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CRA to Consider $5 Million in Streetcar Funding on Thursday

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, September 30, 2008, at 02:03PM
Portland Streetcar Trip Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Downtown delegates stand outside the Portland Streetcar maintenance facility back in April.

The Downtown Streetcar project could get a major boost on Thursday, when the board of the Community Redevelopment Agency considers programming $5 million in funding toward the project this fiscal year. If approved, the funding would provide seed money for engineering and construction activities.

The money to be voted on consists of tax-increment funding that had been encumbered as part of legal challenges over the implementation of the CRA's Central Industrial Redevelopment and City Central Redevelopment projects. Roughly $19 million is now freed up to be programmed in the City Central Redevelopment project area.

The Downtown Streetcar program is estimated to cost $90 million to complete. 30% - 50% of that total is expected to come from the private sector via an assessment on surrounding property owners. The city hopes to get additional funding from Metro and the federal government.

In August, the Bringing Back Broadway Trustees approved the creation of Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc., a non-profit that would build the streetcar system.

In a press release issued this afternoon, Councilman Jose Huizar spoke of the need for this funding's approval. "This vote represents an opportunity for the public sector to demonstrate its commitment to bringing a modern streetcar system to Downtown Los Angeles as soon as possible,” Huizar said. “When we first kicked off Bringing Back Broadway, the streetcar seemed like it would be the cherry on top of the sundae - something we would do much further down the road. But we now realize the powerful effect a streetcar system will have on economic development and revitalization of our entire downtown area. It’s clear we need to do this right away."

The CRA Board meets at 10am in its Board Room on the 6th floor of 354 S. Spring.


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