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LOS ANGELES-”Where is L.A. Headed?” was one of the key topics yesterday as ULI’s Los Angeles Chapter held its seventh annual Urban Marketplace conference at the Downtown Convention Center. That question is at the crux of what makes the area tic, because everyone is seemingly always heading somewhere, causing major traffic issues.

While that panel focused on how, even in a changing market, investors and developers who proceed with feasible projects can create additional housing, jobs, retail space and biomedical activities in many parts of Los Angeles, debate quickly got back to traffic. One speaker during the day’s events offered a solution.

“We need to utilize public-private funding,” said Roger Moliere, chief of the real property management and development department for MTA of Los Angeles County.”This kind of funding [can be] used as employment and residential benefits…As far as private funding goes, lots of communities are willing to tax themselves for transportation. They don’t want to drive 45 minutes anymore and then fight for a spot once they get Downtown.”

Moliere highlighted some of the transit-oriented-development projects that MTA is supporting along its Metro Red Line stops at Hollywood and Vine, Wilshire and Vermont, and Wilshire and Western.

Moliere also noted how projects such as L.A. Live have the ability to produce “massive employment programs” that will not only create more jobs for neighborhood residents, but also “manage parking better.”

The conference kicked off with opening remarks from Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry. Other roundtables included “Revitalizing Our Streets,” “Workforce Housing,” “Equity Financing,” “Retail Commercial Urban Development,” “What’s Up – Downtown?,” “Office/Industrial” and “Affordable Housing.”

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