What’s In a Name

Downtown L.A. development planned

SoLA Village plans call for a densely developed complex with skyscrapers and low- and mid-rise residential buildings along with outdoor plazas and terraces intended to create a pedestrian-oriented community. Above, a rendering of the project. (Gensler + Patterns)

South Central.  South Los Angeles. South LA.  Now “SoLA”.  Los Angeles city council members are pleading their case for yet another rebrand of the area best known for the 1992 riots.  After the Rodney King verdict, which resulted in umpteen millions in lost revenue, the council is scrambling to find ways to attract investors.  Traditionally, businesses have left “South LA” once the insurance company compensated them.  Now, council is trying to get them back.

Councilman Bernard Parks delivered an op-ed to CityWatchLA that refers to a 2003 plan to remove all references of “South Central Los Angeles” from official city documents.  The name change was to remove the negativity received from the riots.  Najee Ali supported by signing two cards, which were exhibits for the council to vote on.

The motion passed 14-0.

Now we are looking at the new name “SOLA” which translates to lonely in spanish.  As city demographics shift to a majority Latino population, is the new moniker aimed to embrace them as well?

Sassony Properties was selected to develop the Vermont Entertainment Village, which is adjacent to Manchester and Vermont.  This marks the first major development, in the area, since the riots.  Not including the new county buildings.

Proposed mixed-use SoLA Village development

Another billion dollar development coming across the horizon and south of the 10 freeway is SoLA Village, at Washington Blvd. and near the LA Mart.

Billions of dollars’ worth of real estate development have taken place north of the 10 Freeway in recent years, and more is on the way, but comparatively little investment has been seen on streets south of the busy interstate during downtown’s recent renaissance.


According to Wikipedia

South L.A. is home to the University of Southern California, founded in 1880, as well as the Doheny Campus of Mount St. Mary’s College, which was founded in 1920

This author had the same complaint when JARC funding came in(2009ish) and the subsidies went towards USC students alternative transportation use as opposed to low-income users, as directed.  Accoring to Zipcar executives “USC fell in the low-income boundaries”.

Is this “SoLA” name change really about “healing”?

Related article:  Compton mayor did not mislead the community 

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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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