South Park, Downtown Los Angeles, California
South Park is a district in southwestern Downtown Los Angeles, California. The original/other South Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is located near the intersection of 51st Street and Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles. Due to redevelopment and gentrification since 2003, the name was 'co-opted' and now also refers to the Downtown district.
The 'new' South Park district is the location of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Staples Center, the "L.A. Live" entertainment complex and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising or FIDM. In 2007, after a 57-year absence, Ralphs Supermarket returned to the neighborhood, opening an upscale Ralphs Fresh Fare store. In the beginning of summer 2012, developers broke ground on a dual-hotel featuring Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn, and is expected to be open by the summer of 2014.
South Park is bounded by the Harbor Freeway (SR 110) on the west, the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) on the south, Main Street on the east, and Eighth Street on the north. Bordering the district are Pico-Union on the west, West Adams on the southwest, South Los Angeles district on the southeast, the Warehouse District on the southeast, and the Financial District on the northeast. Major thoroughfares include Venice, Pico and Olympic Boulevards, Grand Avenue, and Figueroa Street. The Blue Line light rail line and Expo Line light rail line stop in the district at the Pico/Chick Hearn station.
For most of Los Angeles' history, the area now known as South Park was dominated by industrial concerns, taxi dance halls, automobile dealerships, and residential hotels (most notably the Morrison Hotel, immortalized on the cover of an album by The Doors).
At the beginning of 21st century the area began to rapidly transform with infill development. Luxury apartments and condominiums with ground floor retail began construction in the 2000s. The district's proximity to the University of Southern California, as well as the Blue Line light rail line, have made it an attractive area for young professionals. As with many neighborhood transformations, this change in demographics has a few concerned about displacement and gentrification issues.