Once upon a time, like the 1990s, Los Angeles was crazy with and about redevelopment. Redevelopment to spark affordable housing in a metropolis notoriously in short supply of it. Redevelopment to ignite a comeback in Hollywood, where the teenage runaways outnumbered new, hip buildings. Redvelopment to buy off opinion-makers, I mean offset the effects of dusty, jack-hammer-blasting, ground-rumbling subway construction. Redevelopment to bring a shopping center to a suffering inner-city with more bars on windows than businesses on corners. And so on and so forth.
Today, the redevelopment culture may be on the verge of extinction throughout California as Gov. Brown tries to plug massive and systemic multi-billion-deficits. In case Community Redevelopment Agencies go the way of dial up, I want to take one last stroll down memory lane and in the process hope you’ll see examples here of when urban renewal was misused as a political slush fund and when it was deployed for higher purposes: regenerating urban decay and pumping seed money into places that private investors shy away from.
From latest to oldest:
* CITY FOR SALE. Counting the casualties of Pasadena’s precision-guided housing boom. Pasadena Weekly. April 2003.
* CRA’s FORGIVENESS PAYS. Profit-making businesses among beneficiaries of agency’s pardonable loans. Los Angeles Daily News. December 1995.
* CRA LOANS ON RISKY GROUNDS. Agency says repayment takes a back seat to ‘public purpore’ of curing blight. Los Angeles Daily News. November 1995.
* HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD HISTORY MUSEUM READS LIKE A HORROR MOVIE SCRIPT. Los Angeles Daily News. Fall 1995.
* CRA CUTS $50 MILLION DEAL WITH HOLLYWOOD DEVELOPER. Los Angeles Business Journal. September 1990.