The Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District (BID) and
the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA) have
announced that construction of the Westchester Landscape Entry Project
will begin later this year.
The project will include the removal of the 50-plus-year-old Ficus
trees, many of which are diseased or structurally unstable, to allow for
sidewalk, curb and gutter repairs on the stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard
from Manchester Avenue to Howard Hughes Parkway in Westchester.
“It is always difficult when we have to lose mature street trees, but
in this case it is important that they be removed and the sidewalks be
repaired so that pedestrians can safely and easily walk along the
boulevard,” said Don Duckworth, executive director of the BID. “The
reforesting will enhance the safety of both pedestrians and vehicles
that use that stretch of Sepulveda.”
The project will include the planting of new trees
and vegetation, including New Zealand Flax, Fountain Grass and Pink
Trumpet Trees, which will not present the problems inherent with the
In addition, the project will reconstruct the pedestrian areas,
including creation of meandering sidewalks, lushly landscaped pocket
parks, hard-packed red sand and benches.
The $2.85-million project will be funded through a variety of
sources. Congresswoman Maxine Waters secured a $1 million federal grant
for improvements along the west side of Sepulveda Boulevard. Councilman
Bill Rosendahl worked with Equity Office Partners, the owners of Howard
Hughes Center, to secure a $1.85 million contribution from Equity Office
Partners to handle improvements on the east side of Sepulveda. Equity
Office has also pledged $850,000 to create an on-going endowment to
keep up the improvements.
“We are so pleased that our elected officials and Equity Office have
stepped up to the plate to make sure that this long-overdue project is
possible,” said John Ruhlen, president of WSIA. “We have spent a lot of
time, sought ideas and support from the community, and it is exciting to
know that, after all that collaboration, work will begin sometime this
WSIA and the BID are also currently seeking funding to pay for a new Welcome to Westchester sign.