Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Urban Issues Watch from the NY Times:

NY Times

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 12 — More than 100 acres of the New Jersey Meadowlands would be developed as a family entertainment complex with an indoor ski slope, indoor surfing, a Formula One racetrack, a minor league baseball stadium and office towers, under a $1.3 billion redevelopment plan chosen ... by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. ... No taxpayer money will be needed for the project, he said, though future mass-transit access would require public money. ... While some federal environmental hurdles have been overcome, New Jersey's state government and an army of environmental groups have remained opposed to the project and threatened legal Armageddon over the plan. Today, the developer said it was prepared to donate the proposed mall location, known as the Empire site, to the state and invest substantial money in cleaning it up.

Downtown is the only part of Los Angeles that looks and feels like a big city, with soaring office towers, bustling convention hotels, vintage Art Deco commercial buildings, warehouses, restaurants and — in the daytime — crowds on the streets. Even after dark, downtown is starting to hum. "With the buildings lit up, it's really just gorgeous at night," said Colleen Camp, a film producer and actress. The skyline has changed drastically since Sgt. Joe Friday had on his police badge the image of the 450-foot granite and terra cotta tower of City Hall, the tallest building in town when the original "Dragnet" was a popular television series in the 50's and 60's. With new earthquake-resistant engineering, 10 skyscrapers ranging from 700 feet to 1,017 feet rose between 1972 and 1992.

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