in 1874, prospered with the coming of the railroad in 1905, and survived the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

But the realignment of Euclid Street in the mid-Sixties left a smaller fragment named Main Street, and city development decisions in the early Eighties left just a two-block stretch of the original downtown still standing.

But now, Jones foresees a revived downtown stretching from 9th Street on the east to Nutwood Street on the west. “There are so many exciting things happening in that area,” said Jones, ticking off a list of projects either on the drawing boards or already in place – the Cottage Industries project east of the Civic Center and the SteelCraft urban eatery development on the former site of the Black Angus restaurant among them.

Jones would like the city to consider expanding the size of the commission and its jurisdiction. Currently, the Main Street panel consists of property owners, business operators and one public member, all focused on the historic Main Street.

A property tax assessment pays for the maintenance of the area, but it has not been increased for decades.



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