Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Woo on Thursday announced the sale of $48 million worth of tax allocation bonds to fund the first stage of a massive redevelopment effort in Hollywood.
Coming after six years of litigation that ended when the California Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a group of dissident residents, the sale will allow the city's Community Redevelopment Agency to fund low-income housing, economic development and expansion of social services in a 1,107-acre area.
"We can expect to see the start of physical improvements by this fall," said Woo, who represents the world-famous but blighted birthplace of Southern California's entertainment industry.
The first batch of taxable bonds--worth about $18 million--was sold June 9. The rest--about $30 million in tax-exempt bonds--is scheduled for sale July 7, said H. Cooke Sunoo, the redevelopment agency's project manager.
He said 20% of the proceeds will go for low-income housing and 10% for social needs.
The rest will be used for loans to keep entertainment companies in the area and help attract new ones, loans to help buy and restore historic buildings, and money for public improvements--including a new look for Hollywood Boulevard.
Some residents have protested the agency's plans to remove a stretch of 20-year-old ficus trees from a three-block stretch of the boulevard and replace them with palms and jacarandas, which are colorful but often messy.
Others spoke out against a $170,000 expenditure to paint an abstract artwork on the asphalt at the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine, but Woo said it is time for the project to proceed.
"Some people may quibble with some of the details of this effort, but it's important to step forward," he said at a news conference at the newly cleared site of a Hollywood Boulevard shop that was destroyed in the riots.
"The future is as bright for Hollywood as its star-studded past," Woo said.
Under state redevelopment law, cities may set aside a portion of increased property tax revenues to help revitalize run-down areas.
The 30-year, $922-million project was approved by the City Council in 1986. Its opponents, a coalition of renters, homeowners and environmentalists, argued that the plan illegally favors big business interests over those of smaller shopkeepers and residents.
Bonds for Hollywood City Councilman Mike Woo announced the sale of tax allocation bonds intended to finance nearly $47 million worth of civic improvements in the 1,107-acre Hollywood redevelopment zone. Here is what the bonds are to pay for: Hollywood Tax Allocation Bonds, Series A and B Housing: $11.1 Economic Development: $8.5 Industry Retention Loans: $7.5 Public Improvements: $7.0 Social Needs: $3.8 Plan implementation: $3.3 Transportation and Parking: $2.5 Parks and Open Space: $2.0 Arts and Urban Design: $1.0 Source: Community Redevelopment Agency