Panorama City: Latinos and Filipinos

The next gentrification project

According to my Central American Studies professor, Linda Alvarez, Panorama City might be the next neighborhood to see how gentrification affects a predominantly Latino population. A new project backed by Los Angeles councilwoman Nury Martinez, will change the intersection of Roscoe and Van Nuys to more shopping centers and loft style apartments. With just over 71 percent of the population being Latinos, Panorama City is set to redesign the lot where Montgomery Ward used to be and is now used as storage for Galpin Motors vehicles. Panorama Tower, an office building on 8155 Van Nuys Blvd will be turned into an apartment building after the Northridge earthquake damaged the building in 1994.

Panorama City Map

If Panorama City becomes the new gentrified city, the demographics of the city would look at a significant shift from 71 percent Latinos, 15 percent Asian, 10 percent Caucasian, 3 percent African American, and 1 percent listed as Other according to the Census Reporter website. The building project named, “Icon Panorama” promises to increase jobs which would benefit the community which has a remarkable 25.1 percent of people below the poverty line. The household median income for the neighborhood is $45, 962 which is lower than Los Angeles as a whole. Perhaps we will see an increase in the median household as an increase of jobs and property value go up.

Montgomery Ward location and parking lot

With a population of 49.6 percent being foreign born and a majority being from Latin America, it is one of the reasons my family chose to live here. The area is in between urban and suburban because on the side closest to Van Nuys you will see more apartments and heavy traffic but as you drive down Van Nuys towards Pacoima it is residential and less traffic passing Nordhoff.

Panorama City Chamber of Commerce local video in Spanish

As part of the Latino population that resides in Panorama City, my family came from Guatemala in the 1980’s during the Reagan era and a time of civil war in Guatemala. My grandpa immigrated first to Houston, Texas and a year later went back to Guatemala to convince my grandma to bring my mom and uncle back to Texas and start their own businesses since he was a carpenter and my grandma a hair dresser. After flying to Mexico and then crossing the border to Texas, my grandparents settled in Houston and had another daughter but their American dream was cut short after a tragic car accident which killed everyone, except my mom. My mother was ultimately taken to live with her aunt in Los Angeles at the age of 9 and later left the city to move to Van Nuys, a suburban area in the 1990s. It wasn’t until 7 years ago where my family moved from Van Nuys to Panorama City in a more residential neighborhood.

Panorama City is similar to Van Nuys with a heavy Latino population and immigration is an issue known too well by both neighborhoods. I have lived in apartments where the majority of the residents came from immigrant backgrounds ranging from Latin America to Armenia and Asia. Panorama City is no stranger to Asian immigrants as well, with the population being 15 percent Asian and being known as a Filipino center to many natives due to the local Filipino shops such as Seafood City and Jollibee, a fast food restaurant found only in the Philippines and heavy populated Filipino areas. St. Genevieve Catholic Church is an example of both Latinos and Filipinos having an influence in the city. The church offers mass in Spanish and Tagalog to cater to the neighborhood which signifies their foreign born population. If gentrification occurs, both these communities will see the effects first hand as their influences around Panorama City will attract the foodies and “hipsters”.