Opinion: Like it or not, Huizar is transforming Downtown Los Angeles


If you are a member of any one of the DTLA Facebook groups then you know there is a certain amount of danger that goes with living in Downtown Los Angeles.

That danger is nothing like it was in the 80s and 90s, but …

The area has undergone an amazing transformation in the last five years. Grand Central Market is a hipsters’ paradise; The Last Book Store is a deep repository of knowledge, Ludlow and its sister restaurants are serving up five-star cuisine. Yet, veterans of South Broadway or South Hill or South Spring know there are still whole blocks, mysterious gated alleys and abandoned buildings that are best avoided.

A few those spots though could be getting a makeover. A former convenience store at the corner of 5th and Broadway is a good example. The spot was a notorious hangout for crack dealers, pickpockets and bullies. Now that its closed, there will be a little more safety at the corner, at least according to some residents.

But the real measure of DTLA’s ongoing comeback might be the annual Night on Broadway that was held at the end of January. Several thousand angelenos attended. And, by all accounts, it was a successful evening. City Councilman Jose Huizar has really put his heart and soul into the event and the ongoing transformation.

“I realize we have a long way to go,” he wrote on Facebook. “I hope you all know that I am trying my hardest to make DTLA the best it can be.”

Not everyone is one the same page, Huizar added.

“There are some forces that are happening at a national and state scale that we do not control and are affecting our DTLA more acutely than other areas,” he added, without naming the quote, unquote “forces.”

But, that’s OK. We’ll give Councilman Huizar a pass because he believes in DTLA and its promise.

His underlying message needs to be addressed: The puzzle that is DTLA from Skid Row through the historic core and west to the Harbor Freeway is a dynamic jumble of moving pieces that when organized and working together will become an amazing place to live, work and play. And, something Angelenos can proudly point to for generations to come.


  1. It’s a shame that the 7/11 mentioned above “had” to be closed to get rid of that rabble of scofflaws. But it did work. Now have “compliance officers,” police who check to see if you are a resident or are loitering around for no good purpose.

    I wish these officers had been around before that convenience store closed.

    I do believe in Huizar’s vision. It’s a tough one though. How do you turn an area that has been known for decades as dicey and undesirable? But he seems to be doing it and more power to him.


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