Could the Expo line ride the Silicon Beach wave?
Los Angeles considers itself a rising star among start-up hubs—thanks mostly to the burgeoning tech scenes along the coast, known as Silicon Beach—but it isn't exactly giving Silicon Valley a run for its money. To help catch up, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he wants create a "technology corridor" along the new Expo light rail line.
"We’re known as the entertainment capital in the world, but we’re not known for Silicon Beach, and that needs to change,” he said Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Dubbed the "(t)expo," the initiative comes from the Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry, a new group of local tech, finance, and entertainment gurus focused on fostering innovation and L.A.'s reputation.
It will use tax incentives and offer up city-owned parcels to encourage development along the Expo line, which links downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. Construction is underway to extend the rail along Olympic Boulevard into downtown Santa Monica in 2016.
The graphic above shows which city-owned properties—including Fire Station No. 43 in Palms, the Odyssey Theater in West L.A. and the Thatcher Yard in Venice—could be used as office space for start-ups and new businesses.
According to a press release:
The existing and planned extension of the Expo Line cuts across a large portion of Los Angeles, connecting the hot-bed of growth companies in Venice and Santa Monica to other areas of growth in Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, and offering much needed access to underdeveloped areas in between.
Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry is working with the region’s major universities, USC and UCLA, to be cornerstone tenants and co-locate their incubation efforts at one of these locations.
"By leveraging the (t)expo Line development, Los Angeles can create new growth-oriented hubs in currently low-cost, underdeveloped areas with access to mass transit in between the bookends of thriving economic centers and major universities,” said David M. Hernand of the Los Angeles Office of Cooley, LLP and a member of the council on innovation and industry.