By Margie M. Palmer
In late January, the city of La Mesa has unveiled a new community profile and elected officials say they’re excited to be able to showcase key details about the city, including economic development programs, recent and ongoing public infrastructure projects and important city contacts.
It also highlights La Mesa’s commitment to supporting businesses and future growth; the city recently completed a $7 million renovation to its Downtown Village. They’ve also recently been awarded $5 million in grant funding, which will be used to upgrade streets and sidewalks.
La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis and City Manager Yvonne Garrett said the profile was designed to provide business owners all the vital information necessary to introduce them to the “Jewel of the Hills.”
“One of the things we did when we started working on the profile, was to bring in community business leaders to talk with us about why they moved to La Mesa and what they liked about the community,” Garrett said. “This really helped us define and determine the elements to include in the profile. One of the things that was talked about was that La Mesa is centrally located, we’re minutes from downtown and we’re close to Mission Valley. The city is also bisected by major freeways and we have a high number of trolley stops, which makes us easy for people to get to.”
The profile goes onto highlight include some of the city’s cultural offerings, which include things like Food Truck Thursdays, Art al Fresco and a summer concert series. La Mesa is also home to a number of seasonal events including Oktoberfest, holiday events and antique fairs.
It also notes key information about area schools, hospitals, parks and recreational facilities, population data, median household income and resident demographics.
“[The city] is really moving from being a sort-of bedroom community to more of a trendy place to be. We’re seeing interested new businesses come into the community and we have a Cohn Restaurant Group restaurant, Bo-Beau Kitchen, and Coin Haus, which is an adjacent bar that they also own,” Garrett said. “There is a lot of feeling from the business community that La Mesa is an emerging, exciting place to do business.”
The mayor agrees.
“When people hear that businesses like the [Cohn Restaurant Group] have come to La Mesa, it helps them to see us as an up-and-coming city, even though we’ve been around for over 100 years,” he said. “They see that [the Cohns] took the initial risk in bringing Bo-Beau Kitchen downtown, and that it’s turned into an anchor for other businesses. People can see businesses that have a reputable name took the risk to come to La Mesa and it’s paid off.”
He also notes the strong commitment by both his office, and the City Council, in supporting businesses and future growth of the city.
“As our new community profile illustrates, the city of La Mesa is a welcoming place for businesses of all sizes and types,” Arapostathis said. “We’re very proud of the profile and hope it will be a useful tool for those starting or expanding a business.”
The La Mesa Community Profile is available in hardcopy and online. Hard copies of the profile can be obtained at the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. An electronic copy can be downloaded from the city’s website at cityoflamesa.us/business.