Recharging Hollywood Entertainment District

By Lilia Guan

Hollywood, California is known for its glitz and glamour, it’s the place where movie fans go to pay homage to one of the vital and
historic parts of the global film industry.

However Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, executive director, Kerry Morrison told Government News in the early 1990s, Hollywood suffered the consequences of a continuing urban decline; a recessionary economy; the civil unrest of 1992, brought on by the infamous beating of Rodney King by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department – (which also impacted Hollywood with looting and vandalism); and the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 (damaged and red–tagged many Hollywood buildings).

“The combination of these factors, plus the impact of tunnelling for the subway and vacant stores, created a scary neighbourhood during the day and especially at night,” she says.

In 1995, State legislation was passed in California which allowed for the creation of property–based business improvement districts (BIDs).

The local city councilwoman at the time, Jackie Goldberg, approached a small group of property owners on Hollywood Boulevard and encouraged them to take advantage of this new legislative tool that would allow them to form a BID to provide basic services to a defined area – private security and cleaning/maintenance.

“The property owners at that time, in the area carved out for the original BID (a six block stretch of Hollywood Boulevard) realised that if they didn’t take the initiative to address crime and grime nothing would happen,” Morrison says.

“At that time, there was a subway being tunnelled under Hollywood Boulevard and there [were] plans for a mixed use project on top of the subway station, so it seemed a good time to form a BID to clean up the area and start to attract more investors.”

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