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Area Profile

Wilmington Industrial Park

The Wilmington Industrial Park (WIP) redevelopment process has been slow but deliberate. Despite the significant investment attracted to the park, the rate of development has fallen below that of surrounding communities.

The industrial districts adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles accommodate transportation, logistics, and materials for the import/export operations. Design standards are inconsistent or non-existent. The historic residential block pattern is extremely constricting, as trucks struggle to navigate the streets and find parking. Despite its blighted condition, the land in this area is valuable, with buyers paying as much as $15 or even $20 per square foot for land that is sometimes contaminated.

WIP Overview

Aerial view of area
Aerial view of Los Angeles Harbor
The WIP contains an incongruent mix of privately owned industrial and some office structures, scattered residential dwelling units, oil extraction equipment, automobile salvage yards, and unimproved streets and alleys. Numerous potential code violations are apparent in the form of scrap metals piled well above the tops of fences and the occupation of businesses on City rights-of-way.

Efforts to revitalize the area began in 1974 when the Los Angeles City Council voted to designate the 232-acre WIP as a Redevelopment Area in an effort to generate labor-intensive industries and reduce blight. At that time, the WIP was in a state of severe economic decline and physical deterioration. Since then, the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of Los Angeles has coordinated clean-up and land assemblage activities that have resulted in 33 new and expanding projects comprising nearly 700,000 square feet of development, and involving $30 million in private improvement.

Market Conditions

The WIP receives demand among cold storage, truck parking, and various manufacturing owner-operators, as well as developer and broker representatives also looking for speculative development opportunities. The CRA prefers that new development be as valuable and job-intensive as is appropriate given the site's context. State-of-the-art warehouse development requires massive 250,000 square foot floorplates that would require relocation of internal utilities in the WIP and are therefore impractical. Moreover, they offer only modest tax increment and job prospects. These factors, in combination with the strength of demand for small-scale niche manufacturing, assembly, and cold storage in this area justify the development of a strategic plan that provides cost effective ways to accommodate this diverse set of users within the park, with a focus on manufacturing.

Source: Wilmington Industrial Park Economic Adjustment Strategy, Final Report, February 12, 2003, pg. 7, Prepared by Economic & Planning Systems