Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adaptive reuse as economic development in downtown Los Angeles: A resource guide for start -up developers, community based organizations, and stakeholder groups
by Brown, Imani, D.P.D.S., University of Southern California, 2009, 87; 3389608
Abstract (Summary)

The formal definition of Adaptive Reuse by the City of Los Angeles is the rezoning of obsolete, vacant and/or historic, manufacturing or commercial buildings, built prior to 1974. These structures are then rezoned for mixed-use residential, live/work lofts, and hotels. Since the adoption of the Los Angeles “Adaptive Reuse Zoning Ordinance” in 1999, twenty seven obsolete buildings in downtown Los Angeles have been converted into mixed-use residential structures.

From its' inception to the present, participants in the program have been major prime developers with capacity. This exclusivity of participants is fundamentally related to the high cost of downtown real estate, and the complicated entitlement and permitting process. The goal of this Planning, Design and Development Project is to assist the start-up developer specifically, and community based organizations in general who have interest in Adaptive Reuse, but do not have the capacity to participate.

Inasmuch as Adaptive Reuse is a zoning mechanism, this project focuses on the history of zoning in the United States, differences in zoning types, and how zoning practices have shaped urban communities. The literature review attempts to establish a rationale for the contemporary urban community today, based on the model of Euclidean Zoning practices as expressed in Edward Bassett's book entitled Zoning: The Law, Administration, and Court Decision During the First Twenty Years, William Fulton's book entitled The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles, and Robert Fogelson's book entitled Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, along with the works of many other authors.

The core of the research presents the views of developers, city planners, building and safety professionals, community based organizations, business owners, zoning administrators, and other stakeholder groups who have opinions, and perspectives regarding accessibility of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance program to start-up developers, community based organizations, its impact as well as its implications on infill development in urban communities.

As a companion tool to the discussion regarding zoning practices, and the Los Angeles Adaptive Reuse Ordinance program, this researcher has created a website resource guide. The website streamlines the navigational process of electronic research, and provides substantive resources under one website umbrella. Hopefully start-up developers, community based organizations, and other stakeholder groups who want to participate in Adaptive Reuse projects will find this tool useful.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Richardson, Harry
Commitee: Banerjee, Tridib, Massey, Elton, Steele, James M.
School: University of Southern California
Department: Planning and Development Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Urban planning
Keywords: Adaptive reuse, California, Economic development, Historic preservation, Los Angeles, Stakeholder, Start-up developer, Zoning
Publication Number: 3389608
ISBN: 978-1-109-56328-3
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