Town Center Mixed Use
The Los Alamitos Town Center Strategic Plan provides a framework to revitalize, reimagine, and strengthen the heart of Los Alamitos. The Strategic Plan aims to establish a pedestrian-oriented Town Center at the intersection of Katella and Los Alamitos Boulevards, in the physical center of the City. A market-based, urban design plan and strategy, it clearly illustrates to private real estate interests the potential of properties in this area with the goal to attract the scale and type of development desired by the City.
The Plan leverages the City’s existing practice of hosting community events on Pine Street to imagine this one-block corridor as the spine for a dynamic center for various commercial, community and residential uses. It proposes a streetscape project on Pine Street to create an attractive environment for outdoor dining, shopping, on-street parking as well as city-wide festivals and events requiring the closure of the street to vehicles. Adjacent to Pine Street, the Plan anticipates a variety of mixed-use development with an emphasis on food uses and outdoor dining options located in multiple courtyards and pedestrian paseos, with connection to the historic St. Isidore building. Within these core blocks are optimum sites for a new hotel, stand-alone commercial uses, and a parking structure that can be shared by multiple sites and uses in the Town Center.
To encourage pedestrian connections from this Pine Street district to other sites in the Town Center area as well as the Medical Center and adjoining neighborhoods, the Plan proposes wide, tree-lined sidewalks on Los Alamitos Boulevard and Katella Avenue, as well as other adjacent streets. The Plan anticipates additional mixed-use development along these streets, and throughout the Town Center promotes new residential and housing options.
For more than a decade, the City of Los Alamitos has encouraged the development of a walkable and vibrant Town Center. The underlying vision for the Los Alamitos Town Center Strategic Plan began as the City evaluated a new future for its Town Center over 10 years ago through the Katella + Los Alamitos Commercial Corridors Plan (2010), followed by a more comprehensive assessment in the General Plan Update (2015). In 2015 the City also updated the zoning code to allow mixed-use, with physical streetscape improvements shortly following. Although the General Plan and mixed-use zoning code set the policies and standards for a mixed-use Town Center, a concept of its physical form had not been articulated. This Strategic Plan builds upon these previous planning efforts to illustrate the possibility of the Los Alamitos Town Center, implemented through a series of placemaking urban design strategies.
This Plan is informed by engagement with stakeholders, property owners, councilmembers, commissioners, and nonprofit leaders. Representing their consensus vision for the Town Center, the Plan provides clear expectations to property owners and developers who wish to invest in Los Alamitos. Proposals consistent with this Strategic Plan can expect a clear pathway towards project entitlement and will be welcomed partners with the City.
Nonetheless, the Strategic Plan is not a rigid document, but recognizes it will be implemented by multiple and incremental projects as individual investors participate in within the overall Town Center vision. As such, the Strategic Plan is presented as a dynamic “kit of parts.” For private development, this flexible development strategy includes 3- to 4-story mixed-use development up to 60 units/acre, commercial uses such as hotels, shopping and dining, residential townhomes and live/work units as components of mixed-use development, and shared parking structures. For the public sector, this strategy comprises of various streetscape improvements and a number of adjustments to the zoning standards within the Town Center. The Plan also identifies a number of potential public-private partnerships that can advance the Town Center vision. The Los Alamitos Town Center Strategic Plan is funded through the State of California’s SB2 grant program to help cities identify opportunities for housing to meet their Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation, and to develop planning strategies to streamline residential development in those areas.