[Huntington Hotel via Downtown News]
The Fashion District, home to so many trends, has long gone untrendy itself. The Community Redevelopment Agency is hoping to help, reports California Apparel News, and has given AECOM a $1 million contract to conduct an 18 month study on improving the area. The CRA wants to connect the FaDi to the "Staples Center entertainment district and lure more people from the upper-crust Financial District near Bunker Hill." In focus groups this fall, residents said they'd like to see more public bathrooms near Santee Alley, restaurants open later, and more places for dogs. Business owners said they want public art, more security, more trees, and better lighting. They also want to keep businesses open later, limit food vendors, reduce jaywalking tickets, and rezone some currently industrially-zoned areas. And they're asking for some public transportation other than buses (the Regional Connector would come close, but not actually land in the District; the streetcar would graze it).
The CRA's project director for the FaDi tells the Apparel News there are several city-owned pieces of land that would make good Bryant Park-type parks, where "We could have fashion shows and do night markets." The agency would also like to turn Los Angeles Street into "a boutique street with some really interesting restaurants and street life," and to renew the Huntington Hotel at Eighth and Main.