Westchester Landscape Entry Vision
Artists' renderings of what Sepulveda could look like with the new trees. (Click to Enlarge)
Images Courtesy of Chenier Designs

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 existing Ficus.

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 year.”

WSIA and the BID are also currently seeking funding to pay for a new Welcome to Westchester sign. 

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