After a unanimous vote by the Torrance City Council to provide money to study the ways the City can latch onto a piece of the booming tech industry, Council-Member Tim Goodrich has spearheaded a campaign, called “Torrance Forward.” The City Council’s goal is to lure technology businesses by creating desirable living spaces in the Old Torrance area for tech employees.
Goodrich stated that he is “not a fan of high-density housing.” Although he wants to retain the quaint character of the area, he also wants to foster there a live/work/play environment, one of the most desirable assets in attracting new start-ups. According to research, tech employees desire a place near their employment with a high quality of life - an aesthetically pleasing place with great living spaces, highly walkable streets, eclectic shops/eateries and safe bike lanes. He believes these factors all work together to create a vibrant social hub that attracts people to the area and supports a local healthy business community. The last revitalization of Old Torrance was over 40 years ago.
One of the first steps in this multi-year project is to have a community conversation. Goodrich hosted an educational meeting on Wednesday, May 1st, at the Toyota Meeting Hall in Torrance. LWVTA Liaison, Sue Herbers, and Webmaster, Jill Verenkoff, attended the meeting and listened to presentations about ways to attract start-ups and to revitalize Old Torrance.
The speakers included Andy Wilson, Executive Director of Alliance for Southern California Innovation, and nationally renowned City Planner Jeff Speck, author of Suburban Nation:The Rise of Sprawl and Decline of The American Dream and Walkable City. According to Speck, Old Torrance has “good bones." It has much charm and potential. After the two presentations, Goodrich stressed the importance of being proactive.