Half the field is OUT in the 2015 Curbed Cup race for the Los Angeles Neighborhood of the Year. This week we'll have two match-ups apiece on Monday and Tuesday, and by next week only four contenders will be left vying for the prestigious golden jpeg. Voting for each poll ends 24 hours after opening (and will be watched closely for any shenanigans). Let the eliminations continue!
In a few years, Crenshaw—which defeated University Park in round one—will be one of the most train-accessible neighborhoods in town. It already has the Expo Line running along its northern border (which will get residents to Santa Monica starting next year) and the Crenshaw Line is now under construction on its eastern border (which will eventually get residents to LAX!). Meanwhile, the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza mall is being transformed from an old-school, car-centric maze into a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use community with housing, shopping, and offices. Just up MLK, the long-blighted Santa Barbara Plaza is finally being redeveloped, with a Kaiser medical building/community center. That edge of the neighborhood is also set to get new medians, bus shelters, crosswalks, and lighting. The only problem is that all the improvements are drawing in gentrifiers, and the community (much of which dates back quite a ways) is getting nervous about being pushed out.
Skid Row beat out True Detective star Vernon in round one, even though it actually had a pretty rough year. As homelessness in LA has risen sharply, the City Council passed a law allowing the city to seize property left on sidewalks and issue tickets on top of that; it came out that the majority of money the city spends on homelessness is actually spent on criminalization of the homeless; and an LAPD cop admitted that Downtown's rich gentrifiers are encouraging the force to hassle the homeless out of their long-time neighborhood. But the community is remarkably cohesive—they proposed a neighborhood council for the area this year, which would give them formal power to advise the city on matters that are important to Skid Row. Meanwhile, the homeless nonprofit Weingart Center has proposed its own answer to encroaching gentrification: a 14-story tower of permanent supportive housing.
· Curbed Cup 2015 [Curbed LA]