NoHo finds its mojo in a colorful, artsy sort of way
By By Diane Wedner
|Times Staff Writer|
Jul 27, 2003 | 12:00 AM
Anchored by the NoHo Arts District with its art galleries, restaurants and more than 20 live theaters, North Hollywood attracts an eclectic mix of entertainment industry workers and artists, families and merchants. The east San Fernando Valley city is freeway close to downtown, Hollywood and the Westside, and is where Metro Rail's Red Line begins.
Home prices from about $275,000 to $400,000 attract first-time and move-up buyers to the revitalized city. Community redevelopment funds for the 740-acre North Hollywood Redevelopment Project have provided 1,050 new housing units so far, including senior housing, residential assistance programs, commercial façade improvements and rehabilitation efforts. The project also has brought 1,131 jobs to the area.
The NoHo Arts District offers residents and visitors an array of theaters, from the El Portal Theater to the Actors Forum, and art galleries, including the Lankershim Art Center, which houses an art gallery and theater company in the renovated Department of Water and Power building. Recording and rehearsal studios also draw entertainment and music industry denizens.
Campo de Cahuenga, the historic site where the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed in 1847, leading to the end of the U.S.-Mexican War, is one of several notable North Hollywood landmarks. In 1915, Carl Laemmle opened Universal City, a 230-acre ranch dedicated to filmmaking, and the El Portal Theatre, today a renovated two-stage complex, served as the San Fernando Valley headquarters for unemployment relief during the Great Depression.
Good news, bad news
North Hollywood's proximity to the 170, 101 and 5 freeways and to three major movie studios makes it a residential magnet for studio employees and recording-industry workers, but those factors also have changed the area "from semirural to suburban," said Alan Dunkley, a 29-year resident of the city. Limited housing stock means multiple offers on most single-family homes for sale, which have seen a steady rise in prices along with the rest of Los Angeles County.
In an area of about 2,900 single-family homes and more than 1,100 multifamily units, 43 houses were listed for sale in mid-July. The prices range from $285,000 for a three-bedroom home in 1,400 square feet to $699,000 for a five-bedroom home in 2,500 square feet.
North Hollywood is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Elementary schools include Lankershim, Oxnard Street, Rio Vista, Toluca Lake, Colfax Avenue, Burbank Boulevard, Fair Avenue, Victory Boulevard and Camellia Avenue. Reed Middle School has a highly gifted program, and North Hollywood High School houses the highly gifted and zoo (biology studies) magnets. According to the state's 2002 Academic Performance Index, Burbank Boulevard Elementary had the strongest showing among the elementary schools, with a score of 692 out of a possible 1,000. The middle school scored 635 and the high school 671.
Sources: DataQuick Information Services; Anna McWillie, publisher, NoHo>LA; Desi Rivera Home Life Realty; Myrtle Pierre and Tina Chin, Century 21 Exclusive Realtors; Philip Lipp, president, Allwest Mortgage Co.; Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Unified School District; http://www.lacity.org/cra/northhwd.html; http://www.noho.org/visit/nhhistory.htm; http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com/cra.htm.