DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The effort to create a Broadway streetcar got a big boost last night, as officials raised $200,000 for the effort.
The fundraiser at the Target Terrace at L.A. Live was co-hosted by 14th District Councilman José Huizar, philanthropist Eli Broad, developer Rick Caruso and Anschutz Entertainment Group President and CEO Tim Leiweke.
Dennis Allen, executive director of Los Angeles Streetcar Inc., the nonprofit spearheading the $100 million project, told the crowd of about 200 people that they more than doubled their fundraising expectations for the evening. He said the latest timeline envisions the streetcar running within five years.
“We exceeded our expectations in terms of the amount of funding that we raised,” Huizar told the crowd. “But what I’m most pleased about is the interest, and the engagement and the enthusiasm.”
A who’s who of Downtown power players showed up, including Metro CEO Art Leahy, Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry, Cardinal Roger Mahoney and Downtown property owners Steve Needleman and Michael Delijani. Also in attendance was Chris Essel, the new CEO of the CRA, which has provided about $10 million for the streetcar effort.
The night ended with the debut of a six-minute promotional film by LASI that depicts the streetcar running through the streets of Downtown. It showed a green, blue and white vehicle resembling a subway car riding on rails by L.A. Live, on Broadway passing Needleman’s Orpheum Theater, and finally making a right on First Street across from Disney Hall.
“We need to unify Downtown, and the streetcar is going to do that,” Broad told the crowd.
The money will go toward administrative costs for the nonprofit.
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