Okay so it’s not 1930 anymore, its 2013… in any case, Celebrating its 5th anniversary with enormous sum of support from community leaders, city departments, property developers, new businesses, and residents and philanthropist, Bringing Back Broadway has secured its place in history by aggressively restoring the Historic Broadway District from 2nd Street and Olympic Boulevard for the past 5 years.
With incredible time and success, this colossal project of a community unified by the combined efforts and successes of its businesses, civil leaders and residents would not be possible if not for the enormous efforts Councilman Jose Huizar and Executive Director, Jessica Wethington McLean.
Yet, in the process of Jessica Wethington McLean’s initial meetings with other Broadway enthusiasts, historians, property developers, coupled with having to address the many concerns and needs of businesses owners, civic leaders, residents and craftsmen, the vision began to feel more like a puzzle for Broadway, that was seemingly impossible to solve in a four year term.
Little did she know that any projections of doom would only fuel the flames and produce an even more
relentless Huizar when it came to expanding and protecting the Historic integrity of the Broadway District.
Amazingly, only a year after their determinations were set, Huizar and Jessica’s, the City Planning Commission approved the Broadway Entertainment Overlay Zone and Design Guide paving the way for Jessica to successfully commence her duties, as the Executive Director of Jose Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway.
Bringing Back Broadway’s initiative has since been implemented by McLean and team, (a list of almost anyone who has ever had any substantial impact on Downtown Los Angeles), is now in the middle of its 10 year plan offering businesses and property developers funding, tax incentives, publicity, certificates of recognition and helping expedite the sometimes lengthily permit process.
On the road back to the way things were, the councils office initiative’s new Broadway would stay exciting by offering a market for businesses that you normally wouldn’t see just anywhere, giving more people a reason to be there. In the end there is faith in the plan that returns Broadway to its original splendor and spring-boards Downtown Los Angeles back into its rightful place of entertainment and commercial capital of the nation.
“We got more business activity earlier than we thought we would.” – Jessica McLean
The LA Brewing Company, Broadway Bar, Unamicuttessen, Famima, Les Noces Du Figaro’s and now Clifton’s Cafeteria (under renovations), all with legally permitted side walk dining are poised to activate the street and encourage pedestrian activity.
CREATIVE OFFICE SPACE
For the upper floors, McLean encourages creative offices which come historically enhanced with arch windows, exposed brick, and City views over-looking Broadway. For those of you who like stepping out onto Broadway in style,
Ross Dress For Less, Sparkle Factory, Rocket Dog just to name a few upcoming department stores and all ready flourishing fashion hotspots ready to help you dress to impress.
Like they used to say in the Good Ole Days… “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
The monumental theaters of G. Albert Lansburgh, S. Charles Lee, and Domingo Mora, accented with delicate carvings of grand design laced with chandeliers, Chrystal fountains, marble staircases, and lush velvets are coming back, headed by the Orpheum and Los Angeles Theater, soon to be joined in rehab by the United Artists Theater and The Ace Hotel.
Plans for the Broadway Arts Center, a partnership between the Actors Fund, Art Space, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, will create a facility with affordable housing, and creative space for artists. Performance space inside the Center will help develop cultures of creativity and talent bound for the big stage.
STREETSCAPE MASTER PLAN:
McLean has a streetscape master plan developed that will totally prioritize people over cars, making Broadway a place you want to walk to and enjoy. The sidewalks will widen and the streets will narrow, 2 lanes north-1 lane south, offering 24 hour metered parking, and indent spaces for delivery trucks and valet, increasing parking and transit options to better serve commuters. Sidewalks will offer trees, benches, bike racks and signage, striping and concrete designs.
The newest segment of the streetscape plan has been approved. The Broadway “Dress Rehearsal”, will be offering Broadway a few face lift in the weeks to come. Expect to see some improvements to Broadway’s side walk aesthetics as part of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative.
The Street Car, headed to Broadway as early as 2014, which seemed like another incredible task. The streetcar will no doubt will be fun to ride, but also the Street Car will generate jobs, a new interest in Downtown Los Angeles and way for consumers, not only commuters, to get around town.
In other areas where street cars have been introduced the local economy has been known to excel tremendously.
Broadway is changing rapidly thanks to McLean, Councilman Huizar and many other people in Downtown Los Angeles, who are passionate to see it restored yet still has more than a million square feet of vacant commercial space. McLean invites new business and developers saying loud and clear,
“The time is good for developing Broadway, a lot of really nice buildings available that have not yet been renovated…building that have challenges but they have amazing potential historic we want to help projects, we want to reactivate the buildings we want to fill all the vacancies on the especially on the ground floor,
…Broadway is open for business”.
To find out more about Bring Back Broadway and the people behind the scenes visit: