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Valley and Laurel Plazas, Part 5: Back to the Drawing Board

This is the final segment of Patch's examination of how an economic hub became 'an economic black hole.'

The is the last of a five-part video documentary series on Valley Plaza and Laurel Plaza.

Click the links to the first four parts:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four 

David Rivers June 03, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Is there a way that CRA (or whomever) can get another RFP going for this project? Get another developer to bid and don't consider JH Snyder since they seem so bent on only developing residential. This area needs to be retail. Bring money back to LA.
Jeremy Oberstein June 03, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Fantastic job, Craig!
Teri Markson June 03, 2011 at 05:09 PM
As a fairly new home owner in this area and former acting senior librarian at the Valley Plaza Branch Library, I have greatly appreciated watching this series. It gave me a lot of insight into the problems surrounding the redevelopment of the Valley and Laurel Plaza malls, as well as some hope for the future of the area. Thanks for your wonderful work. Love the NoHo-Toluca Lake Patch!
Jonah Fitzsimmons June 03, 2011 at 05:13 PM
This was a really great series. I'm inspired by seeing Patch reporting on something that I'm sure I won't read about on the LA Daily News or the LA Times. Even the other more 'local' websites don't do an exposé like this. Way to help the area. I also didn't know what that West Coast University building was. Who knew? This rocks. Keep reporting.
Evan Atkinson June 03, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Wow Craig, you did an excellent job. I hope everyone in the area watches this story, so they start asking our elected representatives to seek out more partners and a solutions-oriented approach to this issue. The only way a developer will come in and get it done, is by a clear and loud message from everyone in the community saying "we want something here!"
Craig Clough (Editor) June 03, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments. This was by far the biggest story I have produced since launching the site and it's great to know so many people got so much out of it. Look for my editorial tomorrow on the plazas.
Robert A. Young June 03, 2011 at 08:02 PM
I drove my wooden 2x4 - lawn mower engine - go kart in the May Co parking lot before the 170 fwy was built, my dad taught me to drive later on in the same lot, and I used to visit my best friends mom, Betty Brodleit, who worked in the May Co. She is 93 years old now and still is of service in her son's local business. We also saw bomb shelters on display at the Sears parking lot. I latter became an L.A.P.D. officer and worked the neighborhood, ate in the restaurants and freshened my self, including hair cuts, when I could in the Valley Plaza. The neighborhood would benifit from renewal as it will draw the very thing they need, which is the black and white police car as officers use the services that the community provides which visibly deters criminal activity. Good luck. My roots are there. Robert A. Young
Jane M June 03, 2011 at 10:03 PM
thank you very much for your excellent series. As a homeowner a few blocks from the plazas, I am obviously very concerned. I learned a lot from your videos- keep up the good work! Jane Macfie
LABornAndRaised June 04, 2011 at 04:11 AM
Wow, what an in depth investigative story. I'm glad to hear Krekorian considers this his top priority because it really needs to be. This is the center of the valley and is surrounded by affluent communities to the West, East and South. You've got Valley Glen, Valley Village, Sherman Oaks to the West, Studio City, Toluca Lake, NoHo to the South and Burbank to the East. There's so much potential here. Like one of the guys being interviewed said, it just needs a developer who's young and has energy. I shudder when I wonder what it could have been if JH Snyder didn't stall the Plazas and let someone like WestField tackle it.
Peter V June 04, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Ok this latest installment is very encouraging to me. Many voices saying the same thing..VP is a working class area and tax dollars are going elsewhere .Crime is indeed down here and people are fixing up their homes.Craig, you speak for 1000s of people here and we thank you.Citizen advisory committees, food fests... now its time for a community to show it has some life in it.
Laurie L. Wee June 05, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Great series Craig! I have wonderful childhood memories of the Valley Plaza, and seeing your piece makes me feel so happy knowing that things are underway to restoring the vibrancy the area once had.
John J. Nazarian December 30, 2011 at 04:27 AM
Just be watchful that it does not turn into a third world, keep the masses happy spectacular! I can see it now, little illegal push wagons selling their fruits and tacos and hot dogs, no wonder I can see it now, they are here! Great job Craig, I loved the two squirrels chasing each other while the politicians mumbled along, THAT made great sense, squirrels and the CRA! And how and how much would it cost to get the men's club to move? And that clinic that looks like it could be in downtown TJ, The rep from the CRA, great job, her speaking and explaining everything said it all, Governor Brown, shut it down! John J. Nazarian
Bob Peppermuller August 09, 2013 at 05:53 PM
From a previous post: Yes I remember all the "good ol days" of shopping there. The demographics of the area has changed over the last decades so what kind of businesses could survive there? Should it be converted to some entirely different function? Tear it down as a similar mall I have seen in Toledo, OH and left barren? Sears Holding is on shaky ground. The LAUSD JHS split the northern part in half. CC Paul Kerkorian even left. Can the Wells Fargo mural be restored? Big challenges.

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