Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A parking lot is seen empty at an out-of-business store in Vallejo, California.
Municipal redevelopment agencies are charged with directing funds to turn city-owned property into beautiful and useful public and retail spaces. But in many Southland cities, those vacant lots, abandoned theaters and empty car dealerships have instead been left to become neighborhood blight. Where have those tax dollars gone? Today’s Los Angeles Times reports that in cities from Rosemead to Riverbank, as well as Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District, funds have been squandered while city property lies fallow. Bribing city officials hasn’t helped, reports one developer. Despite his cash-filled envelopes, the go-ahead for Temple City’s promised Piazza Mall never materialized. With little oversight of these agencies, who’s minding the (empty) store?
Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times staff writer, co-author with Kim Christensen of today’s story, Arrested Redevelopment.
John Shirey, Executive Director of the California Redevelopment Association