Tidbits from Urban Land Institute’s Transit-Oriented L.A. Conference

Transit Oriented L.A. 2015 opening keynote session: The Planning Report's David Abel (left) interviews Metro CEO Phil Washington (center) and CA High Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Transit Oriented L.A. 2015 opening keynote session: The Planning Report’s David Abel (left) interviews Metro CEO Phil Washington (center) and CA High Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Thanks to Urban Land Institute Los Angeles (ULI) for hosting its informative Transit Oriented L.A. conference yesterday in Little Tokyo. There were wide-ranging discussions at the standing-room only panels. Here are a few fun factoids gleamed from the day:

> Metro CEO Phil Washington asserted that many of Metro’s occasional critics will be forgotten by history. Washington asked “who remembers Fisher Ames?” Then explained that he was the statesman who argued against the Louisiana Purchase, arguing that $27 million was just too much to pay for about half of the land that now comprises the United States.

> Randall Winston, Acting Executive Director for California’s Strategic Growth Council announced a new technical assistance program designed to make sure that the state’s disadvantaged communities can better take advantage of Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) cap-and-trade funding. Winston highlighted the transit-oriented development (TOD) project at the MacArthur Park Red Line Station in his talk.

> Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director of LISC, cautioned against using the term “place-making.” Little Tokyo is already a place. Leimert Park is already a place. Livability improvements may strengthen, improve, and sustain places, but don’t forget communities are already there.

> Attendees got previews of some commendable TOD projects underway in Los Angeles that may not be on SBLA readers’ radar. Two that stood out:
Washington 422, being developed by Meta Housing, is already under construction across from the San Pedro Metro Blue Line Station in South L.A. The mixed-use project, funded through state AHSC monies, includes 55 affordable housing apartments, retail, reduced parking, and adaptive re-use of a portion of the formerly industrial site.
Rolland Curtis Gardens, being developed by Abode Communities, is still in pre-development. Abode worked with T.R.U.S.T. South L.A. to develop this mixed-use project on Exposition just west of the Vermont Expo Line Station. Rolland Curtis Gardens will include 140 affordable units, reduced parking, and is expected to begin construction in 2016.

> County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas announced a new ULI report for improving livability at Leimert Park.

Streetsblog LA was proud to be a media sponsor for the Transit Oriented L.A. conference.

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