Here it is: the 2015 Curbed Cup race for the Los Angeles Neighborhood of the Year. Round one of our tournament features 16 ‘hoods vying for the coveted golden jpeg—we’ll have two matchups every day through Thursday, then take a look at our tournament bracket on Friday. Voting for each poll ends 24 hours after opening (and will be watched closely for any shenanigans). Let the games begin!
Boyle Heights via Michael Locke; Historic South-Central via Wikipedia
The Downtown gentrifiers set their sights last year, and this year the battle for Boyle Heights truly began. The year began with a chilling spotting of a “gentrification fence,” but by late January the neighborhood had repelled an unsatisfactory Metro plan to redevelop Mariachi Plaza. Meanwhile, a small hotel was proposed for an empty lot and the creepy old Linda Vista Community Hospital brightened up to become senior affordable housing. The Sixth Street Viaduct closed to make way for an “iconic” new bridge that’ll bring lots of new public space with it, and a new movie scrutinized the history and threat of gentrification in the neighborhood. The X factor will be the redevelopment of the huge old Sears complex.
Historic South-Central was also dealing with Downtown gentrification runoff this year: the Reef megadevelopment would bring an enormous amount of hotel rooms, condos, and retail space, and with it the potential to displace a lot of the neighborhood’s residents. Even though the project’s draft environmental report wasn’t made available in Spanish, and even though it’s something like 800 pages, the neighborhood council did what they could to make sure the community had a say. In other news, HSC was the first neighborhood to get a fancy new bus stop with WiFi and phone chargers.
· Curbed Cup 2015 [Curbed LA]