Arcadia in California, the Chinese Beverly Hills

Wednesday, 14 September 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Greater Los Angeles Area
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Santa Anita Park © flickr.com - Rennett Stowe/cc-by-2.0

Santa Anita Park © flickr.com – Rennett Stowe/cc-by-2.0

Arcadia is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located about 13 miles (21 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley and at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. It contains a series of adjacent parks consisting of the Santa Anita Park racetrack, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and Arcadia County Park. The city had a population of 56,364 at the 2010 census, up from 53,248 at the 2000 census. The city is named after Arcadia, Greece. Due to the settlement of numerous, wealthy Chinese who live in spacious properties in Arcadia, it is now also referred to as the “Chinese Beverly Hills“.

Arcadia’s economy is driven by wholesale trade, retail trade, manufacturing, health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment, and recreation. Revenue from the Santa Anita Racetrack has long supported capital improvements for the City of Arcadia, resulting in the city having very little bonded indebtedness. The Westfield Santa Anita mall (formerly the Santa Anita Fashion Park) is a major shopping center in the city. In 2005, the Westfield Santa Anita completed its first phase of expansion, featuring a new food court, Sport Chalet (now closed), Dave & Busters, numerous smaller retailers, various full-service eateries in an area known as Restaurant Square, and a 16-screen AMC Theatres megaplex. In 2008, expansion of the mall continued as the Promenade outdoor structure was completed, with new high-end retailers such as Coach and Talbots.

Queen Anne Cottage and Coach Barn © Craig Baker/cc-by-sa-4.0 Queen Anne Cottage and Coach Barn © Patrick Pelletier/cc-by-sa-3.0 Santa Anita Park © flickr.com - Rennett Stowe/cc-by-2.0 Statue of Seabiscuit at Santa Anita Park © flickr.com - Rennett Stowe/cc-by-2.0 © panoramio.com - peter boy12qq12/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - peter boy12qq12/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - peter boy12qq12/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - peter boy12qq12/cc-by-3.0 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden © Daderot/cc-by-sa-3.0 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden © Rachel Ruano/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Statue of Seabiscuit at Santa Anita Park © flickr.com - Rennett Stowe/cc-by-2.0
In 2004, citing success from regional shopping malls such as The Grove and The Americana, Caruso Affiliated and Magna Entertainment (the owners of the Santa Anita Park racetrack) proposed to build a second large shopping mall adjacent to Westfield Santa Anita on the grounds of the Santa Anita Park south parking lot, which would have made Arcadia the largest retail shopping district in Los Angeles County. The controversial project, known as “The Shops at Santa Anita”, originally included signature retail, restaurants, condominium projects, a decorative water display, and a horse-drawn trolley. Arcadia City Council unanimously approved the project in 2007 after much heated debate between some residents in the community and corporate interests, which included ballot initiatives such as free parking for Arcadia residents, prevention of retail signage installations, and downsizing the project by the removal of condominiums from the project. Magna Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the Great Recession in 2009 and dissolved the partnership with Caruso Affiliated, with Caruso Affiliated a filing a $21 million bankruptcy claim in 2010 to cover damages Caruso Affiliated incurred as a result of the inability to complete the project. The plan to build “The Shops at Santa Anita” was ultimately terminated on May 20, 2011.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located in Arcadia across from the Santa Anita mall and racetrack. The peafowl that roam free on the grounds and in the neighborhoods near the arboretum are a remainder of the former Baldwin ranch. When the peafowl were brought from India, they helped control snakes and snails on his farm. They are considered an attraction to some residents and a nuisance to others due to their loud cries and the droppings they leave on residents’ properties.

Read more on Wikivoyage Arcadia and Wikipedia Arcadia (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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