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Poll: Is Westwood Dying or Making a Comeback?

Local business groups predict a revitalized future for the village, but one Twitter account forsees its downfall. What do you think?

Editor's note: I've been asked to remove the screenshots of the Twitter account I originally posted due to a copyright issue with the user's profile picture, but if you want to see the tweets, click here.

The Westwood Business Improvement District says it sees a bright future ahead for local businesses, countering the doom and gloom predictions of Twitter account @westwoodisdyingaccording to a recent blog post in the LA Weekly.

The account states its mission as "documenting the closed and closing storefronts in Westwood Village." That's a crusade contrary to the goals of the district, a group of Westwood Village property and business owners looking to boost business in the area.

District Executive Director Andrew Thomas told LA Weekly he thinks the Twitter account is "really sad" and that Westwood is actually making a comeback.

"I've seen momentum building," says Thomas. "It's a reality here that there are vacancies, but there's a lot of movement on them."

The Twitter account, founded in May, lauds the arrival of new businesses like Target, but flip flops between spreading such praise and lamenting the presence of empty storefronts. Its earliest tweets make the account look like a memorial page for ex-Westwood businesses.

"RIP Monica's on Broxton (May, 2012) We never actually stepped in to this shop. Nevertheless, we are sad to see it go."

Also featured on the account page: shots of storefronts with "retail space available" signs, accompanied by a made-up acronym: YAES (Yet Another Empty Storefront).

The district is trying fight against such dismal portrayals; its site markets the village as a destination with "neighborhood charm, city style."

Lately, the village is starting to align more with that image, due to , recent  and much anticipated later this summer.

What do you think? Is Westwood on the decline or on its way up?

Louis Schillace August 01, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I believe its making a comeback! With Target and the Ipic the rest can fall into place. I just hope that more restaurants and retailers see the amazing potential that the village has and that future businesses are ones that bring the LOCAL community into the village on a daily basis. The key to the village's future is in local pride. The stores that move in must be ones that attract the students and local residents alike. H&M or larger retailers that are affordable but trendy will bring shoppers. I know with the right focus and cooperation from landlords the village is on its way back.....but in a better way!
nosh August 07, 2012 at 12:52 AM
The key issue in Westwood Village was, is, and will always be parking. We need some of these parking lots to be subsidized so they can be free for validated customers. I know it is a difficult problem, because free places can be eaten up by UCLA students and hospital/med center visitors wanting to avoid the big fees there. I am distressed that the big space that was Chili's (Yesterdays long before that) is still vacant with no new business anticipated. Even Best Buy couldn't make it, and they had parking. The S/W corner of Gayley that used to have the Circuit City, the video store, and a busy 76 gas station/auto mechanic has been empty for ages. The property owners need to understand -- lower rents that draw traffic and business are better than empty buildings.

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