Officials celebrate funding for Willowbrook Station improvements

Public officials gathered this weekend to celebrate the funding announcement last week that Metro will receive a $38.4-million state grant for improvements to the Blue Line’s busy Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station, in addition to upgrades for Blue Line signals and tracks. The work is currently set to begin next year and conclude in 2019.

On hand for the media event were Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Senator Isadore Hall, III, California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly, California Air Resources Board Vice Chair Sandra Berg, and Coalition for Clean Air CEO and South Coast Air Quality Management District Board member Joe Lyou.

For more details on the state grant, see this previous post on The Source. Here is a PowerPoint with more details on station improvements, which include better lighting, access and connections to the Green Line and surrounding community:

11 replies

  1. Metro could be making so much money to help their revenue stream if they just have the foresight to built a high condo, luxury apartments (35% of them as public housing) and large office towers here. Willowbrook/Rosa Parks is prime real estate due to it’s nature of being a transit hub that takes people to both DTLA on the Blue Line and LAX on the Green Line!

    Except, what do they do? Build more parking lots and low rise shopping complex. Lack of foresight must be strong at Metro who see no real value on what to do with their own real estate properties.

    • You couldn’t do that and keep the public’s support. Plus, building pleasant hi-rise residences adjacent from some of L.A.’s notorious projects seems counterproductive. Who would want to live next to the hood and the highway?

      • To someone with a pseudonym in which Bart Simpson would use to prank call Moe Szyslak:

        “You couldn’t do that and keep the public’s support.”

        Metro already does it to other stations, such as Hollywood, Sunset, Del Mar, Koreatown, don’t see why not it can’t be done in Willowbrook.

        “Who would want to live next to the hood and the highway?”

        Surprisingly, many, especially urban Millennials. Not everyone sees the world as it exists today, not everyone cares about “quality of life” issues.

        The area surrounding the LA Convention Center/LA Live/Staples Center used to be a dump of urban decay also right “next to the hood and the highway” but now you see tall condos and office building being built there.

        Who says that the same can’t be done elsewhere? And if a portion of it is used toward public housing I don’t see why not Metro can’t make extra cash on the side by going into real estate.

        Stop living in a closeted 1950s world and start stepping into the 21st century way of doing things: if it isn’t broken constantly improve upon it (used to be if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it), diversify your business, make profit, repeat over and over. That’s how things are done today.

      • “Plus, building pleasant hi-rise residences adjacent from some of L.A.’s notorious projects seems counterproductive. Who would want to live next to the hood and the highway?”

        I would and likely many people in this 10 million population county of ours whose changing their way of life back into the city rather than being sprawled out all the way in the suburbs.

        This whole mindset of “no one wants to live here so why bother” is a very close-minded view that represents the problem of LA where many are resistant to changes to their old way of lifestyle. The more logical, pragmatic, analytical way of thinking would be “how would this place transform itself in the future with the proper real estate investment and development.”

        IMO, the station property is actually very “strategically valuable” as it has the ability to offer an one seat ride to LAX, the possibility of the last mile gap to the Norwalk Metrolink station on the Green Line, DTLA and Long Beach on the Blue Line, and beyond to Little Tokyo, Pasadena, East LA once the Regional Connector is completed.

        If a high rise condo is built here for the right price of somewhere around $250,000-$300,000, the affordable range for most middle class in LA, and developed with mixed use in mind, it’ll be an excellent real estate investment for first time home buyers as well as for Metro.

        If you ask me, building the place with parking lots is more counterproductive compared to the value of what this key transit hub can become.

  2. They do have mixed use at several Red Line stations but not at Light Rail. I guess it’s to maintain a low profile.

      • The South Pasadena station is right amongst every thing and does not need to be mixed use. Stop there on a Thursday for the Farmer’s market. The Filmore station is tucked right in the middle of things and not mixed use, but is almost as good.

      • “The South Pasadena station is right amongst every thing and does not need to be mixed use. Stop there on a Thursday for the Farmer’s market. The Filmore station is tucked right in the middle of things and not mixed use, but is almost as good.”

        That’s the free market to decide, not you. If people see South Pasadena is a great place to come and visit, some people may start to decide to live there. And if more people decide to live there outpacing the current supply, the only way to accommodate that demand is to start developing South Pasadena with mixed-use complexes in mind.

      • “That’s the free market to decide, not you. If people see South Pasadena is a great place to come and visit, some people may start to decide to live there. And if more people decide to live there outpacing the current supply, the only way to accommodate that demand is to start developing South Pasadena with mixed-use complexes in mind.”

        I was talking about the station, not surrounding area being mixed use. But since you brought it up… There is a mixed use across the street north of the station, with new higher density housing and parking behind that. To the east, that block has had ‘mixed use’ since maybe the 1930’s (possibly earlier), apartments over businesses. To the south and just east on El Centro there is a newer mixed use building. There are other locations in SP that have seen densification. At some point SPUSD will figure the value of the open land at the District headquarters (old El Centro School playground) and sell it for development with underground parking. That is 1 block east of the station. Plans have been afoot for a while for redevelopment in the area west of Fair Oaks between Mission and Oxley. SP has already adopted ‘smart growth’, like Pasadena.

        Pasadena has designated certain areas (along the Gold line and along parts of some streets like Colorado and Lake) for higher density housing and more mixed use. Other areas will remain zoned for single family homes, duplexes, and low rise businesses. Open spaces like Central Park (seen in the picture above) will be preserved.