Nearby Transitions and Impacts

For those that don’t know, my real job has me working down in the real South Bay (i.e., El Segundo and the communities south of LAX — any other “South Bay” is just a figment of your imagination). I’ve run across a few articles of late about changes in the area I’d like to share; at least one took my by surprise:

  • Wiseburn High School. Over the last two years, we’ve watched what was a technical office of Northrop Grumman (between two of our facilities) transform into … something. We now know what: a high school. More precisely: Three high schools that are sometimes one, and school district administrative offices. They gutted the office building, reinforced it, and transformed it into a school with three separate subschools, giving the small Wiseburn district their own high school. The story of the transformation is fascinating. The traffic? Morning isn’t a problem, but the afternoon there’s a mess when the folks attempt to make a left out of the Air Force Base while parents pick up their kids. I predict a light in the future there.
  • Creative Office Space. Down the street from the Air Force Base (actually, between the Base and Imperial Highway) is a large sprawling Northrop Grumman Aircraft manufacturing plant (which used to just be Northrop). I had noticed the fences had changed to opaque over part of the parking lot, and suspected something was happening. Now I know. The facility, once NG moves out in a year or so, will be becoming creative office space. The article on the transformation is interesting: manufacturing characteristics and old buildings are now in style, so this an adaptive reuse that is sure to snarl traffic. However, if it brings vanpool riders from the valley, I’ll be happy. It also reflects a gigantic transformation for the area. Were you to look here 40 years ago, you would have seen all the big Aerospace companies: Hughes, TRW, Aerospace, Northrop, and later Boeing and Raytheon, plus the LAAFB and other aircraft companies, with folks like Douglas down in Long Beach. Today, that work is a fraction of what it once was with more thinking than actual building going on. The creative talent is now entertainment and studio based.
  • Toyota. Down the road a bit, the US HQ of Toyota is decamping to Texas (leaving a bunch of good people who can’t go behind — I know some). There was an interesting article in the papers about the impacts of this transition on the area — in particular the restaurants. This is not something you think about when you hear about businesses leaving, but there are large impacts on the community. Restaurants lose the lunch and party trade (which is substantial). Local shops lose people picking up stuff at lunch hours. Local exercise facilities and repair facilities are impacted. Moves can have large footprints.