The redevelopment of the infamously grim Jordan Downs housing project in Watts moved one step closer to reality with the announcement last month that the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles had selected two developers to map out and execute a plan for a new community.
Not that anyone should pack their bags yet, either to move out of the barracks-like 700-unit structure or to move into the envisioned urban village of subsidized housing, market-rate apartments and retail stores that would replace it. The list of further steps that must be taken is long and challenging. Raising $1 billion to pay for the redevelopment is one of them.
But it's promising to see the housing authority pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to tear down the existing project, which in its darkest days was a miasma of crime, gang activity and misery. Already, Jordan Downs is not the same place it once was — crime is down, the array of available social services is varied and growing, there is a Facebook page.
Now, as the housing authority moves forward with the redevelopment plan, it will have to confront a couple of issues to avoid creating Jordan Downs the Sequel: