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Downtown Streetcar Campaign, Downtown Park at Ninth and Hill?

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Take the streetcar through downtown. The ad campaign
DOWNTOWN: Gaze upon the marketing campaign launched by Los Angeles Streetcar Inc, the non-profit looking to raise money for the proposed streetcar line that would run through downtown. "These new ads (like the one shown) will be posted around downtown on the sides of various bus stops as part of a larger marketing campaign," LASI's executive director Dennis Allen writes in an email. Exciting! But we're just not sure what venue in the Historic Core would require high heels. [Curbed Staff]

DOWNTOWN: City Councilman José Huizar sent out a press release today noting he's submitted a $6. 6 million grant proposal for a pocket park on 9th and Hill streets. The .7-acre park would be paid for by the grant and Quimby fees. Exciting! Award notifications for the grant will likely come by September 2010. [Curbed InBox]

Councilmember José Huizar worked with the Downtown community to submit a $6. 6 million grant proposal for a pocket park on 9th and Hill streets, with the hope of acquiring and converting a parking lot into a mini-green oasis in the dense downtown neighborhood.

The grant proposal submitted on March 1, 2010, is requesting $5 million in voter-approved Proposition 84 funds that would support a .7-acre park featuring California native and drought tolerant plants and trees, a children's play area, a performance stage, a walking path with outdoor fitness stations, grass areas for sitting and open play, a plaza area for gatherings and events, as well as solar security lighting for safety. The rest of the approximately $1.6 million for the proposed park at 850 S. Hill St. would come from Quimby and other funds.

"I am proud of the collaboration that went into this proposal, with my staff working hand-in-hand with the downtown community, along with support and assistance from the Department of Recreation and Parks," said Councilmember José Huizar. "This pocket-park will offer a neighborhood in great need of parks the opportunity to engage in many activities in a relatively small but significant space in an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Now it is up to our friends in Sacramento to put their support behind this worthy project. "

In September 2009, the State released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the first round of competitive grants for the State Proposition 84 Statewide Park Grant Program. For the last two years, Councilmember Huizar and his staff have engaged the community on conceptual possibilities, designs and approval.

"The Ninth and Hill Street Park Task Force has been working for two years with lots of community support, trying to green downtown," said Rick Morris. "This is our home and the parks are our community's living room. Downtown owes a lot to Councilman Huizar. We never would have gone this far without him."

The $5.4 billion Proposition 84 was passed by California voters in November 2006 to fund a number of programs, one of which is the Statewide Park Grant Program. A total of $368 million has been dedicated to this program and will be awarded on a competitive basis in two rounds. More than 1,000 applications are expected statewide.

"Two years ago a group of committed downtown stakeholders who live and/or work downtown envisioned a dream of making their community better by building a public park where there are no parks," said Geralynn Krajeck. "With the help of Councilman Huizar and his amazing staff and the encouragement and participation of area residents, business owners, employees, visitors and students, the park is now a dream in the making. This park will be at the crossroads of the new streetcar, Bringing Back Broadway and the revitalization of downtown. It is an exciting time to be downtown as the transformation continues!"

Community members are optimistic that their hard work will pay off.

"This two year endeavor is a great example of how well the private and public sectors can work together to make dreams come true," said Bill Cooper. "Jose Huizar's staff, most notably Paul Habib, has been on board from the beginning and has been invaluable to our progress. Let's hope that two years from now we will be sitting in a beautifully designed, well-deserved park!"

Award notifications for Prop. 84 grants are expected to be announced by September 2010.

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