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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the things that defines L.A. from most other cities in the U.S. is its decentralized nature, in terms of having many smaller city centers. In some ways it makes up for L.A. lacking a strong downtown for a city its size, but not all of L.A.'s city centers are strong in themselves.


The city centers in L.A. metro that are quite strong include:

- Long Beach (despite the lack of infill, Long Beach is the closest of L.A.'s city centers to feel like a standalone good American midsize city downtown)

- Pasadena downtown (significant retail activity at Old Town, Paseo Colorado, and Lake ave., significant office building presence, significant residential, parks, and transit.)

City Centers that are strong but need some improvement include:

- Glendale downtown (with the Americana at Brand, Glendale downtown becomes a strong shopping district to supplement its significant office district, but it lacks parks and density outside brand blvd.)

- Santa Monica Downtown (already very popular, which includes the promenade, palisades park, and the pier, but more highrises are needed, a better mix of businesses outside the santa monica promenade are also needed.)

- Beverly Hills Golden Triangle (active downtown, dense, one of L.A.'s biggest shopping districts, significant office district, needs more of a mix of consumer businesses so that there's more activity at night.)

- Westwood Village: active, nightlife, significant office district, is tied with UCLA, all it needs is infill and perhaps a park.

- Burbank Downtown: significant shopping district, quite active, nightlife, just needs more office highrise buildings to complement it, as well as a park.


City Centers that need significant Improvement:

- Downtown L.A.: obvious reasons, including lack of cohesiveness, need for activity around the downtown rather than just in the shopping districts, and plenty of infill.

- Wilshire Center: large office district, subway, needs more retail, more of a reason to need to be there, needs parks and needs that deadzone where the L.A. school is to be with some retail on the Wilshire blvd side, to connect both sides of Wilshire Center.

- Hollywood: of course still very popular, and is actively being transformed, and has a subway. Mostly needs more office buildings, densification, and connecting all the areas of Hollywood together via consistently dense, mixed use and commercial development.

- Century City: so much potential, Century City lacks much retail outside of that large mall, and has an enormous deadzone in the middle of it. Century City simply needs much more pedestrian activity and a more pedestrian friendly aura.

- Santa Ana Downtown: strong retail presence, needs to better connect the retail area with the office building area via densification and a real park.


City Centers that Need a Lot of Improvement include:

- Miracle Mile: the western side has a lot of office buildings but has no other reason to need to be there, the central area around the LACMA (which also includes a park) is sort of significant, but is far away from the office area, and the eastern side has more retail but just to serve the immediate neighborhood, nothing really special.

- Wilshire in Brentwood: office district, has retail, needs more pedestrians, more attractive retail.

- Ventura blvd in Encino: significant office highrise district, needs consistently dense development, and a lot more retail (unfortunately neighboring Sherman Oaks hogs the retail in the area.)

- Sherman Oaks: has quite a lot of retail, as well as an office highrise presence, needs more mixed use development, and significant pedestrian activity.

- Burbank Media District: significant highrise office building presence, even a nearby commercial strip, but mostly it is a place that could've been something awesome, given that there are several large movie studios there.

- South Coast Plaza office district in Costa Mesa: quite dense, even has two performing arts centers, plus the large mall in proximity. Quite a lot of potential if the mall did not hog all the retail.

- Riverside Downtown: slow, needs more businesses and pedestrians!
- San Bernardino Downtown: makes Riverside Downtown look like San Diego Downtown. San Bernardino Downtown is quite literally on the verge of needing to be demolished because it really has nothing to its downtown left.


City Centers that are just plain suburban without hope of urbanizing:

- Warner Center: just merely a suburban highrise office park with two large sprawling malls. At least it has a nearby park and some dense residential.
- El Segundo: merely a suburban highrise office park with no retail.
- Fashion Island in Newport Beach: the highrise office buildings surround the mall. Nuff said.
- Irvine Business District: plenty of highrise buildings, however its just plain suburban.
 

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Century City is interesting the fact that no freeway runs through it or near it. Also, Century City is the 2nd most important CBD in LA next to downtown.
 

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L O S A N G E L E S
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I like CC :) It was meant to be fully self contained but The Avenue of the Stars is such a high profile, frou frou avenue that I can't imagine ground level retail along the likes of it. Then again, there's The Champs :)
 

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I do not get this thread. I do not see some of those places as city centers. Do you all want L.A. to be covered in continuous blanket of skyscrapers? Maybe it can be like Coruscant from Star Wars and be nothing but skyscrapers as far as the eye can see :dunno:

If it is far from Downtown LA and it is too suburban, so what, let it be suburban. I rather have an improved and larger downtown, then 50 downtowns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In regards to El Segundo, all the retail is on Main St in the town. It's actually quite a nice spot.
Actually, much of the retail is on the border with Manhattan Beach, on and around Rosecrans blvd, which is also closer to the El Segundo office district than main st. itself.
 

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city driver
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Actually, much of the retail is on the border with Manhattan Beach, on and around Rosecrans blvd, which is also closer to the El Segundo office district than main st. itself.
yeah, the new 'plaza el segundo' is waay bigger than main st. el segundo, though main st. has the bars and the mom and pops.
 

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Endless summer
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Actually, much of the retail is on the border with Manhattan Beach, on and around Rosecrans blvd, which is also closer to the El Segundo office district than main st. itself.
True true... but it lacks the soul of Main St. Sepulveda is developed through El Segundo as well. El Segundo is a town will a huge tax base per capita.
 

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San Fernando (the city) has its own downtown and almost all retail, restaurants and bars and is quite active on the weekends.

- Culver City
- The beach cities, almost all of them in LA and OC have their own downtowns
- and others
 

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Silver Lake
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No Noho?
 

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Here is what I see
Santa Monica build a large park on Colorado and Ocean so from City Hall you could be able to see both the pier and the ocean. Then further down the block build a 15 floor highrise(Hotel or Condo). Start a policy for homeless such as like a your going to live here your gonna clean up after yourself or be faced with either a major fine and possible arrest
Venice
Take over Pacific Ave and only allow Buses or a light rail line
Westwood
Take over the abandon lowrise buildings along Wilshire(Hollywood Video) and create Westwood Park
 

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San Fernando (the city) has its own downtown and almost all retail, restaurants and bars and is quite active on the weekends.

- Culver City
- The beach cities, almost all of them in LA and OC have their own downtowns
- and others
I stay in Culver City when I'm in LA and its city centre is more vibant compared to 5 years ago. One of my favourite eateries there is the Honey's Kettle Chicken :)

http://honeyskettle.com/

I also checked The Culver Hotel which is a major landmark in this city and its operational.

 

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Endless summer
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^Check out the Culver City Arts District as well next time you're in town. It runs along Washington east of DT Culver to La Cienega, and up La Cienega to Culver. Especially cool around Helms Bakery building.
 
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