Alameda Connects, the West Alameda Renaissance Continues!
The journey from Alameda Gateway to Alameda Connects is a twenty-year story of growth, innovation, and change on West Alameda.
The Alameda Corridor, extending along Alameda Avenue from Sheridan Boulevard to Kipling Parkway, experienced a major economic decline in the early 1990’s. The area resembled a battle zone with vacant, deteriorating buildings, pockets of blight, widespread graffiti, a tired Villa Italia regional mall, and an image of crime and gang activity.
In 1995 concerned local business owners with interests in the corridor took steps forward to reverse the decline. They enlisted the help of the Lakewood City Council in resolving the corridor’s problems. Subsequent meetings with Mayor Linda Morton, City Manager, Mike Rock, and other officials resulted in a city-assisted action plan for the revitalization of the Alameda Corridor approved by city council in 1996.
The organization formally incorporated on June 19, 1997, as the “The Alameda Gateway Community Association” (AGCA). AGCA’s major objectives were to enhance the economic vitality of the Alameda Corridor by reaching out to merchants, property owners, and residents, increase public use and business growth in the corridor, and implement projects to beautify and uniquely identify the corridor’s image.
The new AGCA moved swiftly and dramatically improved the image of the Alameda Corridor. Some of their early accomplishments included planting trees, installing new and improved RTD bus benches and shelters, lobbying to clean up and re-zone blighted areas for construction of Home Depot, and establishing a grant program for storefront improvements.
The redevelopment of the former Villa Italia Mall site at Wadsworth and Alameda by Continuum Partners highlighted the most significant phase in the history of the corridor. The grand opening of Belmar in 2004 was the dawn of a true downtown for the people of Lakewood and a milestone in the West Alameda renaissance.
Our Timeline highlights the moments that helped to define our organization leading us to today.
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