Incorporated in 1957 primarily as a bedroom community south of Los Angeles, Westminster has grown to become one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in Orange County. Westminster apartments for rent have become a popular choice due to their convenient location in the northwest end of Orange County, and distinct neighborhoods offer unique cultural diversity within the community. Westminster was honored with the All-America City Award in 1996, and is positioned to thrive as hub for tourism and entertainment in the Orange County area.
Community events in Westminster revolve around the Westminster Rose Center, a 33,840 square-foot building made up of a theater, banquet hall and connecting foyers that accommodate numerous community functions. The center's architecture is designed to evoke bamboo plants as a tribute to Westminster's large Vietnamese community, and a bamboo terrace joins the center to accommodate overflow crowds or special outdoor events.
Residents can soak up the Southern California sun at one of Westminster's 24 parks, all offering a range of amenities including picnic areas, basketball courts and playground equipment. Sigler Park showcases a popular splash pad during the summer, and Liberty Skate Park gives novice and intermediate skaters a safe place to practice their skateboarding skills.
Westminster continues to experience residential and commercial growth, and the city's assessed valuation reached more than $51 trillion dollars in 2005. Between 2003 and 2009, average salaries in Westminster increased by 58.1, with the wholesale industry providing the highest salary growth. Other large job sectors include retail, health, education, hospitality and professional management. Top Westminster employers include the Westminster School District, Southern California Edison, Ito Farms, Kindred Hospital of Westminster and the City of Westminster.
The Westminster School District, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District and the Ocean View School District all have boundaries that overlap parts of Westminster; together, they offer four high schools to Westminster students. The community college of Coastline Community College has a satellite campus in Westminster, and Golden West College, a community college in Huntington Beach, is just minutes away. Both offer a wide array of vocational training, certificate and degree programs.
The Orange County Transit Authority makes it easy for Westminster residents to save on transportation costs by using convenient bus routes throughout the city that connect Westminster with neighboring Orange County communities. Westminster is also easily accessed by major Southern California freeways, and is a popular location for working professionals looking for an affordable place to live that provides a convenient connection to Orange County businesses.
Westminster's Community Development Department receives federal funding to help low income residents by providing affordable housing options. Sustainable, planned development preserves the quality of historic Westminster neighborhoods while providing new opportunities for growth and enhancing property values. City-data.com reports that the median gross rent for Westminster rentals was $1,256 in 2009.
Westminster's Little Saigon neighborhood is a major tourist attraction, and is home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese shopping and amenities outside of Vietnam. The 150,000 square foot Asian Garden Mall is the highlight of Little Saigon, and features boutiques, cafes and a large gold jewelry mart. During the summer, the Asian Garden Mall hosts an outdoor night market in the parking lot where vendors can set up tents to display food, arts and clothing while live entertainment plays in the background. The mall also hosts the annual Flower Festival two weeks before the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration, which features fresh flowers and traditional Vietnamese gifts on display. Westminster sponsors the TET Parade to celebrate the arrival of spring and the first day of the lunar year, held downtown on Bolsa Avenue.
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