Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

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Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby comptonblockz » August 21st, 2013, 1:26 am

I read about this on the front page of SG and found a little write-up in the l.a. times

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to create an "urban village" of shops, town homes and a park and gardens to replace Jordan Downs, the notorious Watts housing project.

The unanimous vote gave final approval to a series of land use and planning laws years in the making. The move clears the way for an up to $1-billion transformation of one of the city's most poverty-stricken and violent areas.

The idea is to turn the often-dangerous housing development of 700 derelict units into a mixed-income community of up to 1,800 stylish new apartments, along with chain stores and new streetscapes — all designed to attract higher-income people to move into the area and live alongside some of the city's poorest.

To make it happen, city and housing authority officials last year hired a private development team, the for-profit Michaels Organization and the nonprofit Bridge Housing, to secure the funding, build the project and manage it when done. The retail portion will be handled by Primestor Development Inc., a Los Angeles company with a history of work in underserved areas.

"This is a great day for Watts," said Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area. He called the plan "game-changing" and "life-changing" for the residents living in the 1940s- and 50s-era stucco buildings.

Some residents agreed.

"This is our opportunity to have our community built into a paradise," said Socorro Diaz. "We have been promised and promised ... it's time to take the next step."

But there are still many hurdles before construction can begin. Chief among them is money. The city and the developers are counting on winning a $30-million federal grant, as well as millions of dollars available from the state.

If they don't get those grants, the project would have to be scaled back significantly, said Douglas Guthrie, the head of the city's housing authority.

The council vote also cleared the way for the grant applications to proceed. An $8-million grant was submitted to the state Wednesday morning; the federal Choice Neighborhoods grant application is due Sept. 10, and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is set to vote on awarding $5.7 million to extend Century Boulevard — a key part of the project — in late September.

U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), who represents Watts and used to sit on the City Council, said she has already been lobbying for L.A.'s bid.

"There's a lot of competing projects across the country that are all looking for federal dollars that seem to be getting scarcer by the day," she said. "It will be a fight, but it's worth fighting for.... We always looked at this as being not just better quality of life for the residents of Jordan Downs, but a chance for economic development throughout the region."

Buscaino noted that developers could create up to 250,000 square feet of new retail space in Watts — an amount equal to nearly half the size of the shopping mall at the Grove in the Fairfax district. The project is expected to create up to 200 permanent new jobs, along with 6,400 jobs during construction, he said.

Still, some Jordan Downs residents said they fear they will be evicted to make way for wealthier residents.

"Tenants are worried about displacement," said Thelmy Perez, a community organizer working with residents. She also criticized the council for approving the item without asking city planners or lawyers a single question during the hearing.

City and housing authority officials have repeatedly promised that, in contrast to what has happened in other cities where large public housing projects have been redeveloped, they will not carry out large-scale relocation of residents. Instead, officials have promised that the 2,300 Jordan Downs residents "in good standing" can stay in their old units until they move into new ones.

Officials reiterated that promise Wednesday, with Buscaino declaring that anyone with concerns should "worry not."

Watts is about to be the new Beverly Hills

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby alexalonso » August 22nd, 2013, 2:59 pm

watts is geographically important because of proximity to both downtown LA and the airport. There is not a better location for access to both locations.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby comptonblockz » August 23rd, 2013, 10:42 am

[quote="alexalonso"]watts is geographically important because of proximity to both downtown LA and the airport. There is not a better location for access to both locations.[/quote]
So it's safe to say N.G. is coming down next?

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby lachica69 » August 26th, 2013, 1:54 pm

It's safe to say when the project does go down, and is finished .....Watts will have a new life. I won't go as far as to say it will be the "new" Beverly Hill but it sure better be close to it based on the expected funds that has to go into the project. Basically, we are in America, we are Americans so why should we have poor communities. It's great someone came up with such a clever plan to rehab the community and give it's people more. More jobs and better opportunities. Let's just hope that when the change does come, the community appreciates the hard work and the money that went it to it and treat the change like they would have to in "Beverly Hills".

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby lachica69 » August 26th, 2013, 2:03 pm

[quote="comptonblockz"]I read about this on the front page of SG and found a little write-up in the l.a. times

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to create an "urban village" of shops, town homes and a park and gardens to replace Jordan Downs, the notorious Watts housing project.

The unanimous vote gave final approval to a series of land use and planning laws years in the making. The move clears the way for an up to $1-billion transformation of one of the city's most poverty-stricken and violent areas.

The idea is to turn the often-dangerous housing development of 700 derelict units into a mixed-income community of up to 1,800 stylish new apartments, along with chain stores and new streetscapes — all designed to attract higher-income people to move into the area and live alongside some of the city's poorest.

To make it happen, city and housing authority officials last year hired a private development team, the for-profit Michaels Organization and the nonprofit Bridge Housing, to secure the funding, build the project and manage it when done. The retail portion will be handled by Primestor Development Inc., a Los Angeles company with a history of work in underserved areas.

"This is a great day for Watts," said Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area. He called the plan "game-changing" and "life-changing" for the residents living in the 1940s- and 50s-era stucco buildings.

Some residents agreed.

"This is our opportunity to have our community built into a paradise," said Socorro Diaz. "We have been promised and promised ... it's time to take the next step."

But there are still many hurdles before construction can begin. Chief among them is money. The city and the developers are counting on winning a $30-million federal grant, as well as millions of dollars available from the state.

If they don't get those grants, the project would have to be scaled back significantly, said Douglas Guthrie, the head of the city's housing authority.

The council vote also cleared the way for the grant applications to proceed. An $8-million grant was submitted to the state Wednesday morning; the federal Choice Neighborhoods grant application is due Sept. 10, and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is set to vote on awarding $5.7 million to extend Century Boulevard — a key part of the project — in late September.

U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), who represents Watts and used to sit on the City Council, said she has already been lobbying for L.A.'s bid.

"There's a lot of competing projects across the country that are all looking for federal dollars that seem to be getting scarcer by the day," she said. "It will be a fight, but it's worth fighting for.... We always looked at this as being not just better quality of life for the residents of Jordan Downs, but a chance for economic development throughout the region."

Buscaino noted that developers could create up to 250,000 square feet of new retail space in Watts — an amount equal to nearly half the size of the shopping mall at the Grove in the Fairfax district. The project is expected to create up to 200 permanent new jobs, along with 6,400 jobs during construction, he said.

Still, some Jordan Downs residents said they fear they will be evicted to make way for wealthier residents.

"Tenants are worried about displacement," said Thelmy Perez, a community organizer working with residents. She also criticized the council for approving the item without asking city planners or lawyers a single question during the hearing.

City and housing authority officials have repeatedly promised that, in contrast to what has happened in other cities where large public housing projects have been redeveloped, they will not carry out large-scale relocation of residents. Instead, officials have promised that the 2,300 Jordan Downs residents "in good standing" can stay in their old units until they move into new ones.

Officials reiterated that promise Wednesday, with Buscaino declaring that anyone with concerns should "worry not."

Watts is about to be the new Beverly Hills[/quote]


It's nice to hear ppl reading the articles. I hope that Nickerson Gardens is next but at this point i haven't heard anything about a project to improve the it. Hopefully, someone is thinking about them too and has a proposed plan in the works.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby alexalonso » August 27th, 2013, 12:49 am

All the projects will eventually be demolished and town houses and new homes will be inserted.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby comptonblockz » August 27th, 2013, 10:15 am

[quote="alexalonso"]All the projects will eventually be demolished and town houses and new homes will be inserted.[/quote]
Same thing they did in Chicago. All this talk about keeping current residents and mixing them in with higher income residents and upscale businesses is BS.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby lachica69 » August 28th, 2013, 1:29 pm

[quote="comptonblockz"][quote="alexalonso"]All the projects will eventually be demolished and town houses and new homes will be inserted.[/quote]
Same thing they did in Chicago. All this talk about keeping current residents and mixing them in with higher income residents and upscale businesses is BS.[/quote]


Let's just hope the change does come, because there is no doubt that the community needs some improvement. The same group called The Michaels Organization is one of the principal entities taking the helm on this project, according to the LA Times. They’re responsible for the reimagining of the Robert Taylor Homes project in Chicago’s Bronzeville. Yes, rents did go up and 80% of old residents were displaced. LA claims they don't want that happening here. How will they go about this? Well, for starters: “new enforcement of old rules,” seems to be getting people evicted now. After a lifetime of bad housekeeping, residents are newly subject to inspections for cleanliness, and then evicted if a certain standard isn’t maintained. The longstanding ban on pets, which in the past was (anecdotally) an unenforced guideline, is now also grounds for eviction after a warning. SHIELDS For Families is on the ground trying to help residents not get evicted as all this unfolds.
So, the claim that tenants in "good standing" will really apply according to what's going on. Since eviction is occurring now, by the time the construction begins, there will be only good standing tenants remaining.

Remaining tenants will have new rental prices based on market rates. New “market rate” units are going to be “market rate for Watts. it won’t be the market rate for Santa Monica.” Therefore, the remaining tenants who were in good standing will have affordable housing according to the Policy and Planning Director for Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, John King.

Let's hope for the best outcome for the community that desperately needs a change.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby comptonblockz » August 31st, 2013, 2:47 pm

Chica,I understand what you're saying and I hope Watts gets the improvements it needs,but let be serious,they're not bringing in upscale establishments and people in a higher tax to bracket to the hood. They just using the 'good standing' excuse to get rid of niggas legally. I'll give it 10-20 years before Watts is the new Calabasas.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby lachica69 » September 3rd, 2013, 2:51 pm

[quote="comptonblockz"]Chica,I understand what you're saying and I hope Watts gets the improvements it needs,but let be serious,they're not bringing in upscale establishments and people in a higher tax to bracket to the hood. They just using the 'good standing' excuse to get rid of niggas legally. I'll give it 10-20 years before Watts is the new Calabasas.[/quote]


Is it really a bad thing to "CHANGE"? Are we afraid of it? Why when change come there is a problem? I talk to young men in the hood who are stuck in the hood and you know what is always the answer to why they do what they do? The answer is "there is nothing else." Well, since they think there is nothing else, then lets bring change to them. Ok, sure they might get ousted from their hood but maybe this is what they need in order to make a change in their lives. Things aren't going to stay the same, life moves and evolves. Poor people need to know that. They need to develop themselves and equip themselves with new skills in order to function and move with change. New jobs will come, let them work hard to achieve those jobs. Have you seen the living arrangements in the projects?

Well, lets hope that the change will make things better for all in one way or another.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby alexalonso » December 21st, 2015, 5:06 pm

lachica69 wrote:
comptonblockz wrote:Chica,I understand what you're saying and I hope Watts gets the improvements it needs,but let be serious,they're not bringing in upscale establishments and people in a higher tax to bracket to the hood. They just using the 'good standing' excuse to get rid of niggas legally. I'll give it 10-20 years before Watts is the new Calabasas.



Is it really a bad thing to "CHANGE"? Are we afraid of it? Why when change come there is a problem? I talk to young men in the hood who are stuck in the hood and you know what is always the answer to why they do what they do? The answer is "there is nothing else." Well, since they think there is nothing else, then lets bring change to them. Ok, sure they might get ousted from their hood but maybe this is what they need in order to make a change in their lives. Things aren't going to stay the same, life moves and evolves. Poor people need to know that. They need to develop themselves and equip themselves with new skills in order to function and move with change. New jobs will come, let them work hard to achieve those jobs. Have you seen the living arrangements in the projects?

Well, lets hope that the change will make things better for all in one way or another.


Change is good, but not when you displace and evict people who can no longer afford to live there.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby VictoriousHTZ » December 22nd, 2015, 2:56 am

There's a theory about when the projects are tore down a football stadium will be built. Like how chaviz ravign on the west side was tore down to build "better housing" but instead dodger stadium was built.

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby angfsgv » November 11th, 2017, 12:00 pm

It's a mixed income development where the tenants will be moved into the new units with the same rent amount as before. So far it seems like revitalization rather than gentrification, but we'll see when the new shops appear (if it's Starbucks and the new chain stores and restaurants, it's revitalization, but if there's art galleries, record shops, coffee shops, hip bars and restaurants, etc. included, it's gentrification like NELA and Echo Park).

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Re: Redevelopment and Gentrification taking place in Watts

Unread postby OziHomie » December 12th, 2017, 8:57 am

i used to be a homie in an area that had the highest crime rates in sydney, infact i have a government statistics book from 89-90 which shows our small suburb topped entire cities and ragions in nearly all areas of crime except murder and rape (our boys didnt kill or rape) but when it came ot car thefts robberies assaults etc etc... our small suburb was on top .. so what did the government do ... gentrified the place .. stores who sold our kinda foods had their rents tripled .. apartments went up and were all sold to chinese investors who had no idea about the suburb or its history... now the entire suburb is chinese and crime has plumeted although the incident of pedestrians being hit by cars has skyrocketted .. true .. they had to put fences in between traffic lanes to stop asians crossing the roads ... so yeah it seems gentrification is a modern policy for shifting people ... all i know is the real crims i knew are still crims .. but now operate in wherever they ended up ... they didnt stop being crims they just shifted to new areas so now crime is more evenly spread out and not focused in a few suburbs .. all they had to do was provide jobs and services in our suburb and crime would have dropped as it had its ebb and flows with different governments over many years... i can remember a period before gentrification where graffiti almost stopped and crime was at a minimu... jobs were plentiful and there was lots of support services, then a new right wing govt comes in slashes services screws with wages and job markets and next thing you know boom... graff returned with a vengence as did crime ... gentrification in my view is a bandaid solution .. ive seen it happen all over sydney australia and my feeling right now is there is a massive undercurrent waiting to explode here as weve only just been gentrified by a million chinese property investors in the past ten years .. entire suburbs considered trouble suburbs were all developed with massive modern apartment blocks and sold off to asian investors none of whom have a clue what lies beneath the surface there


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