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Another Boring Swipe at Downtown

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2006, at 01:49PM

I really am getting tired of the laziness and bias that goes into some of the comments against Downtown there days. Kevin Roderick over at LA Observed takes another of his swipes at Downtown development this morning.

'Like living two blocks off of Times Square'

That's what a Forest City developer says of condos near L.A. Live -- but wouldn't it only be true if L.A. Live were a cacophonous crossroads of the city, a bustling hub where hundreds of thousands pass through in their everyday lives, with main transit lines passing underneath? None of that will be the case at L.A. Live -- a one-block square destination you might go to if you have a reason, but for much of the city's population another artificial place like CityWalk to avoid. The quote is in an LAT piece about the mega-developments -- L.A. Live, Grand Avenue and Universal City -- that planners hope will alter the city's fabric but prefer not to admit they will definitely make traffic worse.

Oh come on, Kevin. Try harder next time.

LA Live is connected to the Staples Center and the Convention Center. Staples books 250 events per year and holds 20k for basketball, 18k for hockey. Let's say each event averages only 10k just to be very conservative. That means that Staples, on its own, has at least 2.5 million visitors per year. Convention Center bookings are on the up-swing.

But the fundamental difference between LA Live and City Walk is that LA Live is part of the city and part of our everyday lives. It's Downtown, directly off the freeways, and sitting on Figueroa. It's within a ten minute walk of 400,000 Downtown office workers. The studios ESPN is building on-site will employ 1200 workers, not to mention all those working at the restaurants, AEG, the hotel, etc.

And that's not even getting into the thousands of residential units that are going up in the immediate vicinity of LA Live. South Park is exploding, and LA Live will be right there in the middle of it all.

Say what you will about Downtown, but do your homework. Don't make throw-away comparisons you can't back up.


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