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NoHo, 91601

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Look out LA, there's a new neighborhood in town, a brash young up-and-comer that's looking to upset the status quo. Does this new 'hood have the cachet of an exclusive Westside address? Nope. The cool ocean breezes of a Santa Monica or Venice? Nope again. Easy access to plenty of trendy shopping and clubs? Triple nope, unless you consider Magnolia Boulevard to be home to the trendsetters.

That's right, we're talkin' NoHo (or North Hollywood for those who despise the cutesy contraction of place names).

Now, the Valley is not generally known for dense, new-Urbanism style developements. Heck, it's not even generally known as a place people want to live. Regardless, the MTA and CRA/LA have forged ahead with plans to develop 1500 units of housing in the area around the intersection of the Red Line and the Orange Line busway in North Hollywood.

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At least one thing is assured: people will move into these new buildings. LA is in the grip of a housing shortage of crisis proportions. Renters go where the apartment stock goes.

However, whether the siting of the project in close proximity to two mass transit lines will actually do anything to reduce traffic is another question altogether. It should: the Red Line serves Downtown and Hollywood, and the Orange Line is a cross-Valley route to Warner Center. The LA car addiction is well-documented, though, and like most addictions, is difficult to break.

A city can dream: Let's hope this is the first step toward moving the Valley from a sprawling suburb to an urban place. Let's hope that the project succeeds and spawns similar transit-oriented nodes.

And who knows? A few years from now, North Hollywood may even be hip enough to spawn it's own titular WB show.

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