Metro Rail & Development in LA
- From Los Angeles Business Journal
Weekly Summary - August 1, 2005
This week in the Los Angeles Business Journal
East Side Story - New Rail Line Spurs Early Investment
By HOWARD FINE
Investors and developers are eyeing sites and quietly buying up
properties around the $900 million Eastside rail line now under
construction through Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.
Developer interest in the rail line is coinciding with a surge of
publicly sponsored projects in the area and could lead to a rebirth
that's similar to what happened in Hollywood after the subway was
The 6.5-mile Gold Line Eastside Rail Extension had been on the
drawing boards for 25 years as a mass transit option for the densely
populated and heavily transit-dependent Eastside communities of Boyle
Heights and East Los Angeles. But because of dwindling federal
transportation budgets and lingering doubts about rail construction
after the Red Line fiasco in Hollywood 10 years ago, it wasn't until
last year that final federal funding was secured.
Preliminary construction began last summer. This October, work is set
to begin on the centerpiece of the project: a two-mile tunnel
underneath First Street in Boyle Heights.
Next year, preliminary work is set to begin on the eastern portion of
the rail line, which will go down the middle of Third Street in East
Los Angeles. Construction of the entire line is set to finish in mid-
2009, about six months ahead of schedule.
In past years, developers tended to hang back to see how much
additional traffic the rail lines would generate. But there is now
enough of a positive track record in Hollywood and along the Gold
Line to Pasadena that activity is blossoming early. Construction on
the western end of the line is already getting off to a healthy start.
Much of the development will be controlled by the public entities
that own considerable tracts of land along the route of the Eastside
Extension, including the city and county of Los Angeles and the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is building the rail