Discussed since the days of oil shortages, the Little Tokyo Budokan community center may actually really happen this decade. Bill Watanabe, the executive director of the Little Tokyo Service Center, which is developing the project, told the Echo Park Patch (Watanabe lives in Silver Lake) that it will take about two and a half years to raise the $22 million that the center--with basketball courts, a martial arts venue, rooftop garden, and walking paths--will cost (that's like lost change in Eli Broad's couch, right?). After that, it'll be about 16 months of construction. The city recently approved a lease for the site of the 40,000 square foot center on Los Angeles Street, between Second and Third, where (surprise!) a parking lot currently sits. The Patch says momentum from the Regional Connector rail line will help ensure the center gets built, since people from Pasadena, Long Beach, East LA, and the Westside will have a one-seat ride to a nearby subway station later this decade.
· Silver Lake Man Proposes Little Tokyo Center [Echo Park Patch]