Thursday, May 10, 2012


When three subway stations opened on Hollywood Boulevard in 2000, the legendary neighborhood was on the skids, with gangsters, prostitutes, "no-tell motels" and crack houses, and bewildered tourists wandering and wondering where the glamor had gone. A dozen years later and Hollywood's star has risen again. There are fancy clubs and restaurants, pricey condos offering rooms with a view, upscale streetlife, and escalating property values -- property taxes collected in 2010 were six times what they were in 2000. Should we praise -- or blame -- the subway for gentrifying Hollywood? And what are the lessons learned for other neighborhoods as Los Angeles embarks on the biggest transit expansion initiative in the U.S.? Move LA has completed a case study and it's a great story arc -- the declaration of the redevelopment area, the clean up, the new development -- with quite a cast of characters, including the property owner "SlumBusters" group, the Martini Sisterhood of women activists, the renters coalition that organized tenants and, of course, the political leaders who made it possible, City Councilmembers Mike Woo, Eric Garcetti and, especially, Jackie Goldberg. Read it here.

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