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Uniting Downtowns

September 23, 1990

I write concerning Steven E. Flusty's "An Unbiased Look at L.A.'s Heart Finds It Does Have a Healthy Beat" (Sept. 2).

I find it ironic that Los Angeles and Berlin happen to be sister cities, both having an invisible wall separating two economic worlds. But I offer a solution.

In 1973, the Broadway Department Store vacated its once proud, stately building for its present location in the Broadway Plaza. This signaled the beginning of the great department stores leaving the once grand shopping corridor for better economic locations.

But if the New York institution, Bloomingdale's, were wooed into opening a branch store in Los Angeles in an extensively and beautifully renovated former Broadway building, this would mean the birth of an exciting retail district. I think the presence of this store would attract shoppers throughout Southern California and many small and large businesses would want to open shops along Broadway as well as Spring and Hill streets.

A Metrorail station is near completion that would connect that station with the basement of the old Broadway building just like there is a subway station connecting the Lexington Avenue subway lines to the basement entrance of Bloomingdale's in Manhattan.

I know this can work. With the near-completion of the State Office Building, Ira Yellin's ambitious plans for the Million Dollar Theatre and Grand Central Market, and the final completion of California Plaza, the two halves of downtown will finally be connected, which should ultimately produce retail and pedestrian activity in the area.


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