I joined with artists and Metro CEO Art Leahy at the Corazon Del Pueblo Art Space in the burgeoning Boyle Heights Arts District last week to announce the kick off the $12 million component of the Eastside Access Project. This voter-approved Measure R plan will bring sidewalk, streetscape, lighting, signage and art improvements along First Street in Boyle Heights.
Part of the larger $30 million Eastside Access Project will focus on multi-modal transit-related improvements at or near the Metro Eastside Gold Line Extension.The Boyle Heights component is expected to enhance the grassroots driven Boyle Heights Arts District along First Street, which I actively support and am working on steering other façade improvement and artist-uses funds to the area.
Today, I joined The East Los Angeles Community Corporation at a groundbreaking for a $24.6 million facelift to the historic Boyle Hotel-Cummings Block, which was built in 1889. The hotel is located on First Street, across the street from the Metro Gold Line Mariachi Plaza station and along the Arts District route. The historic building fell into disrepair and eventually became home to mariachis and other residents. The renovated building includes a completely new building west of the hotel and a total of 51 quality affordable housing units. There will be 4,100 square feet of commercial space, rehearsal and recording space for Mariachis and a Mariachi center.
Boyle Heights is undergoing unprecedented public investment. By 2009, Boyle Heights saw $1.4 billion in public improvements, including the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension, four new schools, a new police station, as well as several park and pool upgrades.