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Mayor Wants to Lure Tech Start-ups to Expo Corridor

Los Angeles talks about giving tax incentives to tech start-ups to spur development along the Expo light rail corridor from downtown Los Angeles via Culver City to Santa Monica.

Could the Expo line ride the Silicon Beach wave?

Los Angeles considers itself a rising star among start-up hubs—thanks mostly to the burgeoning tech scenes along the coast, known as Silicon Beach—but it isn't exactly giving Silicon Valley a run for its money. To help catch up, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he wants create a "technology corridor" along the new Expo light rail line. 

"We’re known as the entertainment capital in the world, but we’re not known for Silicon Beach, and that needs to change,” he said Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dubbed the "(t)expo," the initiative comes from the Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry, a new group of local tech, finance, and entertainment gurus focused on fostering innovation and L.A.'s reputation.

It will use tax incentives and offer up city-owned parcels to encourage development along the Expo line, which links downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. Construction is underway to extend the rail along Olympic Boulevard into downtown Santa Monica in 2016.

The graphic above shows which city-owned properties—including Fire Station No. 43 in Palms, the Odyssey Theater in West L.A. and the Thatcher Yard in Venice—could be used as office space for start-ups and new businesses.

According to a press release:

The existing and planned extension of the Expo Line cuts across a large portion of Los Angeles, connecting the hot-bed of growth companies in Venice and Santa Monica to other areas of growth in Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, and offering much needed access to underdeveloped areas in between.

Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry is working with the region’s major universities, USC and UCLA, to be cornerstone tenants and co-locate their incubation efforts at one of these locations.

"By leveraging the (t)expo Line development, Los Angeles can create new growth-oriented hubs in currently low-cost, underdeveloped areas with access to mass transit in between the bookends of thriving economic centers and major universities,” said David M. Hernand of the Los Angeles Office of Cooley, LLP and a member of the council on innovation and industry.

Sean December 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM
bus yard turns into office space!!! someone downtown finally has a good idea
carolyn rios December 16, 2012 at 12:29 AM
He considers Santa Monica, Venice and the West Side as low-cost underdeveloped areas. Apparently, he never comes over here.
Jill December 16, 2012 at 08:35 AM
Just can't wait to see the expo line riding the waves through Bundy and Cloverfield. The Expo line will be the final cut through east and west Santa Monica. Tax Incentives??? is this Russia, or a capitalist country???
Dan Charney January 26, 2013 at 03:39 AM
No - he is normally partying and promoting his conservative agenda - what a miserable mayor he turned out to be- let him "lure" congestion to his area of town-we are all filled up on choking gridlock here- thanks- and as for "low cost" is he kidding? Underdeveloped? What? We are at max insanity already

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