City of Downey

We are home to where the Apollo Space Program began its journey to the stars. Downey is where you can find the world’s oldest McDonald’s restaurant and the site of the first Taco Bell eatery. This is the city where the pop recording artists “The Carpenters” were inspired with many hit records. Today, our city is admired for its strong retail base with quality housing.

Downey is a unique community in the heart of Southern California that combines the best of both large and small. We are an active city of 110,000 with a small town atmosphere. This is a place of pride, history, involvement, and community. We are highly recognized for our centralized location, top medical facilities, quality residential neighborhoods and schools, excellent golf courses, and an unmatched family lifestyle. In fact, Downey has been rated in the top 25% of “100 Best Cities To Do Business in California” by California Business Magazine.

Situated 12 miles southeast of the Los Angeles Civic Center, Downey is only five miles from Orange County, and about 10 miles from the beautiful Pacific coastline. Conveniently located near several major freeways (5, 710, 605, 105), the city is an ideal home base from which its residents can take advantage of the business resources and hundreds of cultural and recreational activities in Southern California.

Currently the city council is adopting a new downtown specific plan to stimulate the redevelopment of downtown Downey into a revived community destination. The vision includes more options for retail, dining, entertainment and the arts, as well as multi-use buildings with ground level retail space with residential units on the floors above.

However, the strengths of Downey as a place to call home has also brought about limitations in terms of an entertainment or arts destination.  Many people in the area take their evening plans elsewhere, simply due to a lack of available activities in the city.  Part of the push to revitalize downtown must include a plan to develop and encourage the arts, especially performing arts as an anchor for economic growth.

Click Here for a Google street view of downtown Downey.

Below you will find some statistics about the city, as well as a list of local business close to the Downtown area.

Source: 2008 Estimate, Demographics Now

Population: 113,000
White: 54,536 (49.8%)
Black: 4,152 (3.8%)
American Indian or Alaska Native: 487 (0.4%)
Asian or Pacific Islander: 10,125 (9.2%)
Some Other Race: 34,502 (31.5%)
Two or More Races: 5,815 (5.3%)
Hispanic: 66,759 (60.9%)
Density / Downtown.
Source Market Retail Analysis, Gibbs Planning Groups, 2008
1 mile radius: 30,206
3 mile radius: 271,861
5 mile radius: 755,170

EMPLOYMENT (3 mi radius)
Source: Market Retail Analysis, Gibbs Planning Group, 2008
Daytime employment base 148,557
Service-oriented positions 39.5%
Manufacturing 16.0%
Retail 11.6%
White-Collar Employed
Downey (3 mi radius) 54.6%
Los Angeles 57.5%
California 60.8%
Percent of households with incomes $75,000 or higher
Downey (3 mi radius) 32.0%
Los Angeles 28.7%

(Photo: Pam Lane)


Mimi’s Café
Embassy Suites Hotel (219 guest rooms)
Firestone Grill (inside Embassy Suites)
Downey Civic Center (Library, City Hall, Police Department)
First Baptist Church of Downey (800 seat worship center)
Downey High School (3700 students)

Krikorian Cinemas 10
Porto’s Bakery (opening fall 2010)
Granata’s Italian Villa, Peking China, Downtown Bar B Que
Mambo Grill (Sports Bar addition opening fall 2010)
Third Street Coffee, The Coffee Bean
Hometown Buffet, San Sai Japanese Grill, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panda Express

Other Highlights
Stonewood Shopping Mall
Department Stores: Kohl’s, JC Penny, Macy’s, Sears
B.J.’s Brewery (new in 2009, most successful opening night in company’s history)

The Olive Garden, Acapulco
The Downey Landing
Major Retail: Best Buy, Old Navy, Pier One, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross, Staples
Restaurants: The Elephant Bar, Chili’s, Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant

Bob’s Big Boy Broiler (formerly history Harvey’s/Johnnie’s Broiler)
Oldest operating McDonald’s
Largest Coca Cola Bottling Facility
Kaiser Permanente Hospital
Downey Regional Medical Center
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
Downey Studios (former Boeing/Rockwell Plant)

What are your favorite parts of Downey?  What do you wish our city had?  Tell us in the comments below!

By Downey Arts Coalition

Downey Arts Coalition is a movement of several people, however this website is currently managed and updated by Andrew J Wahlquist.

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