Story of Tarzana

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential California Realty
It is interesting where Tarzana is today in terms of it’s development.  Where it was once the central point from which the developmental land sprawl in the San Fernando Valley began, it is currently one of the last remaining sections of Ventura Blvd that has yet escaped significant revitalization.  Dilapidated strip malls with vacancies still remain dotting the boulevard.  Nowadays, small independent new businesses are springing up as mostly neighborhood eateries. 

Redevelopment is indeed arriving though painfully slowly with a plan by Bryan Gordon of Pacific Equity Properties Inc. a real estate investment and Development Company. It recently purchased 85,000-square feet in Tarzana, formerly called the Brown Center, and will create an upscale urban living center with retail, restaurants, a supermarket and town homes and lofts, valued at $150 million.  With the first phase to be completed by the end of 2007, the model may end up by May of 2010 similar to what was done in Pasadena. This is a much-needed endeavor for Tarzana’s culture to once again blossom.


Tarzana is woven with interesting history.  The area was known as the South Hills of Van Nuys prior to March of 1919, which was when Edgar Rice Burroughs purchased what was known as the Miraflores Estate and renamed it “Tarzana”.  The estate, comprised approximately 540 acres, along the south side of Ventura Boulevard (which was then the State Highway), and West of what was known as Encino Acres.  With the newly paved Reseda Avenue at the center, the property extended back to the skyline of the Santa Monica range of mountains.  Edgar Rice Burroughs was best known as author of “Tarzan of the Apes”.  He began subdividing approximately 4 years later.

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