Council Votes in Favor of Huizar's Change to Neighborhood
Council's 'Factual Basis Stakeholders' Definition
After more than a year of input from Neighborhood Councils, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners and City departments, the City Council voted 12-0 in favor of an ordinance amendment proposed by Councilmember José Huizar to remove the Neighborhood Council’s “factual basis stakeholder” seat and definition for a more robustly defined “community interest stakeholder.”
Under the legislation, for Neighborhood Councils that would like participation to be open to more than just those who “live, work or own property” per the City’s Charter, Huizar’s legislation replaces factual basis stakeholders with “community interest stakeholders,” defined as those with substantial and ongoing participation in a neighborhood. It also removes the need for Neighborhood Councils to even include such voters or candidates as long as one At-large seat is available to them.
“This is significant legislation that will help our Neighborhood Councils now and in the future,” said Councilmember Huizar. “With the Neighborhood Councils leading the way, and the support of DONE, the City Attorney and BONC, we’ve eliminated the factual basis stakeholder requirement and definition , while protecting the autonomy of our 95 neighborhood councils and promoting more robust participation through ‘community interest’ voters and office seekers for those with a substantial and ongoing relationship to each specific community.”
In October 2012, Councilmember Huizar submitted a motion on Neighborhood Council elections (seconded by Councilmember Parks), which came about after so-called “Starbucks stakeholders” with little to no community connection attempted to overtake the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council election by using the loosely defined factual basic stakeholder clause, which states a voter only has to “declare a stake in a neighborhood and affirm the factual basis for it.”
The election guidelines also states other restrictions might be applied by the Neighborhood Councils themselves.
New City of L.A. Historic Commercial Reuse Guidelines
Urban Outfitters Relights the Historic Rialto Theater Marquee
Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters and the office of Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar, announced that an official relighting ceremony for the historic Rialto Theater Marquee will take place today, December 18th, at 7 p.m.at the new Urban Outfitters located at 810 S. Broadway. For the first time in over a decade, the Marquee will light up Broadway in an exclusive ceremony for press and those close to Huizar’s “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative. Also in attendance, the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, restoring and sustaining the operation of Southern California's historic theaters.
“Broadway’s theaters and commercial office buildings offer a wide-range of business opportunities,” said Councilmember Huizar. “Urban Outfitters understands the market and knows where Broadway is going, and I thank them for planting their flag and saying they want to be part of Bringing Back Broadway. We’re looking forward to Urban Outfitters’ Broadway debut.”
Located at 810S. Broadway, the two-story Urban Outfitters Rialto Theater serves a pertinent role in revitalizing Downtown Los Angeles. Since it announced it would be coming to Broadway, the community has eagerly watched the progression of the renovation.“The Rialto movie palace building still has incredible character – you can feel the history when you are there. Urban is excited to be on Broadway and to be part of the revitalization,” said John Hauser, Urban Outfitters Chief Executive Officer of Brand Experience.
The lifestyle retailer opens officially to the public Thursday, December 19th but press and locals will have the exclusive opportunity to preview the renovated historic venue tonight during a pre-opening shopping event co-presented by Racked LA, directly following the relighting ceremony. Press is encouraged to RSVP at email@example.com
In Key Step Forward, City Selects Project Manger for Streetcar
Councilmember Huizar joined with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), Bureau of Engineering (BOE), and the non-profit Los Angeles Streetcar Inc. (LASI) to announce that the City of Los Angeles has selected nationally renowned streetcar car experts URS as Project Manager for the Downtown L.A. Streetcar project. URS has a proven track record of working on some of the biggest streetcar projects in the nation. The Streetcar project is coming to fruition out of a public-private partnership project championed by Councilmember José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative.
URS will function as the overall project delivery manager, working with LADOT and BOE staff to provide the technical knowledge needed to deliver the streetcar. BOE will oversee construction of the project and LADOT will operate it. Some of the firm’s main tasks as Project Manager include creating a deliverable project timeline, identifying and resolving utility conflicts and generating an independent cost estimate. Additionally, URS will work with LADOT to develop a financial plan to fully fund the streetcar, including looking at public-private partnership opportunities.
“URS brings national expertise in moving streetcar projects forward. They are an excellent choice for Project Manager,” said Councilmember José Huizar “This project will help us bring economic revitalization to Downtown Los Angeles and move the City into the next era of transit service. We will soon make Los Angeles the first big city in the United states with a modern streetcar system.”
URS is the recognized leader in modern streetcars, specializing in implementing streetcars in downtown urban settings. URS has served as engineer of record for 10 major streetcar projects including those in Seattle, Portland, and projects currently under construction in Tucson, Dallas and Atlanta.
“URS is thrilled to collaborate with the LADOT and L.A. Streetcar Inc. on this landmark project to revitalize the Broadway corridor and connect Downtown’s many emerging districts and destinations” said Steve Ortmann, URS Vice President, and Streetcar Project Director.
Acne Studios Eastern Columbia Building in Downtown L.A. Now Open
The largest store to date, situated in an iconic Art Deco building in the bursting Downtown area and containing a café and a giant mushroom, marks the landing of Acne Studios in Los Angeles.
The turquoise and golden clad Eastern Columbia Building was designed by Claud Beelman in 1930 and is located on South Broadway in the old theatre district of Downtown Los Angeles. It is widely considered the greatest surviving example of Art Deco architecture in the city.
The Acne Studios corner location occupies over 5,000 square feet on the ground level and will carry men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and denim as well as bags, accessories and footwear. The store also includes ilcaffè – Acne Studios Creative Director Jonny Johansson’s favorite coffee shop in his hometown of Stockholm.
“It wasn’t our original intention to open in this part of Los Angeles, but we fell in love with the Eastern Columbia Building as well as the opportunity to do something beyond a flagship store. We feel that there is something vibrant and interesting going on in Downtown L.A., and we are excited to become a part of this transformation”, says Mikael Schiller, Acne Studios Chairman.
The Eastern Columbia Building store is the latest example of the new Acne Studios store design concept, with its pink terrazzo flooring and contrasting clear blue carpets, perforated aluminum structures and Acne Studios designed furniture. The store also features “Giant triple mushroom” – an installation by Belgian artist Carsten Höller who resides in Sweden and is a friend of the brand – and a dedicated area for private shopping appointments.
Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway, a 10-year initiative, is a multi-approach plan to restore and revitalize Broadway, the Historic Core and all of Downtown, as well as return the beloved streetcar Downtown. The resurgent Broadway, once the City's retail and entertainment epicenter, is actively being revitalized through public and private investment. Councilmember Huizar announced last week a new Historic Commercial Reuse plan that will allow more historic buildings on Broadway to be revitalized.
“The momentum on Broadway is clear,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “The foundation we have laid for Broadway’s revitalization has garnered the attention of prime businesses, like Acne, and others before them. We are helping restore Broadway’s luster. I look forward to the success of Acne and welcome them to historic Broadway.”
Don't Miss This Year's Downtown New Years Race
When: January 4, 2013
Where: 7th Street & Grand Avenue
Downtown Los Angeles
The New Year’s Race is a family-oriented health and fitness event for all ages dedicated to encourage a healthy lifestyle, empower youths to stay physically active and to showcase the excitement of Downtown Los Angeles at night. This race hopes to connect each runner and the many spectators with the various Los Angeles Downtown communities all while promoting a new healthy annual alternative to jump-start the year. For more information, please visit their website http://www.newyearsrace.com.
Councilmember Huizar's Bringing Back Broadway Announces
In what could be Downtown Los Angeles most significant policy announcement since the residential adaptive reuse ordinance that led to the area’s population boon, Councilmember José Huizar was joined today by City officials from the Department of Building & Safety and Fire Department, historic preservation advocates and building and architecture professionals to announce the city’s new Historic Commercial Reuse Guidelines, a pilot project for revitalizing the historic Broadway corridor in Downtown L.A.
The Historic Commercial Reuse Guidelines are the culmination of five years of dedicated efforts and are expected to encourage significant development investment while ensuring that Broadway’s historic buildings are safely reactivated and preserved – all key goals of Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative. While protecting fire and life safety, the new guidelines clarify compliance triggers with current code, offer significant flexibility and streamline the process for safely reactivating Broadway’s historic buildings. This will dramatically reduce time and costs – an impediment in the past to revitalizing many historic buildings on Broadway.
“Today, we are knocking the dust off of decades of layers of red tape and impossible and conflicting codes that have resulted in our historic buildings on Broadway sitting empty for far too long,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “
The new guidelines offer a clear roadmap, where none previously existed, providing developers and property owners with specific interpretations of the California Historic Building Code for use in the City of Los Angeles. In 2008, Councilmember Huizar introduced a motion calling for the new guidelines to address the challenges for historical buildings in terms of compliance with current Los Angeles Building Code.
For more information read the story in the Downtown News
Councilmember Huizar & LAFD Announce
New Policy Allowing Iconic
Rooflines for High Rise Building in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles skyline could soon see a dramatic shift as Councilmember José Huizar and the Los Angeles Fire Department announced today a new policy that seeks to alter the helicopter-landing rooftop requirements for Los Angeles buildings that has been in place since 1958.
The new policy would allow modified helicopter-landing space, or helipads, on the roofs of new high-rise buildings. The policy shift is an important first step in allowing newly designed towers with iconic rooflines and narrow roof and tower spires regularly seen in other big cities, rather than the flat-roof designs currently seen throughout the City of L.A.
A 1958 City law requires all high-rise structures built in Los Angeles to have helipads for potential evacuation. Los Angeles is the only major American city with such a helipad requirement, resulting in what have been described as flat, uninspired rooflines on the City’s towers.
“This important policy will contribute to a more inspired and creative urban design and iconic skyline in the City of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Huizar, whose district includes Downtown Los Angeles where the new Wilshire Grand Hotel and Redevelopment Project will be the first structure to utilize the new policy. “Our City is home to some of the most brilliant and creative design talent in the world – this new and evolving policy will allow them to do what they do best, while ensuring public safety.”
Councilmember Huizar and the Fire Department worked on the policy change and will continue to engage industry specialists to adjust the new policy.
Learn How To Get An Agent and Launch Your Screenwriting Career
Did you know that UCLA Extension has a campus downtown that offers Professional Development as well as Creative Self Development? UCLA Extension’s satellite campus at Figueroa & 2nd
Courtyard is an unexpected urban haven surrounded by lush greenery, and is one of Downtown's best kept secrets.
Former Hollywood agent Nancy Nigrosh teaches a class there for screenwriters called “How To Get An Agent And Launch Your Screenwriting Career”. The class focuses on giving writers the tools to understand how their beliefs and behaviors influence the quality of their writing careers, based on her 23 years as a literary agent at The Gersh Agency and Innovative Artists.
UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program offers more writing courses than any other university related program in the world, and the largest open enrollment Writing and Screenwriting Program in the nation. There are countless success stories. In fact, when Nancy was a literary agent, a young writer named Stuart Beattie came to her attention because he’d written a screenplay that won the Extension Screenplay Competition. She signed Stuart, sold his next original screenplay, ‘Collateral’ that starred Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, and got him the job to write ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’
Nancy had been recently teaching at the Westwood campus, but when she learned about Figueroa Courtyard, she approached Linda Venis, the Director of the Writer’s Program, about teaching there since Nancy lives in an iconic deco building on Downtown’s Broadway. Nancy Nigrosh has represented a number of writers and directors, including Kathryn Bigelow (‘The Hurt Locker’) Stuart Beattie (‘Collateral’, ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’), author Amanda Brown (‘Legally Blonde’), and Randy Brown (‘Trouble With The Curve’), among many others. She earned her M.A in Education from Antioch University and her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA’s School of Film, Theatre and Television. She is an Advisory Board Member for BookWorks, a world wide Self Publishers Association. She also serves as a judge for UCLA’s Master Screenwriting Competition.
Enrollment for Winter, 2014 is currently open. A full list of downtown Writers’ Program courses can be found here
. Writers' Program classes are weekday evenings and Winter quarter begins January 6th
. Some classes start January 23rd
. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call 310-825-9415
Councilmember Honored by LA Co. Bicycle Coalition
As one of the City's biggest Complete Streets advocate Councilmember Huizar was humbled (and a little amused) at receiving the “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” award from the LA County Bicycle Coalition. The LCBC does great work promoting bicycle and pedestrian use throughout Southern California and Councilmember Huizar was honored to be recognized by them.
L.A.'s First Protected Bike Lane
Photo by Jessica Meaney
Two weeks ago, the Department of Transportation installed delineators in the 2nd Street tunnel, physically separating the vehicle travel lane and the adjacent bike lane. This is the first protected bike lane in the City of Los Angeles, and it's in Council District 14. To read more about the proposed citywide "Bicycle Enhanced Network, please go to this link.
Discover the 36 Reasons to Shop DTLA!
Don't Miss Grand Performances' FREE Holiday Concerts
December 15th, 17th & 19th
350 S. Grand Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Bring the family and catch the holiday spirit when California Plaza's WaterStage transforms into a stunning SoCal WinterStage!
Celebrate the holiday season through sing-a-longs, silliness and a special sitcom presentation with the tubular Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater's: Sock Puppet Holiday Spectacular on Sun, Dec 15 @ 2pm. On Tue, Dec 17 @ noon, The Joey Altruda Trio evokes the soulful, jazzy spirit of Vince Guaraldi in a tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Our final show on Thu, Dec 19 @ noon brings a little mariachi merriment.
All are welcome! For more information click here.
More recently Downtown Los Angeles has attracted tourist from all around the world looking for great places to shop. The independent retailers of Downtown Los Angeles offer vintage, custom and high-end streetwear and goods. Brigade LA has researched and found at least 36 reasons to shop in Downtown LA! Distinguishing between Womenswear, Menswear, Accessories, Shoes, Jewelry, Vintage, Custom and Other, Brigade LA includes a variety of retailers to appeal to everyone!
For more information please visit http://oneone77.com/DTLARetailMap/
Check out MUSE-ings by Melissa Richardson Banks!
Arts District resident, Melissa Richardson Banks, releases the 92 full color photograph book MUSE-ings:Snapshots of the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles
that captures an inside look to the changes of a major renaissance of this area - complete with new restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, retail stores, condo lofts, and more. While the official release date for the book is Wednesday, January 15, 2014, a limited number of advance copies and prints are available for purchase in time for the holidays. The hardcover book retails for $25 plus tax and shipping.
For more information on how you can purchase this book, please visit http://downtownmuse.com/book/
Regional Connector Transit Project
Notice of Work on 5th Street
1) Utility relocation work on 5th St between Figueroa St and Flower St has been rescheduled to start Monday, December 16, 2013 for approximately 6 weeks. Anticipated work hours are 9am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday and 8am to 6pm on Saturday.
2) After postponing work due to expected rain, utility relocation efforts will resume on 6th St at Flower St on Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 8am to 6pm. Please see attached notice for additional information on both activities.
Enjoy Food And Exercise At Grand Park
Grand Park is hosting a farmer's market every Tuesday this summer from 10 am until 2 pm. The market will be in the park between Spring St. and North Broadway. Additionally, there will be a boot camp held every Tuesday from 5:30 - 6:30 pm. Designed for all fitness levels, Grand Park's Boot Camp is the perfect Tuesday
stop on your way home. Take some endorphins to go.
For more information, visit the Grand Park website.