The L.A. City Council has signed off on $36 million in subsidies for a planned $146 million mixed use project at 900 N. Broadway (site of the old Little Joe's restaurant). The Blossom Plaza project, which has a planned opening in 2010, will include two residential towers with 169 condo units over 40,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. It's being developed near a Metro Gold Line station. There have been neighborhood concerns about the project because it doesn't include a major cultural center, but the Downtown News, in a recent editorial, says the issue is more basic.
Chinatown is not a high-rent neighborhood, and there are likely concerns about who will move in, and what effect that will have on existing area residents. Several years ago a flurry of art galleries opened around Chung King Road and brought a new wave of young visitors to the area. Now some probably are wary of one project opening the development floodgates and permanently changing the face and nature of the residential community. Blossom Plaza has merits, and we're encouraged by the city's role in it and by the strong support coming from First District Councilman Ed Reyes.