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(CRA) Wilshire Center/Koreatown Citizen Advisory Committee (WC/K CAC)

Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) - District office contact # 213-977-2633
Wilshire Center – Koreatown Citizen Advisory Committee (WC-K CAC)

For WC-K Project Map Click Here (pdf)

Below are some comments on the Approved Five-Year Implementation Plan for the WC-K Project Area

The CRA Wilshire Center/Koreatown (WC/K) project area has a 50 million budgeted for this fiscal year, July 30, 2010 – July 30, 2010. CRA averages spending 20 million per year. Money continues to carry over each year. This 50 million is net after all transactions. On the average, 20% goes to affordable housing and 80% goes to other issues that the community needs, in this (WC/K) case much of it will go to job creation. This area had a negative budget when it started (1995). Property values have grown significantly since then (therefore tax increment funding has increased).

WC/K Project area started in 1995. WC/K Project area is the richest project areas in the city. CRA issues tax except bonds to developers for affordable housing.

CRA is working on parks because the WC/K Project area is extremely park poor (i.e. RFK Inspiration Park, and others). CRA is spending 4 million on the streetscape project on Olympic between Western and Vermont. They recently completed a historic resource survey.

They are working on extending bonding dates. They are working on the merger between the WC/K project barea the Mid City project area.

CRA is working on helping develop community centers, public space, improve street conditions, retail projects, housing developments (apartments). By law CRA has to pay fair market value on all acquisitions. Work on started with ARUP to begin the Carbon Master Plan, which will include investment grade audits.

This year WC/K CRA will be kicking off a street facade program, CRA can pay for the development fee and then the property owners would get money from CRA to do the work, project kicks off at the end of this fisical year. The main streets of focus for the facade program are Western Avenue as well as 8th Street. There is also money to help historic preservation projects like the one at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple to help the exterior facade of historic buildings (project area wide).

CRA Recently Completed the Traffic and Parking study. They are working on community events. CRA is looking for projects to spend money on in the community. Please contact the CRA with any projects.

The CRA Parking and Traffic study is completed.  The final reports are available on line at www.crala.org – under Wilshire Center/Koreatown Project Area –under Public Meetings: 1) Future Parking Analysis 2) Existing and Future Traffic Analysis Final Report. There are many complex issues as far as traffic because much of the traffic originates from other areas. Parking was found to not be in low quantity, it was found that there was a large amount of unutilized (empty) parking lots. The goal was to develop solutions to solve the parking and traffic issues. Some issues were found to be that there is a large amount of vacant parking at night as compared with a large demand due to an active night life. Parking could be made into a more efficient system. Traffic is related to the lack of parking because people circle the blocks to find parking, which then creates more traffic. Some of the solutions are laid out in the final study document, which include raising metered parking rates among other things. Some intersections in the WC/K have a higher then the national average in fatalities. All data is taken back to the CRA Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and CRA staff to develop plans of action to solve problems. Permit parking for the residential area was not included in the study.

Some of the CRA Programs for the Wilshire Center District

Historic Structure Rehabilitation Program ($1,600,000): In conjunction the Westlake and Hollywood Project Areas, a comprehensive update of the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Historic Resources Survey was conducted in 1995. The survey provided a digital database allowing for mapping and retrieval of parcel specific historic information. With the assistance of the new database, CRA/LA will launch a Historic Structure Rehabilitation Program. Eligible applicants can apply for a maximum of $100,000 loan for exterior improvements. The program will include a match requirement.

Commercial Façade Program ($1,500,000): The Commercial Façade Program will be available Project Areawide with priority given to applications including multiple adjacent properties. This program will assist businesses with exterior improvements to storefronts, including new lighting, signage, storefront windows and doors, awnings, landscaping, etc. is program will eliminate blight by improving properties, assist in the retention of existing businesses, and attract new investment by making the commercial corridors more attractive. The program will provide loans for up to $25,000 per commercial storefront improvements along major corridors, to cover costs of architectural consultants, actual construction, and Agency staff time to implement the program.

Wilshire Center/Koreatown Non-Profit Development Initiative ($4,000,000): This program will provide technical assistance to non-profit institutions interested in developing their existing properties to their highest and best use. Assistance will include, but is not limited to, finance and design review, facilitation of project partnerships, and assistance with market analysis and mapping. Projects may include mixed-use, commercial, and/or housing developments. Project financing may be considered for developments that meet CRA/LA goals and objectives. Staff is currently assessing the quantity and type of parcels owned by non-profit institutions with potential for development.

CRA contact: Yonah Hong, 3055 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1120, Los Angeles, California 90010, T 213 977 1877 / F 213 384 7371, yhong@cra.lacity.org

All invited to attend the CRA CAC meeting on Thursday, Oct. 28th, 6:00pm, CRA/LA Central Regional Office: 3055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1120, Los Angeles, CA 90010


WCBIC’s Wilshire Center/Koreatown Wish List - some suggestions for beautification of our project area that we are working with CRA: Sidewalks do need some repairs. The City is fixing most of the potholes. Adding trashcans and other street furniture and artwork is good. Greening: look to creating green parkway extensions along residential streets. The problem of planting more trees is the watering and maintenance of them. Greening: revisit Wilshire Blvd landscape median towards introducing drought resistant plantings. Create an incentive program that encourages drought resistant landscaping throughout our project area. Ideas for specific areas: 3rd Street Commercial Façade/Streetscape Program in cooperation with East Hollywood Bev./Norm. Project area. Hire consultant to create Wilshire Center Retail Marketing Plan and then fund a marketing outreach program. Build a skateboard park at Lafayette Park. “Creation of bike lanes wherever feasible; designation of bike routes; it's important to encourage cyclists to NOT ride on major arteries (cyclist's safety and also hinders smooth traffic flow) by showing cyclists that there are safer, alternative streets that can be used” (Andrew Miliotis). Ideas for the broader project area as a whole should be adding sustainability features, which will move our community to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2% each year for the next 40 years such as:
Work with DWP about to promote and enhance their solar incentive program (http://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/cms/ladwp004196.jsp).

Create and incentive program that would encourage new construction and major renovations meet the LEED Silver standard of the U.S. Green Building Council, and meet Energy Star Guidelines.Promote the use of waterfree urinals, which can save 40,000 gallons of water per urinal per year. Sloan Valve (www.sloanvalve.com), Falcon (www.falconwaterfree.com) and others make this product. Work with and promote DWP’s Water Conservation Programs.
Promote DWP’s rebates and incentives for both residential and commercial customers.
Create a compact fluorescent bulb incentive program with DWP.
Create an incentive program that encourages people to travel less, use public transportation, carpool, buy hybrid cars or alternative-fuel cars, and that encourage the future use of plug-in hybrid cars.
Create incentives that encourage a green lifestyle change. “Changes in lifestyle and behavior patterns can contribute to climate change mitigation across all sectors”. (U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III, May 4, 2007) More from that study: “Lifestyle changes can reduce GHG emissions. Changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns that emphasize resource conservation can contribute to developing a low- carbon economy that is both equitable and sustainable. Education and training programmers can help overcome barriers to the market acceptance of energy efficiency, particularly in combination with other measures. Changes in occupant behavior, cultural patterns and consumer choice and use of technologies can result in considerable reduction in CO2 emissions related to energy use in buildings. ? Transport Demand Management, which includes urban planning (that can reduce the demand for travel) and provision of information and educational techniques (that can reduce car usage and lead to an efficient driving style) can support GHG mitigation. Industry management tools that include staff training, reward systems, regular feedback, and documentation of existing practices can help overcome industrial organization barriers, reduce energy use, and GHG emissions.”

Description of WC-K Project Area per Los Angeles Dept. of City Planning, Wilshire Community Plan, adopted Sept. 19, 2001

“Wilshire Center Regional Commercial Center: The Wilshire Center Regional Commercial Center is approximately 100 acres in size. It includes a dense collection of high rise office buildings, large hotels, regional shopping complexes, churches, entertainment centers, and both high-rise and low-rise apartment buildings. The Regional Commercial Center includes Wilshire Boulevard in the eastern central portion of the Plan Area and is generally bounded by 3rd Street on the north, 8th Street on the south, Hoover Street on the east, and Wilton Place on the west. The Regional Commercial Center includes the Vermont, Normandie, and Western Metro Red Line subway stations along Wilshire Boulevard.”

“Koreatown Regional Commercial Center: The Koreatown Regional Commercial Center runs along Olympic Boulevard, directly south of Wilshire Center. The intersection of Western Avenue and Olympic Boulevard is the core of this center. It is in the southwestern portion of the Plan Area, and is generally bounded by Eighth Street on the north, Twelfth Street on the south, Western Avenue on the west, and continues east towards Vermont Avenue. The Regional Center includes low to mid-rise office and retail uses along Olympic Boulevard, with adjoining multiple family apartment blocks. The area is a cultural meeting place and nucleus of Korean American businesses, restaurants, and shops in addition to a wide range of community serving commercial uses and large shopping centers.”

“Vermont Community Commercial Center: The Vermont Community Center is approximately 34 acres in size. It is centered around Vermont Avenue and Beverly Boulevard in the northeastern portion of the plan area. It is generally bounded by the Hollywood 101 Freeway to the north; Council and 1st Streets to the south; Hoover Street to the east; and New Hampshire Street to the west. The Community Center includes the Vermont-Beverly Metro Red Line station. A Station Neighborhood Area Plan (SNAP) for this area as well as along portions of Vermont Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard has been created to regulate development in conjunction with the Metro Red Line subway.”

Sub-region C, the area of Wilshire Center, status and some proposed ideas:

As to the Visioning and Strategy Discussion, the idea is to possibly work with Urban Land Institute to help us formatted a planning strategy; look into future developments around the Wilshire/Vermont MTA station; look at the parcels of land between 6th and Wilshire and between Vermont and New Hampshire, as a Wilshire Center Town Center, there is a need for a major shopping facility within our community; look into redeveloping the area along Shatto between Wilshire and 7th Street and the SE corner of Wilshire and Vermont; look into improvements in the area along Normandie between 7th and 8th Street by adding need parking and senior housing, plus adding corner enlargements with landscaping and benches; look into improvement of the area at SE corner of Western and 7th street; redesign of the Wilshire Streetscape, the median and pots, with new water tolerate landscape that also requires little maintenance, such as some California native plants, and adding other street furniture such as news racks (replacing the existing modular racks), benches and artwork: look into funding WiFi Zones, offering free wireless Internet service along Wilshire Blvd.

CAC Officers:

Chair, Gary Russell, AIA
Secretary, Lois Arkin

WC-K CAC web site: http://www.crala.net/internet-site/Projects/Wilshire_Center/index.cfm

Redevelopment Goals for WC-K Project Area

Wilshire Center 2010-15 A Vision and Strategy Discussion Program and Agenda

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