“Media District Photos”

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Photo By the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
Board Members Mike Parker (Mole Richardson) and Ron Groeper (McCadden Space Studio) show off the Media District's Gateway Sign on Highland Avenue just north of Melrose, with Operations Coordinator Devin Strecker.  

Latest News

Sidewalk Vending in LA?
A Message from
Coalition To Save Small Business

August 24, 2015

Currently, there are more than 50,000 unlicensed street vendors in Los Angeles. Illegal street vendors don’t have to pay rent, utilities, taxes or minimum wage. They don’t have to secure the permits or undergo the inspections that brick and mortar businesses do. As a result, they can undercut small businesses on prices and steal their customers. It is shameful that LA is allowing this unfair competition because it threatens the future of small business owners who must play by the rules.

The Coalition to Save Small Business is composed of more than 700 small businesses, most of them Mom and Pop operations and many of them owned by immigrants. They are working with the Business Improvement Districts and neighborhood groups to regulate out-of-control street vending because it threatens their ability to make a living.

Other cities around the country have adopted regulations that help create a level playing field for small business.

Portland: Street vendors need to gain written permission from the store owner if they are going to sell their wares in front of the establishment. It is unlikely in this scenario that the street vendor will be selling anything that competes with store. Street vendors are also required to have a certificate of liability insurance.
San Francisco: Street vending is banned in residential areas, and street vendors must be a certain distance from restaurants and other facilities. Vendors must have written verification that they have access to a restroom within 200 feet of their location.
Chicago: Street vendors can only sell whole, uncut fruits and vegetables. Vendors are not allowed to handle or prepare any food. This regulation promotes food safety and healthy eating.
New York: Street vendor permits are capped at 3,000 and merchandise vendor permits are capped at 853. (Los Angeles currently has 50,000 unregulated street vendors.)

Full funding of street vending regulation enforcement is needed to ensure all businesses can thrive. Past efforts to create vending districts failed, largely due to a lack of enforcement against street vendors who violated the rules.

The City must allocate resources to enforce any sidewalk and park vending regulations and must ensure the County devotes sufficient resources to food safety enforcement, as well. The City’s operation and enforcement administration must be fully budgeted. The City must create a schedule of fines and penalties for illegal vending. The fees to operate a sidewalk and park vending program should be full cost recovery.

For more information either phone 323.553.1275 or email SaveSmallBusinessLA@Gmail.com
or visit facebook.com/SaveSmallBusinessLA

The Coalition to Save Small Business is composed of Los Angeles businesses, community members, neighborhood groups and other individuals and organizations that seek to regulate street vending and ensure those regulations are enforced.

LA City Council Approves
Minimum Wage Hike

May 21, 2015

On Tuesday, May 19th, the Los Angeles City Council approved moving forward to draft a minimum wage ordinance that raises the current $9/hr. minimum wage to $15/hr. for most businesses by the year 2020. This 67% increase was approved despite concerns expressed by the business community and even the consultants, who advised not going beyond the Mayor's $13.25/hr. proposal.

Beginning in 2016, the minimum wage in the City of L.A. will increase annually as follows:
July 1, 2016 - $10.50
July 1, 2017 - $12.00
July 1, 2018 - $13.25
July 1, 2019 - $14.25
July 1, 2020 - $15.00

Beginning in 2017, a modified minimum wage schedule for businesses and non-profits with 25 or fewer employees will go into effect as follows:
July 1, 2017 - $10.50
July 1, 2018 - $12.00
July 1, 2019 - $13.25
July 1, 2020 - $14.25
July 1, 2021 - $15.00

Starting in 2022, the minimum wage will increase every single year based on the previous year on the previous year's Consumer Price Index for the L.A. Metro area. Non-profit organizations with greater than 25 employees can apply for a waiver if their top executive earns less than five times the wage of the lowest-paid worker, or provide transitional jobs programs, or serve as child care providers, or are primarily funded by city, county, state or federal grants or reimbursements. Consistent with state law, the youth wage will stay as 85% of minimum wage for 160 hours for workers 14-17 years of age.

City Officially Designates

May 18, 2015

On Monday, June 1st at 1pm, there will be an official unveiling ceremony of signage marking the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilcox Ave. as “Hollywood Theatre Row.” City Councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell and Tom LaBonge will be present to officially unveil the signage. The ceremony will be held along Wilcox Ave. just immediately south of Santa Monica Blvd.

This intersection is part of a larger area stretching along Santa Monica Blvd. between McCadden Pl. and El Centro Ave., and where over a dozen live theatres have been in operation for decades. There are over twenty stages with some of the best plays, musicals, comedies, and dramas presented by some of Los Angeles’ most award-winning and critically acclaimed live theatre companies. Also at these small, intimate live theatres there are seasoned and award-winning actors, directors and playwrights, working and teaching along side of the younger actors who are there to learn and perfect their crafts.

Business Assistance Program
LA County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)

May 21, 2015

Are you a struggling business owner or do you know of someone that is? If so, there is help available from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and at no cost!

Thanks to funding from the City of Los Angeles, the LAEDC Business Assistance Program is able to offer confidential services to businesses in the City of LA at no cost to the business. Contact LAEDC Business Assistance Program, Joy Janes at 213.281.0146, or email joy.janes@laedc.org .

About the LAEDC

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) is a private, non-profit organization with a mission to attract, retain and grow businesses and jobs throughout the regions of Los Angeles County. They provide free and confidential business assistance services to help companies reach their goals, and to sustain and grow. Some services include streamline permitting, facilitating with city and county offices, employee training, cost containment, coordinating with utility companies/energy efficiency, increasing productivity, site selection and more. For more information visit laedc.org .

Wilcon Expands Fiber Optic Network
in Hollywood Media District

May 13, 2015

Wilcon, the West Coast leader in fiber optic and data center infrastructure, is pleased to announce plans to expand its footprint in Hollywood with a new strategic build through the core of the Hollywood Media District.

Steven Whiddon, Executive Director of the Hollywood Media District, stated, “Wilcon’s fiber development plan in Hollywood is a welcomed investment in our business community and will enhance our ability to support innovative start-ups and attract the emerging digital technology firms that drive Hollywood’s future growth.”

“What makes the Media District so interesting,” Whiddon continued, “is the mix of historic and new creative office spaces that are desired by this new media and entertainment community. The Media District is poised to become a hotbed of creative energy and new business opportunity in Los Angeles.”

“Expanding our network in Hollywood, the heart of the Los Angeles digital media economy, is a natural progression for our growth in Southern California,” according to Jon DeLuca CEO of Wilcon. “The media and entertainment industries are major drivers of the tremendous growth in bandwidth usage. This is just one of many strategic builds that we are planning to keep pace with the increasing demands for ultra-broadband network services in the Southern California region.”

Wilcon’s expanded network will enable Wilcon to continue to build the digital economy of Hollywood while serving its existing customers. With the evolving demands of post-production and content delivery, Wilcon is positioning itself to empower media and entertainment firms to grow their businesses with access to affordable and powerful high speed internet, dark fiber and lit transport capabilities. Combining these services with Wilcon’s Los Angeles-based data centers and interconnection capabilities creates a comprehensive digital network solution that can be customized for every company.

Companies like Khaos Digital, a Hollywood based video and graphic solution company serving the entertainment industry, is one such media firm benefitting from Wilcon’s network. Judy Marks of Khaos stated that “our need and reliance on high speed bandwidth is essential to our business, and Wilcon’s network reach will allow us satisfy our requirement at a price point that is compelling.”

Wilcon will continue to get the message out about its expansion into the media and entertainment fiber infrastructure market with its presence at the upcoming 2015 International Telecoms Week Conference (ITW) in Chicago this May. The convention focuses on the global telecommunications industry with over 6,000 delegates from 1,800 different telecom companies expected at this year’s event.

About Wilcon

Founded in 1998, Wilcon is the premier West Coast provider of best-in-class fiber optical network and data center infrastructure. As one of the largest fiber optic networks in Southern California, Wilcon offers vast reach and diverse routes connecting major data centers, enterprise locations and wireless communications sites, as well as the most dense fiber and interconnection infrastructure in downtown Los Angeles. Wilcon delivers dark fiber and ultra-broadband optical services for businesses, wireless carriers and other communications service providers that ensure optimal performance for their mission-critical data traffic and applications. Wilcon also owns and operates leading data center and carrier-neutral colocation facilities in downtown Los Angeles, including its key hub at the One Wilshire Building. For more information, please visit wilcon.com .

“Greenlight Hollywood”
Kevin James, LA’s New Chief Film Industry Liaison

March 10, 2015

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti recently named Kevin James as the city’s new chief “film industry liaison,” and announced several steps to expedite filming permits within the city. Also, Garcetti signed an executive order requiring each city department to appoint their own film liaison who will attend quarterly meetings to troubleshoot any issues film companies have in getting permits. Furthermore Garcetti announced that the city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department will provide a list of city-owned properties that the industry may use free of charge. Each city department will also be responsible for making sure all applicable fees are set at the lowest possible amount and the application processes are kept simple.

This move is part of a broader initiative that Garcetti introduced as “Greenlight Hollywood,” a campaign aimed to promote the city to studios, talent agencies, managers and financiers as a film destination. With the recent passage of State Assembly Bill 1839, the new state of California law that expands the annual program of tax credits from $100 million to $330 million a year, James was quoted by saying his mission will be to, “deliver on Mayor Garcetti’s priority of ensuring that Los Angeles effectively capitalizes on these terrific opportunities for continuing job growth in our city.”

New-Media Digital Jobs
Driving Hollywood Employment

March 10, 2015

A surge in digital entertainment jobs from new online shows on Amazon, YouTube and other new-media outlets has helped drive employment in Hollywood to the highest level in a decade. These new digital venues are rapidly reshaping how entertainment is delivered to consumers and provide new jobs that didn’t exist when the recession began in 2007. Some 8,000 new jobs were added to the motion picture and sound recording sector in Los Angeles County last year, according to state jobs data. The 6.5% growth from the previous year was three times higher than all private-sector jobs in the county.

There have been signs that the California economy has been on the mend for some time. But the dramatic recovery of the entertainment sector is particularly crucial to LA because it pumps billions of dollars into the region’s economy. It’s an unexpected comeback story for an industry hard hit by a stream of layoffs at major studios and an unwelcome trend of filming being lured out of state by generous tax credits and rebates.

The local entertainment industry had an average annual employment of 130,900 jobs in 2014, not counting freelance workers. It marks the second consecutive year of growth in the sector, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. “We have a prolonged recovery from the recession, then we have a digital media surge that is taking place here in Southern California and an increase in commercial activity as firms are increasing their advertising expenditures,” said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “It’s encouraging that we have been able to see these gains in employment elsewhere that have been backfilling the jobs that are lost.” “People are basing their operations here because this is where the talent is — the writers, actors and directors,” said Kevin Klowden, an economist with the Milken Institute. “It’s really helping to reinforce the role of LA as the content center, even as TV and movie productions have been doing most of their work elsewhere.” Also and as consumer confidence improves, advertisers are filming more commercials. That has led to a continued growth in commercial production, which was up 9% last year, according to FilmLA. Nearly half of all commercials are filmed in the LA area.

PATH in the BID
(People Assisting The Homeless)

November 21, 2014

Since 1984 PATH has grown into a family of agencies working together to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities throughout Southern California. Each agency addresses homelessness in a different way – supportive services, permanent housing development, support for homeless families, and community engagement.

As of 2013, a Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count determined that there are 58,423 individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles on any given night, 74% (43,410) of whom go unsheltered and literally live on the street. These people become homeless for many reasons, including job loss, domestic violence, lack of affordable housing, under-employment, health issues, substance abuse, natural disasters, and more. Each person has a unique life history and unique issues that have contributed to their situation.

Of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, 33% are living with a mental illness, many of whom are stable when receiving the support and/or medications they need. It is important to move past the stereotype that all homeless people are “crazy” and beyond the notion they can not be helped.

PATH has been working with our BID’s Security Patrol force, as well as the Hollywood Police Division, to mediate interactions with homeless individuals and ensure that the needs of the community and the homeless individual are addressed. For additional information you can contact PATH at path@epath.org, or go to epath.org .

Abandoned Shopping Carts?
What To Do

August 06, 2014

The California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corp. (CSCRC), located in Burbank, is your source for requesting pickups and removals of abandoned shopping carts left along public streets. (Please note that not all stores’ carts are serviced by CSCRC and carts containing homeless peoples’ belongings can not be removed).

Call them toll free at 800.252.4613, or go online to cartretrieval.net .

BID Services Keep Your Property
and Business Clean and Safe

February 21, 2012

Highland Ave. looking north from Melrose Ave.
The Hollywood Media District BID has a contract with the Hollywood Beautification Team (HBT) for cleaning and maintenance needs within the District. HBT’s responsibilities include emptying trashcans located along sidewalks, cleaning and removing all trash and debris from sidewalks, gutters, driveways, tree wells and from around trashcans. They also remove stickers and paint over graffiti on buildings, trees, poles, planters, utility bases or other surfaces on a daily bases. HBT also pressure washes bus stops and sidewalks throughout the BID. There is a minimum of 8 people per day to accomplish these services.

Also, the Media District contracts with Universal Protection Services (UPS) to provide Security Patrols within the BID. These patrols are by foot, on bicycles, and in the Media District’s security vehicle. Patroling security officers are present throughout the District 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If needed, they can be directly contacted by calling 323.871.4150.

If you are having any problems keeping your property or business clean and safe – trash dumped or graffiti, suspicious or nuisance individuals coming onto your property or into your business – please consider completing two very important forms that can help. These forms are: a “Trespass Authorization” form and a “Graffiti Paint Out Agreement” form.

The first form is a “Trespass Authorization” that gives permission to Officers of the LAPD and the Media District to come on to your property and exercise enforcement of your No Trespassing signage. (Please note, you must have No Trespassing signs posted.)

The second form is a “Graffiti Paint Out Agreement” that allows HBT to come on to your property and paint out tagging and graffiti. Also, upon request they will accept paint from property owners and businesses in order to match your existing colors.

To obtain these Authorization and Agreement forms, or to request any other services within the BID, please contact Jim Omahen, Operations Manager for the Media District at 323.860.0088 or email jim@mediadistrict.org .

A Bit About BIDs

January 22, 2014

A business improvement district (BID) is a defined area within which commercial property owners pay an additional assessment in order to fund improvements within the district's boundaries. BIDs may go by other names, such as business improvement area, business revitalization zone, community improvement district, special services area, or special improvement district. BIDs provide services, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, and marketing the area. The services provided by BIDs are supplemental to those already provided by the local municipality.

The first BID was the Bloor West Village BIA, which was established in Toronto in 1970. The first BID in the United States was the Downtown Development District in New Orleans in 1974. BIDs have been established around the world, including in New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Serbia, Albania, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. A study in 2007 found 739 BIDs worldwide, but current estimates are that there are well over 1000 BIDs in the United States alone.

Legislation is necessary to permit local governments to create BIDs. The process for creating a BID varies from one jurisdiction to another, but generally three steps are involved. First, some number of property owners in the area organize and petition the local government to create the BID. Second, the local government determines that a majority of property owners, usually done by a vote, want the BID. Third, the local government enacts legislation creating the BID. Residences and some governmental entities are usually exempt from making any contributions, and the operating budgets of BIDs range from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars.

A BID may be operated by a nonprofit organization or by a quasi-governmental entity. The governance of a BID is the responsibility of a board of directors composed of some combination of property owners or their designated representatives. The management of a BID is the job of a paid administrator usually called an executive director or a management company and often other managing staff.

BIDs have also become a powerful lobby group, lobbying government for improvements such as new sidewalks, trees, park benches and other restorations. BIDs can also lobby different levels of government for a complete facelift on their area if they feel it is necessary. BIDs have been created in situations where neither the private sector nor government can adequately provide needed changes or services for the betterment of a specific area.

There are four BIDs in Hollywood: Hollywood Media District, Hollywood Entertainment District, the Hollywood & Vine Business Improvement District, and the East Hollywood Business Improvement District.

Media District Dining Guide

April 08, 2015

Ammo, 1155 N. Highland Ave.
With an upscale atmosphere and an air of sophistication, AMMO has been located on Highland Avenue since 1996. With a full bar, AMMO is a great place for lunch or dinner. www.ammocafe.com


Bombay Grill, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
Serving up traditional Indian cuisine for lunch and dinner.


Chinese Express, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
Inexpensive chinese food, good combo deals available.


Crown of India, 6755 Santa Monica Blvd.
Come see why people are flocking to this authentic Indian eatery! Amazing food with great lunch specials keep this place bustling.


Eat This Café, 6547 Santa Monica Blvd.
Offering seasonal sandwiches, fresh salads, and panini in an eclectic space in the heart of the Media District. Lunch and dinner daily, 10am to 8pm, serving brunch on Sun 10am to 3pm, beer and wine available. eatthiscafe.com


Grub, 911 Seward St.
Serving up California Comfort Food with a side of sass and a quirky and inviting atmosphere! Now open for lunch or dinner everyday, plus weekend brunch on Sat-Sun (and also now serving wine and beer). www.grub-la.com


The Hollywood Corner, 1156 Highland Ave.
This place has a little of everything, including wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, an amazing breakfast menu, beer and wine, and red velvet mini-cakes to die for! Sign up for their loyalty program and get 15% off your meal. callthecorner.com


Hudson Lobby Café, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
A coffee house style full service espresso bar, light dining and wifi service. www.hudsontheatre.com


Jack in the Box, 1243 N. Highland Ave.
Fast food with an eclectic menu - everything from salads to burgers, to egg rolls and tacos. Drive-thru open late. www.jackinthebox.com


Marino Ristorante, 6001 Melrose Ave.
This family owned business has been serving up the finest traditional Italian food for nearly thirty years. With an upscale atmosphere and a great wine list. Serving lunch and diner. marinorestaurant.net


Rao’s Italian Restaurant, 1006 Seward St.
With locations in New York’s East Harlem and inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, this Southern Neapolitan family-style upscale eatery is now open in the Media District. Serving dinner Monday through Friday only, with a full bar. Reservations recommended, 323.962.7267. raosla.com


Shakey's Pizza, 7001 Santa Monica Blvd.
Known for their large buffet, Shakey’s is a favorite lunch time spot for many employees in the District. Mojo Potatoes are just one of the highlights here. www.shakeys.com


Subway, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
A healthy alternative to fast food, who doesn't love a Subway sandwich? www.subway.com


Mud Hen Tavern, 742 Highland Ave.
Chef Susan Feniger and Executive Chef and partner Kajsa Alger have reinvented the former STREET with refurbishing the space. Also they have an expanded bar with a draft beer system. For reservations or more information go to mudhentavern.com or call 323.203.0500.


Taqueria La Pinata, 6751 Santa Monica Blvd.
This taco stand, formerly Benitos and more recently Hoagie's and Wings, is now operated by the same folks that run the Crown of India Restaurant directly behind it. So expect the same quality food and service but with a latin flavor!


Tasty Thai Restaurant, 718 N. Vine St.
Great lunch specials at this hole-in-the-wall asian eatery.


Trois Mec, 716 N. Highland Ave.
Simple but interesting with an open-kitchen interior and offering an exclusively French wine list. Pre-paid ticket reservations only, serving one nightly 5-course dinner Mondays through Fridays only. troismec.com


Xiomara Restaurant, 6101 Melrose Ave.
A favorite of the Media District Board of Directors, this exotic restaurant features Cuban-inspired food and a full bar where you would think the mojito was born. Great lunch specials, too! www.xiomararestaurant.com


Yoshinoya, 6300 Santa Monica Blvd.
Home of the Beef Bowl, Yoshinoya is fast food with a Japanese twist. Drive through available, open late. www.yoshinoyausa.com


Did we miss you? We aimed to include every restaurant within the boundaries of our District, so please let us know if we failed to include something. Email Jim Omahen, jim@mediadistrict.org with your information.


Business Watch

Tue, Oct 13, 2015
12:00 to 1:00
Television Center, 6311 Romaine St.

Annual Meeting/Party

Thu, Oct 22, 2015
5:30 to 8:00
Musicians Union Auditorium, 817 N. Vine St.