A host of recent infrastructure improvements and a forthcoming protected bike lane along Van Nuys Boulevard couldn’t quite get Pacoima past San Pedro in an Elite Eight matchup between the two farthest flung communities in our 2016 bracket. With a major makeover of the kitschy Ports O’ Call Village now underway, San Pedro has a lot going for it heading into the Final Four.
The harbor community is continuing to see development along its waterfront, with a new public plaza opening in 2014—two years after the arrival of the USS Iowa, which continues to attract tourists and the occasional overnighters. Meanwhile, the first phase of a massive, Gensler-designed 35-acre marine research campus is expected to open in the coming year. And most impressively, after a host of cleanup efforts, Cabrillo Beach is finally looking like a decent place to swim.
With that much-hated Walmart finally out of the way, Chinatown appears ready to shed its status as one of LA’s most under-appreciated neighborhoods and step out into the limelight at last. The area has been a hotbed of development lately, with sleek mixed use complex Blossom Plaza opening earlier this year, and several other major projects in the works. Those include a multi-building development that would bring 920 new apartments to a narrow lot beside the Gold Line and a planned mixed user developed by Blossom Plaza designer Johnson Fain that would replace the firm’s own headquarters.
Chinatown easily dispatched Historic Filipinotown in its last matchup and now faces tough competition in San Pedro. Interestingly, both places figured prominently in the classic film Chinatown, with iconic scenes shot in each neighborhood.