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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Group Aims to Revitalize Area Near Staples Center

October 06, 2000

LOS ANGELES — In a move to re-energize the city's central core, the Central City Assn. on Thursday endorsed a plan to create a mix of retail, entertainment, commercial and residential development linking the Staples Center to downtown, association officials said.

The L.A. Sports and Entertainment District plan is aimed at revitalizing sites along Figueroa Street by, among other things, adding a 2,500-vehicle parking structure to the area and making Figueroa a two-way street with diagonal crosswalks.

The changes would encourage pedestrian traffic and the development of outdoor cafes, restaurants and other businesses leading to the downtown core, said association spokeswoman Carol Schatz.

"There was concern on part of many association members," Schatz said, "that the development they were proposing might be so insular that it might cut off connections to the central business district."

But those concerns were hammered out in numerous meetings between the groups, she said.

"We're getting a project that will provide more spinoffs and promote more growth and vitality," she said, "which will create more sales tax, which will help bring our most important neighborhood back--the heart of our city."

Tim Leiweke, developer of the L.A. Sports and Entertainment District plan, said the "endorsement is an important element in the progress of our project."

The Central City Assn. is a 76-year-old nonprofit organization that serves as a primary advocate for the Los Angeles business community.

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