Can Culver City sustain its forward momentum? That's the question the LA Times asked this weekend, looking at the formerly sleepy city that in the last half-decade has turned itself into a destination for foodies, art lovers, and renters. The biggest change as of late is last month's arrival of the Expo Line light rail, connecting Culver City to USC, Downtown, and the rest of the rail system; the city is now the western terminus, until the line is extended to Santa Monica in 2016. There are at least three separate developments planned near the Expo station at Washington and National boulevards, with the hopes that they better connect the Helms bakery district to CC's downtown strip, where retail rents rival those in Santa Monica. But now that the state has killed redevelopment agencies, the city is somewhat stymied in their ability to turn around fallow parcels.
A mixed-use project planned for the Expo station's current parking lot isn't supposed to open until 2015 or 2016. The other two projects--a mixed-user across from the Surfas restaurant store and a sprawling, upscale shopping center (see the new sign announcing its arrival that recently went up) will hopefully rise years sooner. Meanwhile, it's not clear when the big retail/office/giant stairwell development planned for the city's Parcel B in downtown will go up. Councilmember Jim Clarke tells the Times that if the projects are delayed until after the Expo Line is extended, Culver City will miss a big opportunity as many commuters will bypass the area and head straight for Santa Monica.
· Culver City evolves from sleepy community to urban center [LA Times]
· Where the Expo Ends: Will Culver City Stop Be No-Man's Land? [Curbed LA]