Originally Posted by citywatch
your friend's reaction pretty much duplicates my own response & that of my daughter, not to mention the non local relatives with us at the time, when we drove down broadway awhile ago. I at first expected----& was hoping----the street would be full of vacant storefronts. I wanted to point out to everyone that the street had lots of potential.....that it was like a blank canvas ready to be painted on. so when I instead saw block after block of grimy swapmeets, all still in business, I was truly disappointed.
broadway is one of the few streets in all of dt that I think would look better or show promise of a brighter future if most of its bldgs, or certainly the first floor spaces of those bldgs, were vacant.
I was in the hood yesterday & the one thing that never fails to hit me is how much of DT still needs lots of TLC. I think when many of us are talking about dtla like it's a lab monkey in a science experiment, we get so much into the small details that we forget the fundamentals. iow, when I'm actually in DT, I find it impossible to get worked up about matters like parking podiums on highrise condo bldgs, or new bldgs being too short, or malls being too burban, or bldgs not being architecturally fantastic enough, or projs not being geared to transit, when there still is a lot of grime & too many gaps & deadzones throughout the hood.
We can all point out specific details of what's wrong with Broadway right now
(unkempt storefronts, bargain-basement businesses, a vacant lot here or there, etc.) But if you look, there is undeniable positive momentum in the right direction. Some new Broadway businesses in the pipeline that have been announced:
Unlike many of the existing businesses on Broadway, all of these places are solidly catering to a middle and upper class crowd (my unofficial unit of measure here: all of these places will undoubtedly be listed as '$$' or '$$$' on Yelp when they open...no '$' here.)
By the time they open, I have no doubt that there will be double or triple this number of new businesses in the pipeline slated to open. The ACE project alone will likely catalyze dozens of other new businesses around 9th and Broadway.
My point is, we can all nitpick all the things wrong with Broadway right now, but take heart: the revitalization of Broadway is in full swing already, even if you can't see it in Google Streetview shots.