NBCUniversal’s Evolution Plan
, endorsed unanimously on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, is a big deal. And that’s not just because the $1.6 billion final product promises to create more than 30,000 jobs while expanding production facilities and bringing “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
” to L.A.
With a new trailhead park and a nearly $14 million investment in the L.A. River Bike Path,
it jumpstarts the riverfront’s revitalization. It paves the way—literally—for a long-dreamed-of bike route from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.
Its $100 million in transit improvements will ease congestion in the long-suffering southeast San Fernando Valley even as NBCUniversal adds 1.88 million square feet of net new space for studios, offices, tourism and entertainment. Overall, the project is expected to generate some $2 billion in economic output, and add $15 million in new tax revenues to the county annually.
Talk about a stimulus package. And we can expect it to pay dividends for generations to come.
But what impressed me most was that at a time when all the talk is about how impossible our politics are as a nation, this was a case study in democracy with a “small d”. Projects of this magnitude often leave communities feeling railroaded and businesses feeling thwarted. Negatives are forced on one side or another in the name of progress, or as a necessary cost of doing business.
But on details big and small, NBCUniversal and its community collaborated to make this plan work for all sides.