LOS ANGELES-Efforts to breathe new life into the once-vibrant Westwood Village area next to UCLA have suffered another setback, with a key retailer apparently canceling its plans to rent space in the area.

Urban Outfitters Inc., a trendy apparel retailer, was planning to open a store on Westwood Boulevard before Christmas. But now, local brokers tell GlobeSt.com, the retailer has broken off negotiations with landlord Madison Marquette and won’t be moving into the Village at all.

Officials at Urban Outfitters and Madison Marquette couldn’t be reached for comment. But if Urban Outfitters is indeed out of the picture, it would be the latest in a string of recent setbacks in efforts to rejuvenate the area.

Westwood Village blossomed in the 1960s, ‘70s and well into the ‘80s. It was a favorite hangout for UCLA students, as well as for families from surrounding neighborhoods.

But the area’s reputation was seriously damaged in the late ‘80s, when the neighborhood’s first drive-by shooting left one young woman dead and the village’s status as a pedestrian-friendly safe haven from crime shattered. The decline continued into the ‘90s as a recession forced many retailers out of business, residents of the community succeeded in defeating nearly every new project that developers proposed, and several competing venues that opened on the same side of LA lured away visitors.

Though Westwood Village still gets a fair number of visitors, many of its storefronts today are boarded up and little progress is being made on the few development proposals that are left.

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