Above and Beyond Traditional Profit
Aszkenazy Development is highly focused on more than just the physical environments it creates. The firm dedicates much of its own resources and time to make a true difference in the lives of those in the communities in which the firm works. Aszkenazy is also creating more vibrant economies in previously struggling areas through its urban redevelopment and revitalization projects.
Aszkenazy Development, Inc. celebrates the communities in which it works by creating opportunities for programs and businesses that give residents a voice and a means of expression.
As an example, a group of local area young people who had recently finished high school formed a production company which achieved great success and now produces award-winning films.
Aszkenazy recognized the potential of the success of this local production company to inspire young people within the community. Aszkenazy therefore donated office space and provided sponsorship for a local film festival entitled the “iCan Film Festival.”
The annual festival, featuring short films produced by local high school students, is now so successful that the organizing company is paying market-rate rents for the offices they inhabit year round.
Aszkenazy appreciates the unique heritage and culture innate to the communities in which it develops. Celebration is a very important aspect of the Hispanic culture which is predominant in the City of San Fernando.
The Aszkenazy community development vision includes drawing in businesses that cater to special events, parties and special occasions that strengthen community bonds and pride. Aszkenazy also plays a key role in establishing events that celebrate local culture, including a city festival in honor of the “Dia De Los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead,” a traditional Mexican day of remembrance and celebration for deceased family members. This festival has become an annual highlight for residents of the city.
Aszkenazy Development Inc. is dedicated to creating safe, clean, environmentally friendly, healthy communities.
This dedication can be seen in several facets of the firm’s work, from its own team’s approach to live/work/play within the distance of a bicycle, to the healthier bent on the food merchants to which it leases, to creating alcohol-free citywide celebrations. While these things are unfortunately unique, particularly in less affluent communities, Aszkenazy Development has found a formula of success, which it can put to work in a variety of cities with positive results.
The Aszkenazy team implements practices of healthy living into all they do, including riding bicycles to work, walking to errands such as the post office, and walking to lunch.
For its affordable housing residents, Aszkenazy encourages health, as well. Recently, the company used its lunch hour to establish an herb gardens for residents in one of its affordable housing developments.
In another important health initiative, Aszkenazy attracted a dialysis center as a tenant within the city, which happens to suffer a high rate of diabetes. As there had previously been no dialysis facility prior to this addition, Aszkenazy has made it easier for residents to get the health care they need.
Aszkenazy also brought in a dentistry practice to one of its office and retail projects to again allow the community to more conveniently take charge of their health.
Finally, as part of its health focus, Aszkenazy is committed to developing communities that are free of drugs and alcohol and create the best possible environment for residents and tenants to live to their full potential. To this end, the firm has itself created the city’s most popular gathering spots, and enforces a zero tolerance policy within these areas. The result? Good, clean fun for the families residing in the city.
Beyond the Bottom Line, LLC, a company run by the founders of Aszkenazy Development, is singularly committed to providing capital and training to increase the community’s economic viability by providing the opportunity, the means and the training to create entrepreneurs, redevelop underutilized properties and vacant land, as well as to attract national tenants through below-market rental opportunities until the market can be proven. Beyond the Bottom Line, Inc. funds projects designed to change the economic status of low-income communities.
Through urban revitalization and for-profit developments, the program drives new businesses, services, shoppers and visitors to challenged areas, bringing in valuable capital to local economies. This profit-building project is implemented with the goal of changing the redlining around low-income communities by conventional banks through making capital available so that external subsidy is not required.
Aszkenazy Development serves the community in a variety of ways. Not only through its development programs but also through generous community sponsorship programs and awards. Aszkenazy has given to:
- The Asian American Architect/Engineer Association
- American Cancer Society
- City of San Fernando Relay for Life
- Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando Valley
- East L.A. Classic Theater
- Friends of Washington Prep
- Friends of Los Feliz Library
- Kiwanis Club of San Fernando
- The Latino-Jewish Cultural Committee
- Portals Mental Health Rehabilitation Services
- The George and Ann Lopez - Richie Alarcon CARE Foundation
- San Fernando High School Alumni Association
- San Fernando Parade
- Independent Cities Association
- Recreation Park Senior Reading Area
- San Fernando Mission Run
- City of San Fernando's Image Enhancement Review Committee
- Tierra del Sol Foundation
- Valley Family Center Fundraiser
- Women Advancing the Valley through Education, Economics, and Empowerment (W.A.V.E.)
- Santa Rosa de Lima Elementary School
- St. Ferdinand’s Elementary School
- United American Indian Involvement, Inc.
- Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society
- Citizens and Friends of Trinidad & Tobago
- LA County Community Development Foundation
- Boy Scout Troop 610
- Friends of the Lopez Adobe
- Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams)
- NJTP (Neighborhood Junior Tennis Program)
- SFPAC (San Fernando Police Advisory Council)
- SFPOA (San Fernando Police Officers Association)
- MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity)
- Valley Family Center
- North Valley Family YMCA
- Youth Speak Collective
- San Fernando Civic League
- SVHS Girls Volleyball Booster Club
- Pukuu Cultural Community Services
- VHHS Booster Club
- Padres Contra El Cancer
- Poverello of Assisi School
- Mission Hills Police Community Organization
- Providence Holy Cross Medical Center
- Loyola Marymount University
- Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association
- Junior Achievement of Southern California
- Moorpark Boys & Girls Club
- San Fernando Chamber of Commerce
La Galeria Gitana
In 2008, Aszkenazy Development donated office space that was previously leased by the California State Assembly to Karen Nichols, a retired high school art teacher and life-long San Fernando resident, to establish La Galeria Gitana, the first art gallery to open in San Fernando. The gallery provides local talent with a quality venue to showcase their works of art in their own neighborhood and provides a culture wealth of community art. The art exhibits have revolved around honoring San Fernando’s rich and deep cultural roots.
ADI, along with the artists from La Galeria Gitana, has a strong appreciation for the arts, and believe that the residents of San Fernando are very deserving of a quality establishment in their own backyard, and local artists should be able to share their talent with their own community. Not only does the gallery serve the City of San Fernando, but it also draws in an audience from far outside of the city limits, which in turn introduces new people to the area and puts San Fernando on the map.
La Galeria Gitana is located at 120 North Maclay, Unit E, San Fernando.