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Transforming a City

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By Kristen Hardy '17

Published May 17, 2016 8:00 AM


How will the NFL Rams' move to Inglewood affect the community?


Sketch of the new stadium and performance venue currently under construction in Inglewood, courtesy of UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.

At long last the NFL is coming back to Los Angeles. A new $1.86 billion, 80,000-seat stadium and 6,000-seat performance venue are currently under construction in the city of Inglewood. The stadium will serve as home to the Rams and possibly a second NFL team in the near future.

Recently, Inglewood residents were able to ask questions and voice their concerns about the changes coming to their city at a community meeting hosted by the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, the American Enterprise Institute and African-American church leaders.

Tim Kawahara, executive director of the Ziman Center – a joint research center of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA School of Law explained in an interview with the UCLA Newsroom that the new football stadium is part of a larger plan for Inglewood – the City of Champions Revitalization Project. This project, which will include development of retail, residential, office, hotel and park space on the former site of the Hollywood Racetrack, is expected to create thousands of construction jobs and thousands of permanent jobs once building is completed.

“Projects of this magnitude have the potential to be economic catalysts for communities . . . And, Inglewood, a city of 110,000 residents, is in desperate need of revitalization,” said Kawahara.

In addition to the plans for urban development, Kawahara said Inglewood has some inherent advantages that could help the city, such as its proximity to LAX and two major freeways.

But while the boons of revitalization are alluring, there is also the danger of gentrification. In areas such as Echo Park and Silver Lake, revitalization has led to residents being priced out of their neighborhoods. More than 60 percent of Inglewood residents are renters who will face significant rent increases with the imminent transformation of the city.

“Inglewood is clearly on the precipice of a new era,” said Kawahara. Only time will tell what kind of effect the new development will bring for the city – whether economic prosperity for many or a sharp contrast between the haves and the have-nots.

This story is based on a Q&A with Tim Kawahara by the UCLA Newsroom. To view the original full-length article visit http://ucla.in/1UWJ62Q.

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