The Inglewood City Council has approved plans for a transit connector that allows the city to move forward with plans for a transit center near SoFi Stadium.
The new transit connector project would bring three additional Metro stations to the downtown Inglewood area and the goal would be to finish construction ahead of the 2028 Olympics hosted in LA.
“We want to have it done by 2027,” said James T. Butts, Inglewood mayor.
For the changes to be made, 44 businesses would have to relocate.
The Inglewood Transit Connector calls for nearly 800 additional parking spaces and three additional Metro stations in the sports entertainment district to connect the K Line to SoFi Stadium, the Forum and the new Intuit Dome.
“You’re going to have a transit plaza right there at the mouth of Market Street and Florence,” Butts said. “You’re going to have tens of thousands of people that are getting here before the game and they’re going to travel down Market Street.”
Butts says that the expanded transit options would cut down on congestion in city neighborhoods. The city expects the project will generate 11,000 jobs and $800 million in labor revenue countywide.
In July 2022, the city of Inglewood partnered with Metro to create the Inglewood Transit Connector Joint Powers Authority (ITC JPA), which serves as the single-purpose entity to oversee the entire project.
But there are locals like Shanetta Hilt that say there is a downside.
“It’s unfortunate. The business will have to move and relocate,” Hilt said. “Where would they go?”
The city has identified 44 businesses that would have to relocate and Butts says the city has earmarked $5 million in grant money to provide financial assistance to those businesses and is in the process of raising even more.
“No one is going to be relocated until we have secured the balance of the funding,” Butts said. “This is an evolution and cities that don’t evolve, die.”
Essaul Martin the owns Fiesta Martin and Grill on La Brea Avenue which is one of the businesses on the list.
“Even if it’s within the city, if it’s a block away, if it’s a mile away, it took us a long time to build it and for customers to go out there where we’re at it’s going to take some time,” Martin said.
So far the city has raised $765 million and plans to raise another $900 million for the entire project. They’ve also applied to the Federal Transportation Administration but have to wait until December to find out if they have been approved.
In February, the city announced it was awarded a $407 million grant of the “$1.3 billion that was designated for
projects in Southern California through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.” The ICT has quickly become a priority project and investment for the state.
“I congratulate the Inglewood Transit Connector on receiving this award as part of the Newsom Administration’s historic investments in transit and intercity rail projects,” said Toks Omishakin, the California Transportation Secretary in a statement. “This funding will help get this transformative project over the finish line and into operation so area residents can enjoy more of the mobility, safety, environmental and equity benefits that come with riding transit.”
As for businesses that will need to relocate the city says it will give the businesses a year to complete the relocation process and 90 days notice before they are required to move.