'Future of Downtown' Event Looks at Streetcar and Beyond

José Huizar.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - There won't be a crystal ball involved, but Downtown leaders will get together this week to peer into the future of the Central City.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Orpheum Theatre will host "The Future of Your Downtown," a panel discussion with nine local leaders. The event is being organized by 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, and will focus heavily on his Bringing Back Broadway initiative, a plan to revitalize the corridor, and the $125 million effort to bring a streetcar to Downtown. It is free and open to the public.

"We are about a third of the way through a 10-year plan for Bringing Back Broadway, and there has been a lot of progress with both the initiative and the streetcar, so we want to discuss that with the community and talk about how these important projects are contributing to the overall improvement of Downtown," Huizar said in an email to Los Angeles Downtown News.

The Broadway initiative includes a $35 million effort to upgrade the corridor's deteriorated infrastructure. Also part of the effort is a set of guidelines to activate nearly 1 million square feet of vacant space above street level.

A final route option for the streetcar will be finalized by Metro early next year. Operational costs are projected at about $5 million per year, and ridership is anticipated to be approximately 10,000 per day.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with an open house. The panel discussion runs from 6:30-8 p.m. Participants include Linda Dishman of the Los Angeles Conservancy, Dennis Allen of L.A. Streetcar Inc. and representatives of Metro and the Department of City Planning.

Huizar said Broadway has long been a dividing line between revitalizing areas of Downtown. The event is intended to discuss how the streetcar and an upgraded corridor will affect the rest of the neighborhood.

"We're going to talk about how each aspect of Bringing Back Broadway is working," he said. "I know we're going to have a lively and robust conversation about Broadway, historic preservation and the streetcar and get into the specifics of why supporting these initiatives is good for all of Downtown."

"The Future of Your Downtown" is Wednesday, Nov. 9, 5:30-8 p.m. at 842 S. Broadway.

Contact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.

©Los Angeles Downtown News.