City and Government
The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is the only volunteer membership organization dedicated to the promotion of business. The Chamber now serves more than 600 members and has established itself as a leader in the community since 1907. Through a well planned and balanced program of work, the Chamber is dedicated to Creating a Strong Local Economy, Promoting the Community, Providing Networking Opportunities and Representing the Interests of Business with Government. We are the primary source of tourist/destination marketing information for the city and the area known as the South Bay.
The Chamber is also dedicated to maintaining and increasing our membership by providing more benefits and comprehensive services for the business community. We hope to facilitate the entire community into working toward a single vision through our Economic Development Council. Because of our seaside location many new businesses have settled here. We have made it our highest priority to raise awareness as to the variety and location of businesses. Shopping locally is an integral part of supporting the Redondo Beach Community.
What We Do for Our Members
- Creating a Strong Local Economy
- Promoting the Community
- Providing Networking Opportunities
- Representing the Interests of Business with Government
- Political Action
Who We Are
- The Chamber works to support business in Redondo Beach.
- The Chamber is a non-profit corporation.
- More than 600 businesses and individuals are members.
- Member businesses are all sizes, from small, home-based businesses to mid-size firms to large corporations.
- Members represent every commercial neighborhood - from the Riviera Village, the Pier and Harbor Area to North Redondo Beach and the South Bay Galleria.
- The Chamber team has seven staff members, 13 Executive Board Members and 24 members of the full board.
- The Chamber has eight active ongoing Divisions with numerous task forces.
- The Chamber has more than 100 active volunteers.
The Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD), nationally recognized as a leader of technology in education, is a culturally diverse population of approximately 7,800 students. The district has eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a continuation high school and an adult school operating from different locations.
Ten of our twelve schools are California Distinguished Schools and two are National Blue Ribbon Schools; the newly remodeled Redondo Shores Continuation School has recently been selected as a California Model School.
All Redondo Beach schools operate on the traditional September through June school calendar. We offer a strong instructional program that includes Language Arts, Science and Mathematics. In addition, Social Science, Computer Education, Health and Physical Education, Art and Music provide a comprehensive educational experience for our students. Most of our graduates continue their education in college.
The residential real estate market in Redondo Beach like all other South Bay cities has experienced rapid escalation in values over the last several years. Values of home first began to increase in the West-side/ Santa Monica area. The increases have trended southward to the City of Redondo Beach.
Redondo Beach is a net housing provider to employment heavy cities to its north and east. With 29,543 housing units and a labor force of 43,890, the city both meets its housing needs and provides housing for nearby housing deficient cities.
The City leads all of the 15 South Bay Cities in residential development activity. Over the last eight years Redondo Beach has issued 1,682 residential building permits. The annul average number of permits has been 210. In contrast the City of Torrance with over twice the population issued only 1,436 permits with an annul average of 179.5 over the same period.
The median price home as of January 2004 now stands at $615,000. Despite rising incomes (2004) average household income is $84,291), this trend raises serious affordability issues. One result of the southern march of price escalation has been corresponding eastward increase in housing values as those unable to afford homes in the desirable beach cities look inland for more affordable housing opportunities. The net result of this trend has been an overall enhancement in the quality of the area's neighborhoods.
Assuming interest rate stability, this trend should continue. However, on a cautionary note there is some vulnerability of the market to price adjustment.
Overall, the city provides a stability and attractive residential community with a highly educated workforce to support business investment and employment.
The vote was 177 to 10 election day April 25, 1892 when local people went to the polls to decide whether or not the Redondo Beach Company's 400 acres along the Pacific Ocean would become a town. With such overwhelming approval, it was no wonder that a mixture of civic pride and investment dollars began fueling an economy, which, more than 100 years later, supports a City of some 63,000 residents.
Pride and faith in Redondo Beach have been the backbone of its stability through the years as its leaders have withstood depressions and war, lobbied Congress for development dollars, and lured major aerospace industry to build West Coast headquarters near the beach.
The City's history shows that the first inhabitants were the California coastal natives who took advantage of the climate, the abundant harvest from the ocean and the salt from a lake near the current border of Hermosa Beach. Modern history dates to when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered the sweeping Santa Monica Bay in 1542. However, the area remained mostly undeveloped until the late 1880s. At that time, Congress appropriated money for the harbor in San Pedro and lumber began arriving from the Pacific Northwest.
The area's heritage is closely tied to the Dominguez family, dating back to 1784 when Juan Jose Dominguez was given the enormous Rancho San Pedro, which includes most of today's South Bay. For the next 100 years, his heirs sold parcels of the land, which still reflect family names such as Carson and Del Amo. Even Redondo Beach's street names such as Elena, Francisca, Gertruda and Guadalupe honored the Dominguez sisters and daughters.
Early Redondo Beach was a seaside mecca for those who came by rail or steamship to enjoy the resort. Standing on the bluff where Veterans Park is today, Hotel Redondo had 225 rooms and boasted a bathroom on every floor. Built in 1889, each room had sunlight and the exterior was a mélange of chimneys and spires. An orchestra played at dinner and the grand ballroom was alive with weekly festivities. Unfortunately, Prohibition killed the hotel's appeal and in 1926 its remains were sold for scrap.
But even without the hotel, Redondo Beach enjoyed the lure of the water. Built in 1907 by Henry Huntington, a gigantic Pavilion covering more than 34,000 square feet stood a mere 150 feet from the shoreline near today's Pier. Nearby was the "Plunge," billed as the "largest indoor salt water heated pool in the world." With the arrival of surfing pioneer George Freeth in 1907, Redondo Beach became the center of ocean sports for Southern California.
No outline of Redondo Beach's past would be complete without reference to Redondo Railway's 17 miles of track to Los Angeles or Pacific Electric's Red Cars that cost a quarter for a 50-minute commute to downtown Los Angeles. Adding color to the City's past were the gambling ships just off shore. They were probably nothing more than barges with roulette wheels, but they had flamboyant advertising and claimed to be three miles beyond the reach of California's police. In 1938, some 1,500 people rode the water taxi nightly from Redondo Beach to the Rex, a 20-minute trip costing 25 cents.
Post World War II saw a revival in civic interest, and Redondo Beach became much more than just a seaside resort with a past.
The Edison Company built a new facility, and construction began on an improved breakwater that used 100,000 tons of rock to protect the area from winter storms. In 1959, harbor bonds totaling $9 million were approved on a vote of 7 to 1, and by 1963 the first boat slips were available in King Harbor. Aerospace giant TRW came to town in 1967, and in 1972 Redondo Beach's Fire Department was among the first in the nation to have a paramedics program. The Galleria, in the northern area of the City, is a major shopping mall for the entire South Bay, while Riviera Village ("The Village") in the southern area of the City — and only a block from the beach — keeps a quaint neighborhood appeal
As Redondo Beach enters its second century of land use and development, the City continues to explore exciting possibilities for transforming its illustrious history into an even better and brighter future.