Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Los Angeles Pledges $1.8 Billion for Downtown Renovation

This sounds like great fun to visit. I've always enjoyed downtown Los Angeles, and don't spend enough time there. Actually, no one does....

From Associated Press....L.A. Dedicates $1.8B to Downtown Boost

The city and county have approved a plan that would alter the downtown skyline by creating a dense urban center of high-rises, shopping centers and parkland around the Disney Concert Hall.
Authorities hope the privately funded, $1.8 billion project approved Monday will provide a nucleus for the kind of core that Los Angeles has lacked — a place where people both work and live.

Currently, the area empties at night as workers return to the suburbs.

The project calls for five high-rises — four 30-story condominium buildings and a 40- to 50-story hotel and condominium complex. There would be a 16-acre park linking Bunker Hill and the Civic Center, a supermarket and 400,000 square feet of retail space that would include a bookstore and movie theater.

The area already features such city landmarks as the concert hall, the Music Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Much of the new construction would be on vacant areas or parking lots.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. estimated that the project would create 5,000 full-time jobs and generate approximately $565 million in annual business revenue to the city and the county.

"In some ways, Los Angeles has always been a divided city, a divided county," said Eli Broad, co-chairman of the Grand Avenue Committee, which has been shepherding the project. "That will all change with the creation of a vibrant city center where people can work, live and play."

The plan was approved following more than a year of planning and public hearings. An environmental impact review is expected to be completed by year's end, with the first phase of construction beginning as early as December 2006.

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