In round one, Boyle Heights easily dispatched Watts—another historic neighborhood with a long tradition of community activism. In the days when strict housing covenants kept Los Angeles strictly segregated, Boyle Heights was once known as a Jewish community, before later becoming predominantly Mexican-American. Now, as artists flock to the area and real estate prices rise, the neighborhood has become the epicenter of conversation and controversy over gentrification in Los Angeles. A new web series slated to screen at Sundance next year tells the story of residents adjusting to the changes.
Koreatown took care of business in round one, knocking off East Hollywood with 62 percent of the vote. With easy access to transit, historic architecture, and a collection of bars and restaurants rivaling any in the city, the neighborhood has plenty to offer new residents. And they're coming. In just the last year, we ran out of fingers to count the number of major new residential developments proposed for the community.
They include a sleek high-rise planned for a makeshift park, a huge project that will transform a series of County-owned buildings and parking lots on Vermont Avenue, and an ambitious, car-free mixed user that includes permanently affordable housing. The booming neighborhood is also getting ready for more visitors, with multiple hotel projects now also in the works.