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Conversation: What Will York Boulevard Look Like in 10 Years?

The boulevard is changing, what do you think?

Last week, Chef James Graham reported on his own blog that he had received all the permits necessary to begin selling food and alcohol at his rustic French restaurant Ba on York Boulevard. 

prompted user Kevin to leave the following comment: "I wonder what York blvd will be like in 10 years? If you bought property here after the bubble you will make a nice return. A French restaurant on York. Who would've thought?"

York certainly is changing, as has been noted both here and in publications like the Los Angeles Times. 

Here's a quick rundown of some major changes on York in the last 18 months or so. (We'll move from West to East). 

  • MorYork
  • Planning began for a on the former Steve's Gas Station lot
  • Kristi Engle shut down, and a
  • opened, next door to each other
  • The , and was sold to a
  • Highland Park Pawnbrokers changed owners and got a new facade
  • La Vida Loca Galeria opened,
  • Matt Schodorf (owner of) opened a
  • in front of Do it Best Hardware
  • Sawhorse opened
  • was built
  • Marty's closed, was replaced by Cafe Lobos, which

There's no doubt about it; York Boulevard is transforming rapidly. A Scoops Ice-Cream shop and Thai Shaved Ice are also rumored to be coming to the neighborhood. The Los Angeles Times hinted at two wine bars opening on the boulevard. 

With local historian Charles Fisher in the process of compiling the results of a recent windshield survey on York--a look into the area's architectural past--it seems like an appropriate time to ask about the boulevard's future.

What do you think York will look like in ten years? Do you foresee a full-blown transformation that results in York looking more like Colorado Boulevard or even Old Town Pasadena? Will the balance of trendy shops, hardware stores and stalwart restaurants be maintained?

More importantly, what do you want York Boulevard to look like in 10 years? Do you like the direction its headed in, or would you steer it another way? 

Tell us in the comments. 

Jeremy April 02, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Cheesecake factory and Buca don't fit into the scene that is going on in this neighborhood. The change is coming from small businesses and entreupenuers which is unique because everything is organic. The community is embracing the new shops and it shows that if you put quality amenities in a neighborhood residents will embrace. They keep the money in the neighborhood versus spending it in nearby communities. Maximiliano's, The York and Cafe De Leche are always packed. Let me get more of these places instead of the autoshops. Highland Park does not need to have 5-10 autoshops on York Blvd. Same thing with auto insurance businesses. Why are there so many on York?
KingSlav April 03, 2012 at 12:56 AM
It is my suspicion that many of the businesses on York Boulevard operate in properties that are owned by the proprietor -- and are often occupied by the proprietor. I suspect many of these buildings have been owned for decades and are free of mortgages. This seems to be a scenario for very slow turnover of some of the worst looking properties.
Richard Risemberg April 03, 2012 at 02:44 PM
More neighborhood businesses, a road diet to make walking, cycling, and outdoor dining more pleasant, and boost retail business (cyclists and walkers have been shown to spend more in neighborhood shopping streets than folks speeding through in cars). The parks are a great idea, though it would also be nice to get ahold of a snippet of the very large but never full market parking lot, or the one between York and Mesa, and develop it into a sort of square, with kiosks or mini-shops around it and space for lingering and another farmers market.
Ryan April 04, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I would like to see a 24hour diner, similar to the Bright Spot in Echo Park. I like eating late at night. Someone get on this please :-)
Cesar Diaz April 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I had written a paper "Which Way York," two years ago while in grad school that looked that the long-time local mom and pop businesses on York and new businesses that had recently arrived.The recession was the only thing slowing the transformation. Two years later it has ramped up and will continue to do so at a fast pace. You will mainly see the clustering of new businesses between Ave 50 and Ave 52, what some merchants referred to as Highland Park Village. You only have to look at the history of York and land use designation to see that is poised for growth. A York Blvd Association should be formed to address the Blvd's needs and potential impacts.

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