California communities build—or seek—catalyst developments

March 01, 2001 |

Like cities across the country, communities in the Los Angeles area have acted to revitalize their downtown areas, or are mapping plans to do so.

Santa Monica and Pasadena are two communities that have taken such action. Santa Monica brought business back to its downtown with the Third Street Promenade, a three-block pedestrian mall adjacent to the Santa Monica Place retail mall.

"Old Town Pasadena" was developed in the 1990s. Described as a blend of restored brick buildings with a "yuppie overlay," the area includes a variety of bistros, restaurants and boutiques.

Culver City was until recently expecting a 20-screen theater complex to anchor three blocks now used as parking lots. Then the bottom fell out of the movie theater business, and American Movie Corp. withdrew from the project. City officials began negotiations with another movie chain for a theater half the size of the one originally planned. Meanwhile, a six-screen theater at the south end of the downtown area does not generate enough business to keep local restaurants busy. Without attractions to keep them downtown after dark, local residents head for Santa Monica, Hollywood or Marina del Rey.

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