Orange County, California's Little Saigon is not the tourist and cultural center it should be, according to the Urban Land Institute, which has completed a study of the area and released recommendations for revitalization.
"Little Saigon has not lived up to its potential as a tourist spot, the group says, and it's going to take a lot of money, cooperation and faith to get it to the next level."
"Community leaders have long worried that the three square miles that make up the district would slowly decline as the second and third generations of Vietnamese families moved away."
"The study is the first hard look that local government leaders have taken at the entire area since it emerged more than 30 years ago when Vietnamese refugees set up businesses amid the strawberry fields and used-car lots along Bolsa Avenue."
"Since then, Little Saigon has morphed into the capital of Vietnamese Americans."
"Bolsa Avenue, the main drag, is filled with an unremarkable array of small Vietnamese-owned stores, some in deteriorating strip malls. Nothing about the stretch of road, save the Vietnamese signs, sets it apart from any other tired-out street in central Orange County. And that needs to change, the land-use panel said."