The Los Angeles Board of Public Works has approved a $500,000 contract with design firm Rios to develop a new master plan for the historic El Pueblo district in Downtown, 14th District Councilmember Kevin de Leon announced last week.

The roughly 22-acre district, considered the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles, is home to Olvera Street, as well as 19th century landmarks such as Pico House and Merced Theater. The proposed master plan would focus on how to retain and reuse the historic structures which surround El Pueblo's main plaza, while also providing guidance for new developments, commercial uses, cultural offerings, and links to the surrounding area.

"This project is about more than just development; it's about respecting our past while building a sustainable future, especially for merchants whose families have been here for generations" said Peter Martinez, the owner and operator of Lozens Trading Post and Margarita’s gifts along with his wife Emily. "El Pueblo de Los Angeles will continue to be a place where our history is not only remembered but is actively made and passed along to future generations."

The Rios-led effort will include at least 14 community meetings, including community design workshops and presentations to government committees. The recommendations of the resulting master plan are intended to inform an implementation plan, which is to be funded at a later date.

El Pubelo's new master plan is being compiled at a time when big changes may be coming to the surrounding area, including a long-awaited overhaul of Union Station and a controversial gondola project which would run from just outside of Olvera Street to Dodger Stadium.

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