Central Los Angeles : Revitalization Efforts Approved by Council

Two redevelopment projects have been launched to help revitalize portions of South Los Angeles, the Wilshire district and Koreatown.

Approved last week by the City Council, the Community Redevelopment Agency projects are expected to generate $300 million for the three communities over the next 30 years, said H. Cooke Sunoo, project manager for the Wilshire Center-Koreatown Recovery Redevelopment Project.

In South Los Angeles, the project encompasses 2,817 acres south of the Santa Monica Freeway.

The Wilshire center and Koreatown portions encompass a 1,200-acre area that declined in the aftermath of the 1992 riots, Sunoo said.

The 30-year plan focuses on economic development of Wilshire and Olympic boulevards and Vermont and Western avenues, and rehabilitating and retaining commercial and industrial corridors in South Los Angeles.

"Our immediate goal is to encourage businesses to remain in South-Central Los Angeles," said CRA project manager Herbert Marshall.

According to Sunoo, the Wilshire center and the Koreatown communities independently approached council members with requests for assistance in helping their neighborhoods recover from the disturbances.

CRA is planning to use a $700,000 grant from the federal government to help fund the projects. Other funding will come from tax revenue generated by new developments and other improvements in the project areas, he said. The money will be used to:

* Eliminate blight and improve transportation and city services;

* Promote economic development;

* Provide recreational facilities and open space;

* Promote cultural diversity;

* Develop job training programs;

* Retain and attract new employers to the area.

Project development will begin by late spring 1996, Sunoo said.

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