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EASTSIDE : Area to Be Studied for Redevelopment

September 05, 1993|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The City Council has agreed to fund a study of some Eastside neighborhoods to determine if they should be redeveloped.

Community Redevelopment Agency officials hope to have estimates on the costs and duration of the study by the end of the month.

The redevelopment study was one of 11 recommendations made by several groups involved in Adelante Eastside, a 16-month study to revitalize a 10-square-mile section of Boyle Heights and the Valley Boulevard industrial corridor of El Sereno.

"Some people have said, 'Well, gee, another study.' But if you sit around and do nothing, you might not be in a position to take advantage of opportunities out there," said consultant Raul Escobedo of Barrio Planners Inc., an architectural firm involved in the Adelante study.

The area must meet certain criteria to receive government funding for redevelopment and rehabilitation of some of the old buildings in the area, he said.

"We already know the private sector is not investing in the area, so (the study) pays off in the long run because you give yourself the tools to even have a shot at these things," Escobedo said.

Recommendations for the area include a senior citizen housing project and a community shopping center. Residents and merchants who took part in Adelante Eastside found that the area has some of the oldest housing tracts in the city, overcrowding and a lack of open space for new construction.

The committee also conducted shopping surveys and found that many residents were traveling outside the area to buy clothes and other merchandise they said they could not find in their neighborhoods.

The redevelopment study, which Escobedo estimates could take two years, must be approved by the City Council, the Planning Commission and the county Board of Supervisors. It would include analysis and documentation to prove that the area warrants redevelopment to meet certain state laws for funding, he said.

Community input will also continue to be an important factor, Escobedo said.

Al Santillanes, CRA project director, did not return phone calls.

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