By the end of this week, Angeleno’s will have flipped their calendar to the new year, welcoming not just the end of 2019, but the start of a fresh decade of possibilities.
Plenty of us will be making our New Year’s Resolutions, struggling not to break them during the first few weeks of the new year, a tradition that stretches back to Ancient Rome.
The start of the new year is a great time to look at the highs and lows of the past 12 months. As we look forward to 2020, we remain optimistic that Downtown will endure the hiccups of 2019, finding itself in a far better position around this same time next year.
The year 2019 came off almost like a year filled with setbacks. Homelessness in the region took a turn for the worst, experiencing double digit increases in both the city and county, as well as locally in Skid Row, which many can cite as the epicenter of Los Angeles’ homeless crisis. City Controller Ron Galperin issued two scathing reports criticizing both the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s metrics and outreach guidelines, and the use of over $1 billion in Proposition HHH funds.
Homicides spiked in the region, almost eclipsing the decade high, and major development projects like Oceanwide Plaza either stalled, or endured major timeline shifts.
But heading into 2020, there is still plenty to be excited for. For the first time in over a decade, Downtown Los Angeles will have a representative without the last name Huizar after Councilman José Huizar is termed out of office in November, marking a major and exciting change to the Downtown landscape. Leading the pack to replace the longtime politician is Senate President pro tempore Kevin de León and former Los Angeles Unified School District President Monica Garcia.
At the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Peter Lynn, who announced that he was stepping down at the end of the year, will be replaced with a new executive director who will be equally tasked with tackling the regions growing homeless crisis.
Large community service developments like the Terasaki Budokan in “Skidrokyo,” the amalgamous area between the neighborhood known as Skid Row and Little Tokyo, will bring new community amenities to the area, while First and Broadway Park, is expected to break ground in 2020, which will eventually add much needed recreation and relaxation space to the civic center.
Perla, the first new high rise housing project in the Historic Core is slated to open as well, bringing new residents to the Broadway corridor and on a macro level, the city is slated to adopt the DTLA 2040 plan, which sets new guidelines for the future development of Downtown over the next two decades.
This past year was a period of transitions and setbacks, but not without its accomplishments. But when we sit down next year to catalogue the ups and downs of 2020, we believe that there will be far more ups than downs as Downtown takes advantage of the upcoming opportunities to take massive steps forward.