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O’Farrell unveils new plan for Hollywood Blvd.

HOLLYWOOD — City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell has announced a concept plan to enhance the pedestrian experience on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the latest proposal regarding his “HEART of Hollywood” initiative.

Speaking during his annual State of Hollywood address Jan. 30, O’Farrell said, “The Walk of Fame Master Plan is the signature project of my ‘HEART of Hollywood’ initiative, and the concept plan is just the first step. We are working to update the Walk of Fame in a balanced, holistic, cohesive way. 

“As this evolves, we will keep building a sense of consensus and collaboration around various ideas. I encourage Hollywood stakeholders to view the concept plan in its entirety, provide feedback, and join us throughout this process.”

The concept plan is the product of months of community outreach, including focus group meetings, an open house, and more than 20 roundtable discussions hosted by O’Farrell’s staff. 

Community outreach efforts will continue as the plan moves forward. The plan envisions a Walk of Fame that better accommodates people, especially pedestrians, and businesses by adding more street trees, sidewalk dining and lighting, to name just a few of the proposed amenities.

Since luminaries Stanley Kramer and Joanne Woodward first received their stars decades ago, the Walk of Fame has been an internationally recognized landmark that draws millions of annual visitors, in addition to being home to many residents and businesses. 

“As someone who operates a business directly on the Walk of Fame, I have appreciated being part of multiple focus group sessions,” said Wally Moran, general manager of Wood & Vine restaurant. “I look forward to continuing to work with the project team, the city and the community as this takes shape.”

“It’s exciting to be involved in this collaborative effort,” said Erin Penner, another focus group participant and a board member for the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council. “Hollywood is such a unique place with people of all ages from all walks of life. It’s inspiring to then imagine a Walk of Fame that actually incorporates our various needs.”

“The Hollywood Pantages is proud to be a longtime stakeholder on the Walk of Fame, and to serve a diverse population including local residents as well as visitors,” said Jeff Loeb, general manager of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. “We are particularly aware of the need to provide a better experience along the Walk of Fame, and will continue to lend our voice to this important project.”

The project targets Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue.

Last year, Gensler, a local architecture firm, was selected to work on the master plan. O’Farrell said the concept plan is the first “major step” toward the final master plan.

This year, Gensler and the city will further their technical analysis of the area, and perform more refined design proposals on various elements that may be recommended.

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is the lead city agency on the project.

The concept plan is viewable online at http://www.heartofhollywood.la, where Hollywood stakeholders are encouraged to view the document and provide feedback. 

Independent Staff and Wire Reports