By Andrew Sieger, Spanish translation by Alyssa Lopez

It was another beautiful evening in Wilmington, with the Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday mixer setting the stage for the unveiling of the draft On Avalon Project Roadmap. Marking the end of the first phase of the On Avalon project, the unveiling provided the community a first glimpse at the plans taking shape from the efforts of the past six months.

Once inside the historic space of the Banning Mansion Barn, the evening started with remarks from both Dan Hoffman and Pat Wilson of the chamber, after which Helen Leung of LA-Más gave an overview of the project, outlined the goals of the roadmap, and presented the four projects that will be implemented with support from Council District 15 in 2016. Helen thanked Gaby Medina, Wilmington Field Deputy for being a great partner, and acknowledged the many Advisory Members in attendance for their insights throughout the process. Presentation boards describing the four projects invited feedback, while additional boards outlined a diverse array of potential strategies that could either be implemented in the future or move forward with support and leadership from within the community.

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With special support from Council District 15, the four initial projects moving forward in 2016 represent a range of strategies to address the various needs of Avalon Boulevard, including: 1) a Small Business Concierge Service; 2) a Business Makeover Support Program; 3) Decorative Lighting; and 4) Big Belly Solar Trash Bins. Collectively, these projects will help Avalon Boulevard in multiple ways. The trash bins will address the most basic need of a clean street. Lighting will promote safety and enhance the nighttime atmosphere of Avalon Boulevard. The Business Makeover Support Program will help business improve their street presence while the Concierge Service will help their continued operation and the promotion of new investment on the street. Participants overwhelming supported the selection of these projects!

In addition, the 14 other potential strategies presented in the road map invite the community and local leaders to choose their favorite and find a way to make them happen. These strategies fall into broad categories of Business Support, Corridor Identity, and Street Improvements. Intended as a living document, the Council District along with community organizations will use this document as a guidebook and action plan for future investments.

Whether it was the festive atmosphere of the evening, or the building enthusiasm for the future, conversations excitedly centered on the potential for the proposed projects to enhance and bring added vibrancy to Avalon Boulevard. Comments received were supportive overall, and in several cases noted that new decorative lighting should be unique to Wilmington (and not mimic San Pedro). Other comments encouraged long-term maintenance considerations for Big Belly trash bins.

To round out the evening, the Chamber provided delicious food and champurrado from Los Tres Cochinitos along with a successful holiday gift drive and exciting raffle prizes. Everyone present was more excited than ever to start Phase 2 in 2016. Stay tuned for the final On Avalon Project Roadmap, which will be shared at this website in mid January.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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