Just like the Arts District cited above, things are looking up for the rest of Downtown LA. That’s the conclusion of an article in GQ, which hailed the community as “ America’s Next Great City“. The boom in activity is largely attributed to loosened restrictions on redeveloping older buildings approved by city officials during the previous decade. Previously, businesses opted not to operate downtown, only to reluctantly open shop at the behest of officials and with the availability of incentives. Today, new businesses are sprouting up along Broadway and elsewhere out of their own initiative. This new vision is reflected in the Academy Award-nominated Spike Jonze film Her (2013), which takes place in a dramatically reimagined Downtown LA of the near future.
The LA County Board of Supervisors approved new design concepts for the Grand Avenue Project. The Board asserted that an older plan that they rejected in September did not leave much for pedestrians, while the new concept encourages pedestrian access from surrounding streets. The Grand Avenue Authority will consider approving the new designs this Wednesday. LA Curbed features additional renderings and models of the BOS-approved designs.
Down in the South Park district, things are looking even brighter. What was once a sea of parking lots and low-level industrial space is fast becoming a destination in its own right. New residential towers are already under construction, and many more are underway. The long-proposed Metropolis development on 9th Street, abutting the Harbor Freeway, may finally happen as well. Investors are also funding new hotels that would undoubtedly enhance the appeal of the LA Convention Center. Most notable, however, is the sale of the two parking lots immediately east of LACC and Staples Center, which were once slated for retail development but may morph into mixed-use developments. In fact, the last amenities missing in all of this are national chain stores that are recognized by the public but have been averse to opening shop in Downtown LA.