The Warner Center area was once owned by movie mogul Harry Warner and for many years served as his retreat and vast horse ranch. In the 1950’s and 60’s Warner began selling off much of what was known as “Warner Ranch”. The first major purchase was made by Rockwell International for its Rocketdyne facility. Soon thereafter, Kaiser-Aetna purchased a significant portion of what is known today as Warner Center. In the mid 1960’s Kaiser-Aetna contracted with Albert C. Martin to create a master plan for the community. This plan served as the basis for the first Warner Center Specific Plan which was adopted in 1971 by the City of Los Angeles.
Today with nearly 25.2 million square feet of development, Warner Center has achieved status as an important regional center. Efforts by the primary property owners, employers and the Warner Center Association over the past thirty years have allowed the area to maintain its highly desirable nature as a location to live, work and play.
Warner Center is the epitome of mixed-use development, proving that differing uses can coexist in a positive and complimentary manner. With its mix of high and low-rise office buildings, hotels, restaurants, regional shopping centers, movie theaters, multiple-residential developments, business parks, corporate headquarters and light and heavy industrial base, Warner Center employs more than 50,000 people from throughout the greater metropolitan area and is home to roughly 20,000 residents. Warner Center is also home to many of the region’s largest employers and corporations.
Although urban in use, the feel in Warner Center is more suburban. With significant landscaping initially established by the landowners and perpetuated in the Warner Center Specific Plan, a park-like atmosphere abounds in much of the center. Warner Center has also developed into one of the region’s great entertainment centers with 16 movie screens, numerous first rate restaurants and the summer Sunday evening “Concerts on the Green” series. Weekdays, shuttles carry employees and residents throughout the center while childcare exists within walking distance for many parents. Warner Center also boasts some of the country’s most effective business driven, solid waste recycling programs and Transportation Management Organizations. All of these amenities have been generated not by mandate, but by: “Businesses working together to enhance the Warner Center Community”.
The City Council has signed off on zoning that allows for up to 30 million square feet of commercial space in Warner Center, double the amount that currently exists. The plan also lifts building height limits governing most of the 1.5-square-mile district bounded by the 101 Freeway, Vanowen Street, DeSoto Avenue and Topanga Canyon Boulevard.