8/29/2013 - According to the Downtown News, The Budokan project, an effort to develop a rec center in Little Tokyo, received a $1.3 million dollar donation this week, bringing the total funding to $11 million, about half of what is needed. Assuming the additional funding comes through, groundbreaking will begin in 2015.
The Walk to Union Station
8/27/2013 - Curbed reports that city authorities are in the process of widening the walkways connecting downtown to Union Station. Additionally, artistic arches will be installed on Main Street, similar to those already in place on Los Angeles Street.
8/22/2013 - Brigham Yen reports that the Southern California Teo-Chew Association, a nonprofit organization which seeks to support and encourage the Teo-Chew population, is building a new community center just north of the newly constructed New Jia Apartments, at Ord and Broadway. Check out his blog for more info.
8/18/2013 - Boyle Heights City Hall
The Wave reports that, as of last week, the newly constructed Boyle Heights City Hall, at the corner of 1st and Chicago, is now open. In addition to acting as the central headquarters for Councilman Huizar's offices, the building will house several public and nonprofit organizations, including the Bureau of Street Services, College Track, the Housing and Community Investment Department, the Economic and Workforce Development Department, Lucille Roybal Family Source Center, Hollenbeck Police Athletic League, the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, El Centro de Ayuda, Abuelitos de Boyle Heights, Maravilla Foundation, Fuego Tech, Los Angeles Youth Opportunity Movement and Girls Today, and Women Tomorrow.
Mulholland Memorial Garden
8/16/2013 - According to Curbed, the Mulholland Monument, located at the intersection of Los Feliz and Riverside, is about to get a major facelift. To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the monument, which was constructed in honor of William Mulhooland, the aqueduct's designer, and the (spiritual) founding father of the Department of Water and Power, will be encircled by a park, complete with footpaths, park benches, and educational signs, and will be be rechristened the Los Angeles Aqueduct Centennial Garden.
8/15/2013 - The Downtown News reports that the Environmental Impact Report for the MyFigueroa streetscape plan has been completed. The plan is intended to make the three mile Figueroa corridor, between 7th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, more pedestrian friendly by adding wider sidewalks, bike lanes, and street curbs.
Jordan Downs Redevelopment a Go!
8/14/2013 - Great news from the Times; it looks like that ambitious plan to revitalize Watt's Jordan Downs neighborhood into an urban village received official approval from the City Council. The $1 billion dollar project will include a well maintained central park, 1,400 luxury apartments, retail stores, and more.
Welcome to Larchmont
8/11/2013 - According to Curbed, the quiet stretch of Larchmont Boulevard between Beverly and Melrose, is getting a facelift. Metro is adding medians, plantings, and a welcome tower. The additions should be completed come fall.
8/6/2013 - According to Curbed, the very first Wienerschnitzel drive up, located in Wilmington at the Gulf Avenue/PCH intersection, is on its way to becoming a historic landmark. Let's hear it for hotdogs.
Park and Water Wheel in Lincoln Heights
8/3/2013 - According to Curbed, Lincoln Heights will soon get both a new park (at Griffith and Broadway) and a water wheel (next to the Los Angeles River). The park, which comes complete with a stream and waterfall, is slated to open in a couple months, while the water wheel is still awaiting final approval.
Hollywood High Rise, Mid City Museum
7/26/2013 - According to Curbed, the team behind the newly approved Hollywood Millennium Project, located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, have published a rendering of what appears to be the project's final design. In other news, the new owners of the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire and Lucerne, have announced plans to convert the temple into a semi public art museum.
7/25/2013 - According to the Downtown News, Dan McCleary, local artist and founder of Art Division, a non profit, will open a new art library on the corner of 6th and Carondelet. The library will feature roughly 5,000 art books, and is meant to inspire and encourage fledgling artists.
Riverside Bike Path + Beachside Zipline
7/24/2013 - Curbed brings us word that the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation has developed a plan to construct a bike path and greenway along all 51 miles of the river. If all goes according to plan, the new project will be completed by the end of the decade. In other news, that awesome new zipline at Venice beach is finally up and running!
Emerson College Nears Completion
7/23/2013 - According to Curbed, construction on the ten story satellite campus for Boston's Emerson College, on the corner of Sunset and Gordon, is nearing completion. When it opens early next year, the new building will feature a ground floor cafe, fitness center, lounge, classrooms, and housing for approximately 220 students.
7/20/2013 - According to Curbed, that barren patch of land on the corner of 1st and Broadway will soon be developed into beautiful new courthouse. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 550,000 square foot building will house 24 courtrooms, 32 judges chambers, and 110 parking spaces. Construction should finish sometime in 2016.
Bridge Over Atwater
7/13/2013 - Curbed reports that a new bridge traversing the LA River, and connecting Griffith Park with North Atwater Park was approved this weekend by the Board of Public Works. The $6 million dollar, 302 foot long suspension bridge will serve pedestrians, cyclists, and horses. Development will commence after the City Council approves project later this year.
7/7/2013 - According to Streetsblog, Broadway's six lanes of traffic will soon be reduced to three in order to make way for the new Los Angeles Streetcar, and, perhaps more importantly, contribute to the revitalization effort surrounding the historic corridor by making it more pedestrian friendly. While it remains to be seen what, exactly, the new street will look like, the data appears to support the theory that fewer lanes will actually contribute to, rather than detract from the local economy.
Mission in Tujunga
7/6/2013 - The Daily News brings us word on the groundbreaking of a new housing development, in the city's northern neighborhood of Tujunga, that will cater exclusively to the homeless and mentally ill. The $15 million dollar Day Street Apartment Project, near Foothill Boulevard, will feature 46 individual units, and is currently scheduled to open in early 2014.
7/5/2013 - It appears that the city is getting in touch with its artistic side; Blogdowntown reports that the city's DoArt Foundation, in collaboration with the Make Art Public Group, intends to install up to 100 new public benches around town, all of which will feature work by local artists. In other news, Metro will soon exhibit several curated art exhibits at three downtown metro stations. Head over to the Downtown News for more information.
Mixed User for Westwood, Park for San Pedro
7/3/2013 - After over a year of planning, it appears that construction has finally commenced on a smallish mixed use project on the corner of Westwood and Lindbrook in the Village. According to the most recent information obtained by Curbed, the development will feature 34 apartments and 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.
In other news, the Daily Breeze reports on grand opening of the first phase of Plaza Park in San Pedro. The park is located on Beacon Street between 7th and 13th, and overlooks the Port of Los Angeles.
Brick and Mortar for Downtown's Charter School
6-29-2013 - The Downtown News announced yesterday that Metro Charter Elementary School, Downtown's premier charter school, has signed a lease on 12,000 square feet of space at the Hope Street Family Center. The space comes fully furnished with classrooms and a playground. Classes will commence on September 3rd.
6/23/2013 - Nearly four months from completion, city officials unveiled many of the $4.1 billion dollars worth of renovations being made to the Los Angeles International Airport to the public yesterday afternoon. Head over to the Dailey Breeze for more extensive coverage.
Church and Sea
6/18/2013 - The Port of Los Angeles will soon see one of its docks transformed into a 28 acre research campus that will house the Southern California Marine Institute. According to Curbed, the $500 Million Dollar Project, affectionately dubbed 'AltaSea, should take some 15 - 20 years to complete. In other news, the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council heard a proposal over the weekend for the construction of a massive 85,000 square foot church at the corner of Verdant and Alger. Head over to the Eastsider for more information.
Parks for Recreation
6/16/2013 - Two parks, one old and one new, have opened, just in time for summer. The Times reports that Echo Park, with its newly beautified lake and surrounding green spaces, welcomed the public for the first time in nearly two years on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Downtown News informs us that Spring Street Park, located between 4th and 5th Street, will open its doors early tomorrow morning.
6/15/2013 - For all of those that thought Venice Beach couldn't possibly get any cooler, think again. Curbed announced this week that the ocean village will soon install a Zipline between the World Cafe and the beach b-ball courts, that will cost a mere $20 per 'passenger'. Move over Mickey, and make way for a new magic kingdom.
Parklets for Westwood
6/11/2013 - According to Curbed, there is a good chance that the Village at Westwood will soon reap the benefits of Downtown's micro-greenspace-because-we-can experiment, and install parklets. The current proposal calls for multiple spaces that will be scattered throughout the neighborhood.
A Greener History
6/11/2013 - This weekend saw the grand opening of the Natural History Museum's completely renovated front entrance, which includes a fantastic new green space complete with a pond, fruit trees, walking paths, and bird watching stations. Thanks to the Downtown News for the tip.
6/4/2013 - According to the Business Journal, developer Rick Caruso has proposed an extension (for lack of a better word) of the 'trolley line' that currently services the Grove Shopping center. The new above ground metro would provide service between the Beverly Center and LACMA. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
5/24/2013 - The Los Angeles City Council voted yesterday to fund two new metro stops, one at Leimert Park Village, and another at Hindry and Florence, along the newly announced LAX metro line. The line is intended for completion in 2019.
5/17/2013 - This month saw some exciting developments for two of our city's smaller colleges. Last week, The Valley Star announced the commencement of construction on the Valley College Community Service Center at the corner of Hatteras and Ethel. The center will feature a dance floor, computer lab, and rock climbing wall. And, according to the Daily News, construction on the L.A. Mission College Arts Center has officially recommenced after nearly two years in limbo.
City Park, Hollywood and Wine
5/7/2013 - According to the Downtown News, the City is in negotiations to purchase the vacant lot just west of City Hall, at 1st and Broadway, and transform it into a park. Good news for a street that is already rapidly exchanging its decaying buildings for shiny new residential and retail developments. In other news Los Angeles Magazine reports that the Hollywood Bowl will soon receive a new addition in the form of a Patina Wine Bar, slated to open sometime next month.
Museum and Metro
5/1/2013 - The Times reports today that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will receive a $690 million dollar remodel to its Wilshire Campus, designed by famed architect Peter Zumthor. A timeline is still being worked out, and will probably be revealed when the news is 'officially' announced next month. Additionally, Metro's website, The Source, has published models for the proposed alternative designs to Union Station. It is anticipated that one of the alternatives, or at least a modification thereto, will be selected to upgrade the existing station.
4/30/2013 - After several contentious months, the City Council has finally approved a massive $4.67 billion dollar expansion to our beloved LAX. Once completed, the additions will help streamline the airport's sluggish operations, and allow for more efficient and effective takeoffs and landings.
Market and Park
4/27/2013 - More exciting news for Downtown. Blogdowntown reports that a large 'etsy' style flea market, featuring finer vintage and modern goods, will open this summer on Spring Street, between 2nd and 3rd. Additionally, the Downtown News gave us an update on renovations to the Historic Park, which is temporary closed until 2014.
4/24/2013 - According to the Downtown News, the City Council has begun laying the foundation of what will become a comprehensive city wide bike sharing program. In time, 400 rental stations will be constructed, allowing travelers to rent bikes in the same manner that has already been done in several other cities such as New York and Washington DC.
Parks, Theme Parks, and a Little Theater
4/23/2013 - Big news this morning for our beloved little city:
According to the Times, the Los Angeles County Supervisors will vote today on zoning variances that would, if approved, allow for a proposed $1.6 billion dollar expansion of the beloved Universal Studios Theme Park. The expansion calls for two new hotels, a freeway exit ramp, and a Harry Potter themed ride, as well as 2 million square feet of new office and studio space.
After obtaining City Council approval, public television Channel 35 is moving its headquarters from Little Tokyo to the historic Merced Theater at The Pueblo, reports the Downtown News. In order to make it official, the move still required the Mayor's signature, which is expected later this week.
Finally, Curbed reports that the newly renovated Spring Street Park is, at long last, nearing completion with the inclusion of cement walkways and young trees. Grass, benches, art, and a playground are all that remain before the development on the park can be considered truly finished.
Luxury Living for Less Fortunate Seniors
4/14/2013 - Curbed reports that Del Rey Square, a 124 unit housing complex designed for low-income and homeless seniors, opened officially opened its doors on Friday. The project, developed by Thomas Safron and Associates in conjunction with Los Angeles City, features a gym, jacuzzi, and library.
Mid Wilshire's New Museum and Hardware Store
4/12/2013 - According to Curbed, development on the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum, located at Wilshire and Fairfax, is under way. The museum, designed by Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, will house 30,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, and 15,000 square feet of public plaza, and will open in 2017. Additionally, construction has begun on the new Orchard Supply Hardware Store, located just around the corner at 4th and La Brea.
New Planetarium at Harbor College
3/22/2013 - Yesterday, southern Los Angeles' Harbor College opened its new planetarium. The Daily Breeze reports that the $1.6 million dollar facility will cater to both college and high school students and, eventually, the public at large.
No LACMA for MOCA
3/20/2013 - It's official. According to the Los Angeles Times, MOCA will not merge with LACMA. Supporters of the decision argue that MOCA's independence will help to encourage diversity in the arts, and quality in exhibit and gallery content, as the individual museums compete for visitors.
Downtown Streetcar A Go
3/7/2013 - Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a joint report, submitted by the Department of Transportation and the City Administrative Officer, which commits up to $352 million dollars over the course of the next thirty years to maintaining and operating a street car in downtown. According to Curbed LA, if all goes according to plan, the streetcar should be operational by early 2016, and, according to Metro.com, it will follow "a 3.5 mile loop that serves the following Downtown districts and destinations/attractions: Historic Broadway, South Park (L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center, LA Convention Center), Bunker Hill (Music Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, MOCA, Broad Museum), Civic Center (City Hall, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles) and the Financial Business District (Pershing Square, Central Library)".
Three New Parks Announced for South LA, as SCIG Project Moves Ahead
3/2/2013 - Three new 'pocket parks' have been planned for the south of Los Angeles City, one in Harbor Gateway, and two in Wilmington. While the Los Angeles Times reports that the chief purpose of the parks is to drive off sex offenders, their construction will no doubt improve the prospects for new residential developments in the area. In other related news for the area, The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will meet Thursday to consider certification of the recently published environmental impact report for the Southern California International Gateway Project, which promises to enhance the efficiency of cargo transportation to and from the harbor. The ambitious project will undoubtedly bring a host of new construction and operation jobs, and do much to improve the local economy.
Fashion District Project Moves Forward
2/21/2013 - Yesterday, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning published a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report and scoping meeting for the massive redevelopment project planned for the fashion district. The project will encompass almost the entirety of the property located between 9th, 12th, San Julian, and San Pedro Street. It is anticipated that the project will take nearly thirty years and, once completed, will feature 945 residential units, up to 210 hotel rooms, 294,641 square feet of industrial, office, and medical space, 224,862 square feet of retail space, and 312,112 square feet of educational campus floor area. The scoping meeting is currently scheduled for March 6th, and comments may be submitted for formal consideration until March 22nd.
Jordan Downs Project to Interface Public With Private
2/11/2013 - This Weekend, the Los Angeles Times published a report detailing progress on the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' ('HACLA') ambitious five year plan to revitalize the Jordan Downs housing project. Located at the southern border of Los Angeles City, in the neighborhood of Watts, Jordan Downs has attracted significant national attention since its opening in 1955. Its use and purpose have been both lauded and condemned as an exemplar of public housing and welfare services. In an attempt to revitalize both the project and surrounding area, HACLA purchased 28 acres of adjacent land, with the intent of constructing an additional 900 - 1,100 residential units, as well as industrial, office and retail space. Once completed, it is contemplated that current residents will be moved into the new units, so that the old units may be renovated. After nearly five sluggish years, during which HACLA's resources have been almost entirely dedicated to preparing current residents for the transition, it is anticipated that this year will finally see development commence.
2/9/2013 - Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Annual Report uploaded a video report detailing progress on the renovations and repairs being made to the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice. Built in 1925, the Hall of Justice initially housed the courts, district attorney's offices, sheriff's offices, and a jail. However, extreme damage caused by the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 made occupation of the building unsafe, and, for almost two decades, it has sat empty and abandoned. Finally, in the spring of last year, Clark Construction began the restoration process. The renovations will include removal of the jail cells, enlarged office space, a new cafeteria, and a desperately needed parking garage.
Expansion of LAX Airport Approved
2/6/2013 - KTLA is reporting that approval has been given by the L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners to proceed with the development of an enlarged runway, a new rental car facility, and a new terminal at the LAX Airport. While the expansion will no doubt help to reduce much of the intolerable traffic that the airport is known for, it may also drive many local residents who will, due to the expansion, now be subject to increased noise and pollution, from the area.
Renovating L.A.'s Central Park
2/2/2013 - Yesterday, The Los Angeles Downtown News reported on a new effort to renovate and revitalize Pershing Square, the most famous (and perhaps only) public park in downtown Los Angeles. Anschutz Entertainment Group, the world's largest sports teams and events coordinator, and owner of the Staples Center, has agreed to provide $700,000 in funding for the project. While any particulars regarding the specific terms of the commitment remain unclear, the reasons for the proposed renovations stem from concerns over access and safety brought on as a result of the 'Occupy Los Angeles' protests last summer. Pershing Square is beloved by many, and provides many recreational activities to the public, including outdoor movie screenings in the summer, and ice skating in the winter.