What was once the most vibrant center in Orange County, Santa Ana’s Historic Downtown, became a stagnant, avoidable, and forgettable place. Santa Ana’s core experienced what other cities did, the flight of residents out of the city centers and into suburban developments. The same happened in Los Angeles and in other cities with historic cores. Recent efforts to revitalize Santa Ana’s core have worked to some extent but there is still much, much room for improvement.
Santa Ana’s historic core is the largest in Orange County and more detailed information about it can be found by visiting the National Register of Historic Places database online.
I have a long-held belief that part of the solution to revitalizing the downtown is a grassroots business effort. I strongly believe that local residents need to come into the business class and own the shops in the downtown. Locals, especially the youth, need to learn about franchising, incorporating, and managing a business then apply these skills to the downtown. It would take a specific plan and focus, one that zeros in on the downtown and factors in new local business leaders, to help channel that energy into the city’s core. We need more local business leaders, ideally ones that care about what they can do to revitalize Santa Ana’s core.