Bringing Back Broadway?

Streetcar

KPCC had a long interview with Jose Huizar about this project called Bringing Back Broadway. The centerpiece is a streetcar, but, the real goal is to drive “economic development” and “revitalize” Broadway.

Around halfway through the interview, Huizar said something that’s kind of surprising. “The property owners are recognizing that some of the shoppers that come there now, mostly Latino immigrant shoppers, are looking elsewhere to do the type of shopping that they are doing now. They’re going to Huntington Park [and other local areas].” KPCC has been pumping this clip on the air a lot.

Is that true? Are Latinos abandoning the Broadway stores? It sounded to me like he was providing a rationale, and signal, to discriminate against existing businesses. One caller later in the show complained about the electronics and wholesale stores — so it sounded like there were still customers that she didn’t like shopping Downtown.

They’re looking for lots of funding, but they want to take some of that Measure R money. That cash was supposed to help transit, not to make a “streetcar” tourist attraction to help boost the property values on Broadway.

I don’t trust what’s going on. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Bringing Back Broadway?

  1. (Hasn’t Price Club been called Costco for 20 years?)

    I just get the sense that there’s an effort to push working class people of color out of the Downtown.

    I can’t imagine that Mr. Huizar is making speeches in Boyle Heights, or even the Spanish press about these changes.

    While I think it’s good to spend money to fix up Broadway — they’re prioritizing their project, and basically taking money away from other projects that will serve lower-income people.

  2. The effort to push working class people our of downtown los angeles started before either of us was born – starting with the industrial zoning on the eatern edge of downtown adjacent the river and continuing with the clearing out of bunker hill for the 110 freeway and a bunch of ugly government buildings.

    I don’t think that this streetcar is part of that effort. If anything this appears to be an effort to maintain and strengthen the pedestrian-based businesses in the area. Imagine how much more powerful and lucrative a business district like this would be if not only the poor and working class could shop there, but the middle and upper classes as well? The developer of the Grove and American at Brand as admitted in a KPCC interview that his malls are rip=offs of the world’s best walking streets, but that he is competing with other malls. He said in the same interview that if LA ever got its avct together his fake streets couldn’t compare to the real thing.

    Give us the real thing!

    The streetcar to me is a great excuse to build bus-only lanes on broadway, to exclude or severwly slow private automobile traffic, and to make the place measurably safer for pedestrians.

    Of course Huizar has his own craven political interests he must look after, but when all is said and done, this would be a great improvement for the area.

  3. How did I miss this post? Alienation great post. I think you are right to be suspicious, there are still plenty of people shopping there. I bought a Juicer there last week and I couldn’t even move.

    Developers always try to steal through loopholes.

    Browne

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