Chamber's Message

Dear Friends,

The Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce is proud to present its Year 2001 Membership Directory/ Community Profile.

The mission of the Chamber of Commerce is to support, represent, and advocate for its business members, and to work for the general prosperity and welfare of the community.

When businesses are strong and prosperous, the entire community benefits. Jobs are created, products and services are provided, and sales tax, which funds City services, is collected.

The businesses that advertise, or are listed in this publication, care about our community and deserve our support.

Sincerely,

David B. Frick
President, Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce

Mayor's Message

If you are looking for a business in the City of Signal Hill, youŐve come to the right place. This resource, published by The Greater Signal Hill Area Chamber of Commerce, is a useful tool in doing business in our City.

Signal Hill is a vibrant, dynamic community. Large industrial and manufacturing companies co-exist with high-tech computer and telecommunications companies. Our retail centers boast some of Southern CaliforniaŐs strongest sales tax generators in the areas of home improvements, office supplies, general merchandising, and pet products. A strong after-sale auto market supplements our highly successful Auto Mall. One of the stateŐs top HMO providers is headquartered in Signal Hill.

Convenient to major freeways, the Long Beach Airport, and Port of Long Beach, Signal Hill is centrally located to provide businesses an excellent transportation network and easy access to key distribution points in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Our City is also an excellent place to live and raise a family, offering competitively priced housing for all income groups and a full range of community services, including parks, child care, and our own library and police department.

I encourage you to support Signal Hill businesses through your patronage. Only with your continued support can your local businesses grow and prosper. Remember to think globally, and shop locally!

Sincerely,

Edward H.J. Wilson
Mayor, City of Signal Hill

Larry Forester, Mayor, Pro Tem
Richard Ceccia, Councilmember
Tina L. Hansen, Councilmember
Michael J. Noll, Councilmember

Hillside Splendor

Since its incorporation in 1924, the City of Signal Hill has enjoyed a unique and colorful development. From a history of Indians, Spanish Dons and finally incorporated as a result of a world-famous oil boom in the 1920Ős, the City has continued to develop into a truly unique and balanced community. The oil rigs that once heavily dotted the hillside now give way to lots with picturesque views for upscale single-family residences, high-quality retail commercial developments, and modern, clean industrial parks.

Throughout this development, however, the "Hill" remains, majestically rising up to offer the beautiful panoramic view of the California coastline, its ports and harbors, Catalina Island, the sprawling Los Angeles and Orange County basins, and the majestic San Gabriel and Santa Ana mountains.

The City prides itself in being a self-sufficient, independent entity. The City Council and Redevelopment Agency are dedicated to preserving the residential integrity of the community without giving up the benefits of business and industry. The City has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, such as two new water reservoirs, installation of synchronized traffic signals along the major traffic corridors, and street- widening projects, to service properly planned growth.

Economic growth, business opportunity, a strong workforce, and quality housing affordable to all income levels characterize the City of Signal Hill. YouŐll also find that Signal HillŐs shopping, recreational, and cultural activities rival those of other similarly sized cities.

Facing the future, Signal Hill looks forward to continued success and prosperity.

History: Remembering our Roots

Historians say the Spanish explorer Cabrillo first named the Long Beach harbor area "Bahia de Los Fumos" or "Bay of Smokes" during his 1541 exploration of the California coast. That smoke may have come from signal fires atop what the Spaniards called "Los Cerritos" or "Little Hills," and is now known as Signal Hill. It was prized then, as now, for the commanding view it gave of the surrounding area.

By the early 1900s, the Long Beach Harbor area began to realize its commercial and residential potential. Wealthy businessmen and landowners built mansions on the crest of the hill. With a 360 degree panoramic view of the mountains to the north and east, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island to the south and Palos Verdes Peninsula and Pacific Ocean on the west, it was easy to realize the lure for potential homeowners.

As the new century began, the demand for petroleum grew. The Long Beach oil field was attracting large numbers of oil companies and oil prospectors. Several wells were drilled on or near Signal Hill, but showed no promise until the Shell Oil Company struck oil on June 23, 1921. During the first 24 hours, the well produced 590 barrels of oil. Soon, production increased to 1,200 barrels daily.

With the success of ShellŐs Alamitos No. 1, the oil boom was on and Signal Hill citizens formulated plans to incorporate the city. The first City election was held in 1924, and saw Mrs. Jessie E. Nelson become mayor, the first female mayor in the State of California. By 1929, oil was king, with over 1,200 wooden derricks on the hill. As the oil boom expanded, oil interests superceded the real estate interest on the hill, and many of the mansions were on the verge of disrepair and were razed.

World War II accelerated the demand for petroleum, and production in Signal Hill increased to meet that demand. By 1945, 20,000 wells were pumping night and day on the Long Beach/Signal Hill oil field. The post-war years saw oil production continue. Residential development began in the northern and southeast portion of the city and signaled the start of the shift from "oil town" to "town with oil."

With the release of land by the oil companies to accommodate business, residential and condominium development during the 1970s and 1980s, the landscape began to change. The landmarks of yesteryear faded into history, and new developments, including the Auto Mall and Town Center, were constructed. As Signal Hill continues to transform itself into the 21st Century, the citizens and city leaders look to hold a vision of the future worthy of the CityŐs unique heritage.

Location & Transportation

Signal Hill covers an area of approximately 2.25 square miles, and has a population of approximately 9,100 persons. The City of Signal Hill is surrounded entirely by the City of Long Beach and is situated approximately 18 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Two major thoroughfares provide exceptional access to Signal Hill: the San Diego Freeway (405) and the Long Beach Freeway (710). Additionally, Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) borders the CityŐs southerly boundary. Metrolink commuter stations are located just outside the City borders in the City of Long Beach, and provide direct access to downtown Los Angeles. MTA and Long Beach Transit provide bus service throughout the City. The Alameda Corridor is being constructed just north of Signal Hill, and will provide expedited access from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to metropolitan Los Angeles. The Port of Long Beach is less than a 15-minute drive from Signal Hill.

Tourism: Be our Guest

The City of Signal Hill is the center of major attractions. Within a thirty to thirty-five minute drive is the Queen Mary, Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Bolsa Chica State Beach, Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Disneyland, Discovery Science Center, Knotts Berry Farm, Knotts Soak City USA, Getty Museum, Los Angeles Zoo, Raging Waters, Universal Studios Hollywood and Wild Rivers. Within a two hour drive is San Diego with many more attractions, Wild Animal Park, Lego Land, San Diego Zoo and Sea World.

A two to three hour drive will take you to Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Big Bear Lake and Mexico. From the refreshing waters of the ocean, to the majestic allure of the mountains, to the simple beauty of the desert, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Popular activities include camping, golf, fishing, surfing, skiing, and more.

Special events in the immediate area include the Long Beach Grand Prix, July 4th Parade in Huntington Beach, and the Tournament of Roses Parade. Adjacent communities schedule special events all year long.

Signal Hill visitors and residents also enjoy a number of professional and college/university sporting events, including baseball, basketball (such as the Lakers 2000 NBA Champions), football, surfing, golf and track.

Shopping & Dining: Something for Everyone

Its centralized location has helped Signal Hill attract top "destination" retailers, including Costco, The Home Depot, Toys R Us, PetSmart, Office Max and Office Depot. The CityŐs Auto Mall, located just off the San Diego Freeway, and advertised on a freeway visible sign, hosts BMW, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Nissan, and Pontiac. The Auto Mall will expand to include two new dealerships within the next several years.

Community-level shopping opportunities abound as well. The new Food 4 Less provides a full-service grocery store, as well as a fresh bakery and deli. The weekly FarmersŐ Market offers residents and businesspersons an opportunity to purchase the freshest fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers.

After a long day of shopping, satisfy your appetite at any of our delectable restaurants. Signal Hill is home to a wide variety of restaurants designed to satisfy any taste and budget. Whether you crave a quick meal at a fast food chain or a relaxed dinner at a fine restaurant, Signal Hill has it all. Menus range from classic, American dishes to mouth-watering ethnic cuisine.

Homes: Life at its Best

A wide variety of home styles and price ranges can be found in Signal Hill. From condominiums to hilltop homes with panoramic views, residents will find a home that meets their preferences and budget. The City of Signal Hill partners with the County of Los Angeles and local banks to offer special programs for first-time home- buyers. A residential rehabilitation grant program provides qualified owner- occupants with financial assistance to complete exterior improvements to existing single family homes and duplexes.

New housing development is carefully reviewed not only for architectural design, but also to ensure that new developments do not impair the scenic view for existing residents.

Redevelopment: Building for the Future

Signal Hill is experiencing a building boom. Construction permits amounted to $19 million in 1999, as new residential, retail, commercial, and industrial developments rose from the ground. In the housing market, construction began on 200 new single family homes, the highest number of homes built in one year in over a decade.

Commercial development continues to thrive in the Town Center area, with the construction of Food 4 Less, Starbucks, CocoŐs, and other retailers. These new retailers join Costco, The Home Depot, PetSmart, Radio Shack, Subway, Office Max and other retailers in the CityŐs commercial core.

Along Spring Street, The Home Depot is preparing plans and environmental documents to open a second store in Signal Hill. The City will assist this new destination retail project through the construction of street widening improvements along Spring Street, funded in part through a grant from the MTA.

Signal Hill was recently awarded a $250,000 Brownfields Pilot Project grant by the Environmental Protection Agency. This Brownfields Initiative provides environmental and economic assistance to identify and assess health risks on undeveloped portions of the oil field and to restore economic vitality to the area through the redevelopment of the old oil field, creating new employment opportunities.

Recreation: Join the Fun!

Despite its small size, Signal Hill offers a full range of recreational activities for all ages. The City sponsors recreational programs year-round. The Kids Kamp and Youth Center programs provide activities for school-age children during the school year and vacation times alike. The CityŐs senior community participates in senior excursions to nearby places of interest, such as the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and Laguna Beach. Residents enjoy seasonal events, such as the Christmas Tree Lighting atop Signal Hill, the Easter Eggstravaganza, and the annual City Celebration in June.

Summer Concerts in the Park are held every Wednesday evening during July and August. These free concerts attract families from all over the City for the great music, picnicking, and socializing.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored Green On The Hill, located at Walnut Avenue and 27th Street, is the site of the weekly FarmersŐ Market (Thursdays from 3-7 p.m.) and Friday evening concerts. Artists such as Chuck Mangione performed during the inaugural season.

Unique to Signal Hill is the opportunity to hike in a natural setting around the hilltop. The old oil roads provide a challenging in-city hiking experience for persons with all levels of hiking experience. The Sierra Club leads hill hikes twice weekly.

Education: Learning to Succeed

 

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has earned a reputation as one of AmericaŐs finest school districts and stands as a national model of excellence. Established in 1885, LBUSD now educates more than 93,000 students in 88 public schools, grades K-12 in the cities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, and Avalon. The district has won widespread recognition for establishing high standards of dress, behavior and achievement. Three elementary schools are located within the City of Signal Hill Ń Alvarado, Burroughs, and Signal Hill Elementary Ń and are among the LBUSDŐs top scoring schools.

In the early 1990s, LBUSD looked to teachers, business leaders, and university experts to develop new rigorous academic standards. These standards have been put in place and have received national recognition. Strong community support is evidenced by an overwhelming passage of a $295 million local school bond issue in 1999. LBUSD continues delivering more innovation in the new millennium. The total commitment to on-going improvements is the secret that makes the LBUSD a national leader in preparing young men and women for success.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College, founded in 1927, is the 10th largest of the 107 community colleges in California. The oldest institution of higher education in Long Beach, the Long Beach City College (LBCC) has multiple campuses with a location on Pacific Coast Highway and on Clark and Carson, and serves over 25,000 students. The college is governed by a five-member elected board of trustees, and offers two-year associate degree courses in Business, Health Services, Trade and Technical, and Liberal Arts. The college also offers one-year vocational certificates in occupational trades, as well as courses that offer job skill advancement and courses for transfer to four-year universities. The Extended Opportunity Program and Services provides tutoring, peer counseling, and financial aid.

The college has the largest financial aid program of all the StateŐs community colleges, and a Foundation that ranks in the top 10 percent of all colleges and universities in the nation. The national newspaper, Community College Week, has twice named LBCC as one of the largest and most effective community colleges in the nation. With an open-door admission policy, LBCC is dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs and related student services. With emphasis on transfer, economic development, vocational training and personal enrichment, LBCC is a community college responsive to individuals and the diverse needs of the community. LBCC prides itself on being a large, thriving institution that offers personal attention and care.

California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is a comprehensive, urban university enrolling more than 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students on a beautiful 322-acre campus. CSULB is noted for attracting an academically and artistically talented and diverse student population, including about 350 California high school valedictorians and National Merit scholars. Students come from throughout the U.S. and more than 100 foreign countries, and are served by more than 1,700 faculty and 1,200 staff.

CSULBŐs mission is high-quality education leaning toward a broad range of baccalaureate and graduate degrees spanning the liberal arts and sciences and many applied and professional fields. CSULB has seven colleges, offering 71 baccalaureate degrees, 61 masterŐs degrees, and one joint doctoral degree. Since its founding 51 years ago, CSULB has awarded more than 180,000 bachelorŐs and masterŐs degrees.

In athletics, CSULB competes at the Division 1 Level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

DEVRY Institute of Technology

Devry Long Beach was designed with input from local business leaders. The Devry curricula unite educational technology and business, offering technology-based career-oriented programs that prepare students to be productive from their first day in the workplace. The Devry Institute of Technology (www.devry.com) offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Management, Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Electronic Engineering, Technical Management, and Telecommunications Management. Associate Degrees are offered in Electronics.

Scholarship opportunities are available. Devry is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Brooks College

Brooks College (www.brookscollege.edu) is the gateway to a successful career in the Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Interior Design, Graphic Design and Multimedia Industry. Established in 1971, Brooks offers its students a viable alternative to a traditional liberal arts education by offering career specific courses, small classes and hands-on instruction. Its outstanding faculty of dedicated professionals offers first-hand experience from the industry. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Brooks College students earn an Associate of Science Degree specializing in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Interior Design, Graphic Design, or Multimedia in just 18 months.

Business & Industry: Strong & Growing

In todayŐs highly competitive marketplace, the City of Signal Hill knows what it takes to make businesses succeed. Over the past decade, the City has invested millions of dollars to improve and modernize its infrastructure, including the construction of two new water reservoirs, improvements to public streets to improve traffic flow, and installation of street medians with new City identity signs.

The City of Signal HillŐs business-friendly attitude stems from City Council members, Chamber of Commerce leaders, City Hall staff, corporate leaders and law enforcement professionals. The City Council and the CityŐs Economic Development Department have implemented programs designed to attract new businesses, and to help existing businesses expand within the community. Signal Hill has no utility user tax and one of the lowest business license tax rates in Los Angeles County.

The CityŐs major employers represent many of the growing areas of the economy, including health care, business services and retail home improvements. Among the large corporations that have expanded or relocated businesses in Signal Hill are Office Depot Business Services Division, Enterprise Car Leasing, Costco, The Home Depot, Nissan, Universal Health Care and Airborne Express.

Signal Hill is home to small business start-ups and established retail giants. The CityŐs industrial past is still well represented, with many petroleum-related companies located in the City. Programs designed to attract and retain businesses in Signal Hill have succeeded in creating new employment opportunities and increased service to residents. Signal HillŐs workforce is diverse, skilled, and well educated. The proximity of Cal State Long Beach to Signal Hill contributes to this excellent work force.

Healthcare: Caring for our Community

Signal Hill residents are cared for by an expert medical staff at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, whose outstanding record of innovation, medical advances and national recognition are a source of comfort and pride to the community it serves. The state-of-the-art 743-bed regional medical center is the flagship of MemorialCare, a five-hospital health system serving Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Physicians and other health care professionals study quality care at hospitals nationwide to select and implement the best treatment programs available.

The SouthlandŐs only medical center with general, cancer, heart, rehabilitation, womenŐs and childrenŐs hospitals in one location, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (LBMMC) has repeatedly been honored on the list of "AmericaŐs Best Hospitals" in U.S. News and World Report, and was listed first in the "Ten Best Breast Centers in the U.S." list published by Self Magazine. LBMMC earned Mercury Awards for Best Los Angeles Hospital and Best Cancer and Best Orthopedic Programs. LBMMC has an accreditation with Commendation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. These accolades are a result of an absolute commitment and dedication from a staff that provides the highest quality health care for everyone who enters the medical centerŐs doors.

Pacific Hospital also serves Signal Hill residents with quality health care and 24-hour emergency service. The hospital is an acute care facility and has greatly expanded their Orthopedic Surgery Unit. The hospital has 171 beds and 300 physicians.

Kaiser Permanente Medical Care program has two full-service hospital/medical centers that serve the area. There is also a medical center that serves Signal Hill that has a pharmacy, eleven physicians, and provides a wide range of services.

St. Mary Medical Center, located in central Long Beach, combines a tradition of compassion with the life-saving technology of the 21st century. Programs and services located at St. Mary include: a center for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, a 21st century heart center, womenŐs health pavilion, "Babies First" childbirth services, research and medical education in collaboration with the UCLA School of Medicine, private rooms for all patients and transportation.

Government: Ready to Serve You

The City of Signal Hill was incorporated in 1924 and has a Council/City Manager form of government. The City Council is composed of five members elected bi-annually at large. The City Council provides legislative and policy leadership, ensuring the efficient and cost-effective implementation of City goals and objectives. City Council members serve four-year terms. The City Council appoints the City Manager, who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of City business and coordination of all departments of the City.

Signal Hill employs a staff of 104 full-time employees and 27 part-time employees. The CityŐs Police Department is comprised of 31 sworn officers and 12 civilian personnel. An active group of Police Volunteers supplements the staff, providing assistance in programs including vacation watch, Christmas holiday parking lot monitoring at the Town Center, and Neighborhood Watch. The Police Department operates DARE and GREAT programs to encourage children to stay in school and keep away from drugs and gangs.

The City of Long Beach provides fire and emergency service to Signal Hill residents and businesses. One fully staffed fire station is located within the City, and provides emergency response and medical treatment.

Worship: Keeping the Faith

The Signal Hill area is home to a number of places of worship, representing a diverse range of denominations including Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian and more. In addition to the many worship services available, residents can participate in a number of outreach and social ministry programs offered through their churches.