The city is about to try to change the face of Watts's Jordan Downs, the "often-dangerous and derelict" public housing project built in the 1940s and '50s. For ages now they've been working on the Jordan Downs Urban Village Specific Plan, an enormous redevelopment of JD and its surrounding neighborhood that would turn 119 acres into, you know, an "urban village" (with townhouses, parks, neighborhood-serving retail, restaurants, and other things human beings like to live near)--today the City Council made the whole thing official. The idea is to create a mixed-income community that will hopefully raise fortunes all around. Current Jordan Downs tenants will be able to stay in their apartments and move into new units when they're built (and in the meantime, the city is providing a variety of social services that have already helped reduce violent crime in the area).
The project includes a sixish-acre "central park," the reconfiguration of Century Boulevard, and "up to 1,400 stylish new apartments, along with chain stores and new streetscapes, all designed to attract people of greater means to move into the area and live alongside the city's poorest," as the LA Times puts it. But they're still going to have to find the money for it--the city's hoping to net some federal and state money.
· City approves up to $1 billion for Jordan Downs transformation [LAT]
· Can Huge Jordan Downs Makeover Change Its Whole Character? [Curbed LA]