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Harbor Gateway
Harbor Gateway neighborhood sign
Harbor Gateway neighborhood sign
Harbor Gateway as outlined by the Los Angeles Times
Harbor Gateway as outlined by the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County with the City of Los Angeles in red. The Harbor Gateway is a two-mile wide north-south corridor that connects the Port of Los Angeles to the south with the rest of the city in the north (note the vertical red line).
Los Angeles County with the City of Los Angeles in red. The Harbor Gateway is a two-mile wide north-south corridor that connects the Port of Los Angeles to the south with the rest of the city in the north (note the vertical red line).
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles

The Harbor Gateway is a 5.14-square-mile residential and industrial area (13.3 km2) in the South Bay and Los Angeles Harbor Region, in the southern part of the city. The neighborhood is narrow and long, running along a north-south axis. Its unusual shape has given it the alternative name of "the Shoestring Strip". The northern limit of the neighborhood is Imperial Highway, a city street just north of I-105.

Harbor Gateway was attached to Los Angeles in 1906 to serve as a link to the Pacific Ocean port cities of Wilmington and San Pedro. It was given its present name in 1985.

With a relatively youthful and ethnically diverse population of over 42,000, the center of the community is anchored by Gardena High School. The neighborhood is bisected by Artesia Boulevard and has two neighborhood councils, one north of the boulevard and the other south of it. A large transportation center serves the south Los Angeles County area.


Harbor Gateway is a narrow north-south corridor situated approximately between Vermont Avenue and Figueroa Street north of Interstate 405, and Western and Normandie avenues south of I-405. The territory was acquired by the city of Los Angeles in a shoestring annexation, specifically to connect San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City and the Port of Los Angeles with the rest of the city.

Harbor Gateway abuts Broadway-Manchester on the north and is flanked by Rosewood, Carson and West Carson to the east, West Carson and Harbor City to the south and Athens and Gardena to the west and Torrance to the south and west.

The neighborhood's street boundaries are 120th Street on the north and Vermont Avenue and Figueroa Street on the west and east respectively, running south to 182nd Street, where the neighborhood takes a jog to the west and draws its western boundary at Western Avenue, its eastern line at Normandie Avenue and its southern border at West Sepulveda Boulevard. A southeastern section bounded by 192nd Street on the north, Hamilton Avenue on the east, Del Amo Boulevard on the south and railroad tracks on the west includes the Holiday Inn Harbor Gateway.

Another section between 177th and 182nd Streets includes Gardena High School.

North of I-405 and Artesia Boulevard is North Harbor Gateway, which lies between Vermont Avenue and Figeroa Street, a one-block strip that is bisected by the Harbor Freeway/I-110. South of I-405 the strip follows a different one-block strip between Western Avenue and Normandie Avenue, with the southern end of the neighborhood being Sepulveda Avenue, this southern section is defined as South Harbor Gateway. Connecting the two strips is a one-block east-west strip between West 182nd and West 190th Streets. The independent cities of Torrance, and Gardena lie immediately west of the strip, while the unincorportated community of West Rancho Dominguez and the independent city of Carson lie to its east.


A total of 39,688 people lived in Harbor Gateway's 5.14 square miles, according to the 2000 U.S. census—averaging 7,720 people per square mile, about the same population density for the city as a whole. Population was estimated at 42,005 in 2008. The median age was 27, young for the city of Los Angeles. The percentage of married women (56.2%) was among the county's highest.

Harbor Gateway is considered highly diverse ethnically, with a diversity index of 0.648 In 2000 Latinos made up 53.4% of the population, blacks were at 16.3%, Asians at 16%, whites at 11.8% and others at 2.4%. Mexico and the Philippines were the most common places of birth for the 40.8% of the residents who were born abroad, considered an average percentage of foreign-born when compared with the city as a whole.

The $47,849 median household income in 2008 dollars was average for the city. Renters occupied 59.7% of the housing units, and homeowners occupied the rest.

In 1992, it was noted that the poorest part of the area was between Rosecrans Avenue and Artesia Boulevard.


The city of Los Angeles annexed the area on December 26, 1906 "in anticipation of taking over, several years later, the independent cities of Wilmington and San Pedro" in order to create the Port of Los Angeles. Because of its slim shape, once likened to two shoelaces tied together with a granny knot, the neighborhood—only a half mile wide at some points—was known for years as the "city strip," the "shoestring strip" or simply "the strip."

The strip was simply open fields before World War II, but "Then came factories, attracting workers who needed housing," and builders "filled those fields with small houses and duplexes." Cubans settled in the 1960s and Mexican immigrants in the 1970s. From 1985 to 1992, some seventy-five single-family homes were replaced by nearly five hundred apartment units, and the neighborhood gained some 1,500 residents, with "no plan, no thought," as the area's leading developer put it.

In 1985, the Los Angeles City Council renamed the area as Harbor Gateway. But a Los Angeles Times reporter noted four years later that

Harbor Gateway lacks much of what makes a community a community—no central business district, no civic center or gathering place, no library branch, no police station ... no post office. Its largest park is a cemetery. And, despite the new name, mailing addresses of residents remain unchanged. They still say Torrance or Gardena, not Los Angeles.

In 1989, Harbor Gateway was tied with the Westwood neighborhood as Los Angeles's second-fastest-growing area, Sylmar being first. However, the contrast between the unkempt Los Angeles side of Gardena Boulevard and the tidy Gardena side was striking. In March 1988, the United Way of Los Angeles declared Harbor Gateway an "under-served geographic area," noting "real gaps in law enforcement" and in social services. At the same time, there became a "major drawing card for commercial development" along the 190th Street corridor where "Gleaming high-rises with pleasant landscaping have replaced a Shell oil refinery and manufacturing plants."

By 1992, the United Way had "funneled $100,000 to the few private charities serving the area, including a small free medical clinic, a job center and an ad hoc coalition helping the homeless." It was written that "extended families crowd into single apartments, and the homeless sleep under freeway overpasses."

Government and infrastructure

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Torrance Health Center in Harbor Gateway, near Torrance.

The National Transportation Safety Board operates the Gardena Aviation Field Office in Harbor Gateway; it is the regional headquarters of the NTSB Aviation Western Region.

The area is served by two neighborhood councils—Harbor Gateway North and Harbor Gateway South, with the division between the two at Artesia Boulevard.


Many trucking, shipping and logistics companies are based in Harbor Gateway. The headquarters of National Stores (Fallas Paredes) is in Harbor Gateway, near Gardena. Yoshinoya America's headquarters are in Harbor Gateway, near Torrance. Faraday Future is headquartered is located in Harbor Gateway, near Carson, CA, even though it has a Gardena address.

Roosevelt Memorial Park is a cemetery between Vermont and Normandie north of 184th Street.


Just 12.4% of Harbor Gateway's residents aged 25 or older had completed a four-year degree by 2000, an average figure when compared with the city at large. The percentage of residents of that age without a high school diploma was high for the county.


The schools within Harbor Gateway's boundaries are:

Gardena High School 2024 Feb
Gardena High School
  • Gardena High School, LAUSD,1301 West 182nd Street
  • Moneta Continuation School, LAUSD, 1230 West 177th Street
  • Magnolia Science Academy Santa Clara, LAUSD charter (no address given)
  • One Hundred Thirty-Fifth Street Elementary School, LAUSD, 801 West 135th Street
  • Gardena Elementary School, LAUSD, 647 West Gardena Boulevard
  • Gardena Valley Christian School, private, 1473 West 182nd Street
  • One Hundred Eighty-Sixth Street Elementary School, LAUSD, 1581 West 186th Street.
  • Halldale Elementary School, LAUSD, 21514 Halldale Avenue
  • Environmental Charter Middle School, 812 West 165th Place

The northern end of the Gardena HS campus has LAUSD staff housing, Sage Park Apartments.


Los Angeles Public Library operates the Harbor Gateway-Harbor City Branch.

Recreation and parks

Harbor Gateway Bus Stop
Metro Local bus stop near Harbor Gateway Transit Center, 2012
Artesia Transit Center & Metro Silver Line- Picture 10
Metro Silver Line at the Harbor Gateway Transit Center, 2012

The Rosecrans Recreation Center/CVS Playground is in Harbor Gateway, on Vermont Avenue south of 149th Street. The playground was developed by the nonprofit Boundless Playgrounds.

Public transportation

The Harbor Gateway Transit Center is an immense transportation hub for various bus lines. The Metro J Line bus rapid transit line runs between El Monte Station, Downtown Los Angeles and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center and selects trips to San Pedro, which is the line's southern terminus. The Metro Silver Line operates on the Harbor Transitway (I-110 freeway) between Downtown Los Angeles, the Harbor Gateway Transit Center and San Pedro. The Harbor Gateway Transit Center is located at 731 West 182nd Street, Gardena, CA 90248. Nine Metro bus lines (including the Metro Silver Line) operate from the transit center to various destinations. In addition, Torrance Transit lines 1, 4X, 6, and 13 serve the transit center, while Gardena Transit lines 2, 4 (school days only), and 7X (NFL game days only) also serve at the transit center.

See also

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