By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
His narrow emphasis on high-density housing construction might cost L.A. if a recession has really arrived. "The burst housing bubble has hit us pretty hard," says Joseph Linton, policy associate for Livable Spaces, a nonprofit developer that's completed mixed-income, transit-oriented residences in Long Beach and Lincoln Heights. The affordable units are selling, "but our market-rate units are going very slowly." Adds Gary Toebben, president of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, "New market-rate housing is just not moving."
Nonetheless, Blumenfeld imagines dense urban villages built around subway stations, populated by the young and old, neighbors who shop on the ground floor and use rail or buses to get about.
Gail Goldberg looks out across the city and imagines residents and developers working side by side, with her department's firm leadership dedicated to the integrity of neighborhoods.
But from his County Hall of Administration office just a few blocks away, Yaroslavsky, his voice rumbling in a basso profundo, waves off Blumenfeld's and Goldberg's utopian plans: "I watched the demolition derby in this town 20 years ago ... I have a platform. I have some credibility. I have something to say. [But] I shouldn't be the one to say it."
*Editor's Note: This story incorrectly stated that Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky fought federal funding for subways after a methane explosion in 1985. In fact, Yaroslavsky called for more study of methane gas dangers while Congressman Henry Waxman championed the federal ban. Later, Yaroslavsky led a ballot effort that prevented local sales taxes from being used on the subway being tunneled under Hollywood, allowing that tax money to go to other transit projects. This story was corrected Feb. 29.
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