The Expo Line may not open in 2011, but it should open early next year, even the Culver City terminus--all the electrical wiring and canopies are up and a nearby parking lot is getting paved as we speak, judging by photos on the Transit Coalition messageboards. So how will it be greeted by the public and press? Well, the station is sandwiched between an enlivened Downtown Culver City and the Helms Bakery, where hip furniture stores and restaurants, including Father's Office, have moved in. Both those sites are out of view of the station; it's about a half-mile stroll to Downtown, and a bit less to get to Helms (hopefully there will be a Culver City shuttle bus to bring people in heels to the action). Major developments near the station, like the Platform (going in at the site of the old Mazda dealership) and Legado Crossing (on the other side of the elevated tracks), are moving ahead slowly, but won't open for years. So, unless Metro has some interim plans, get ready for the "train to nowhere" headlines.
As far as the retail-heavy Platform, developer Joseph Miller of the Runyon Group says everything is going swimmingly in his dealings with Culver City--but don't expect a groundbreaking until late 2012. Developers involved with Legado Crossing, a diminutive mixed-use development closer to Helms, didn't return inquiries re: groundbreaking. It was supposed to start work in 2010 but as of last weekend looked as inactive as ever.
Well, at least there will be a parking lot for commuters. How about throwing some food trucks there? New York did just that near the desolate end of the High Line park; they even built a bar underneath the tracks for the warm weather months. We asked Metro if food trucks would be allowed in the parking lot, which they own, but we haven't heard back yet. Hey, if nothing materializes, there's a Del Taco on nearby Venice Blvd.--just what you want when you're running for an early-morning train. And at least there may be some street art to look at.
· Culver City Getting Expo-Adjacent Retailfest [Curbed LA]