Sunday, July 31, 2005

Buy Now - Part I

You heard it here first - Boyle Heights is the place to buy property in Los Angeles. Buy Now!!

OK. So maybe I'm not 1st (or even 2nd or 10th). Reports about land development in Boyle Heights are popping up almost weekly.

The Los Angeles Business Journal ran an article today on the interests of investors and developers in Boyle Heights because of the East LA Gold Line extension, set to open 2009. And similar articles have recently run in LA Times and in LA Weekly about the projected development in this area. Note these big dollar investments:
- $1 billion is being spent by MTA on the East LA Gold Line extension;
- $650 million is being spent to rebuild a new hospital at the USC/LA County Medical Center;
- $150 million was just spent to renovate White Memorial Hospital;
- $100 million to build two new high schools;
- $350 million to transform the Sears building into a multi-plex entertainment and residential center.
So BUY NOW. Jump in while its hot.

Here is my one caveat, though, to would-be buyers: Come live in Boyle Heights. Make this your home. Currently, 75% of owners are non-residents. Non-resident owners are also known as "absentee landlords." We don't need more absentee landlords in this neighborhood.

We don't need heroes, either. What Boyle Heights needs is people that will invest in the sustained development of the community. What Boyle Heights needs is Christians who believe that God loves the city.

Because this Boyle Heights development is a multi-faceted and complex issue, I'm going to be posting a weekly series entitled "Buy Now" to address several issues; including the need for and the benefits of development in urban areas; the needs for and challenges of affordable housing; "replacing" the projects; development, policing, poverty and gangs; and a few other related issues.

READ: "Buy Now" - Part II and Part III

2 Comments:

At August 02, 2005 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The LA Weekly article is the money article; make the time to read it, if you can. Gloria Ohland explores from both sides a question I've been wrestling with the past year or so: is gentrification good? As a rich liberal, it's easy to look at the situation and say that gentrification is bad because it displaces poor people and ruins the "authentic" character of neighborhoods. But after living in BH for 4 years I feel the need for development. I feel the need for rich people to provide better municipal services and professional role models. And I feel the need for the creation of jobs.

Honestly, I think some neighborhoods need some displacement. She mentions Cabrini Green in Chicago; I've read in other sources that the best thing that ever happened to that project was blowing it up. And churches and non-profits were pouring a lot of money and man-hours into it before the demolition.

But it is a very troubling question of what happens to the poor when they are displaced. There are the regular people who definitely get screwed by the transition. My guess is that many of them wind up moving into already crowded quarters with extended family, or wind up homeless. Then there are the gangbangers who cause us all to rejoice when they are moved out of our neighborhoods. But they are still the jerks that they are, just moved somewhere else. Are we making BH safer by moving our cholos to somebody else's territory?

Anyways, eager to see where you go with this, Scott. And as for your title: people should understand that BH is still classic inner-city. Helicopters, drugs, thugs. If you're buying hoping for Silverlake, you're going to have to wait 5 years for things to clean up a bit.

By the way, the LA Times link should be: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-boyle24jul24,1,3177898.story

-mark.

 
At August 06, 2005 11:31 AM, Blogger Abner Ramos said...

Part II, please

 

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