Mayor’s Corner: updates on local construction

Hello Downey! As summer quickly comes to an end, I’m sure many of you are transiting into “back-to-school” routines.  With school starting up again, there comes an increase in traffic congestion around our City streets, specifically around our local schools.  I want to remind parents and students to please use extra caution now that school is in session, especially due to the construction projects that are going on around town.  Lakewood Blvd., Firestone Blvd., and Mueller St. are undergoing some major street improvements and we want our parents and students to be mindful of construction areas as they drive, bike, or walk to school.  The safety of our children is extremely important and we want them to be safe as they commute to and from school.

Speaking of construction projects, the three major construction projects mentioned above are expected to be complete by this October.  You may have already seen some of these improvements underway, especially on Firestone Blvd.  These projects will help beautify our City, improve our road conditions and make driving around town much more pleasant.  Thank you to our residents and businesses for their patience during these past few months.  I promise it will be worth it once you see the transformations!

We continue to make things happen in our Downtown.  First the FIFA World Cup Viewing Party this past summer and now our Rooftop Concerts are underway.  Yes, up on the rooftop! These concerts are being held on the top level of the Downtown Parking structure, located at the corner of 2nd and New Streets.  The Rooftop Concert series is aimed at bringing our community together to celebrate art, culture, music and of course, great food! The first concert was held last week on August 27th.  It was themed “Sounds of America” and there are still two more concerts coming up.  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 24th , 7pm-9pm (Toast of Mexico) and Wednesday, October 22nd, 7pm-9pm (Havana Nights).  There will be bands playing, special performances, food and even a movie showing after.  I was pleased to see so many of our residents enjoying the first event under the Downey skyline and I hope to see many more of you at the upcoming concerts beginning at 7pm. Don’t forget to bring your own chair and blanket!

Also coming up this month, is the 2014 International Food Festival (formerly known as Taste of Downey).  On September 20th, Downtown Downey will be transformed into a huge festival, and will consist of delicious food from local restaurants, live entertainment, a beer and wine garden, family fun zone and much more! Join us beginning at 4pm on Downey Avenue, between 2nd and 4th Streets.  As with our other Downtown events, admission is free, so come share a great evening with us!

Some exciting news regarding the upcoming Special Olympics World Games taking place in L.A. next year - Downey has been selected as a “Host Town” which means our City will be opening its doors and welcoming athletes from around the world.  From July 21-24, 2015, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the “Host Town” program and we are proud to be a part of this exciting event.  Not only will we offer our support and celebrate these amazing athletes, but we will get to share our City’s culture and community pride.  Planning is already underway for this exciting event and we are happy to have support from many of our local organizations.

Some of you may be wondering what the status is on the Promenade development.  For those of you who may not be aware of the project, The Promenade at Downey will be a mixed use development that will feature various premiere retailers, restaurants and cafes, a 14-screen cinema, and office space.  The project is being built on the former Downey Studios site, located off Lakewood Blvd.   Right now, we are in the process of confirming retailers/tenants who will be part of the Promenade project, and we will be making an official announcement of the full list of tenants in the next few weeks.  Just to provide you with a sneak peak…Cinemark and Lazy Dog Restaurant have been confirmed.  Stay tuned! Grand opening will take place in late 2015.

Another development that is just around the corner from opening is the Downey View Housing Development located on 2nd Street, right in Downtown.  This new 50-unit development project will be an affordable, high-quality rental housing project and will feature two and three bedroom units, as well as a community center and garden. The Grand opening is scheduled to take place in December.  Housing applications will become available later this month in September.  Look for more information in next week’s paper!

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Mayor.  I encourage our residents and businesses to contact me anytime.

Until next time,

Fernando Vasquez Mayor



Published: Sept. 4, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 21