SORO is the new SoHo

There is an area of LA between Beverly Hills and the 10 freeway which is pretty bland. Its west and east borders are roughly Culver City and La Cienega Blvd. Several main streets - Pico, Robertson, La Cienega, Cadillac - run through the area, along which some shops and restaurants sit. The chief purpose of these streets, however, is to convey you through this bland area to another, more desirable area. The majority of the region is a series of suburban neighborhoods which meander from street to street. I have to imagine the no-man's-land location of these neighborhoods represses real estate values of homes compared to neighborhoods with name-recognition value such as Palms, Mar Vista, WeHo, etc. on the westside.

Recently, however, a group has attempted to give this bland area an identity. They have rebranded it as SORO - South Robertson - and have developed a website, community events (like "Walks at 7"), and a local rewards card to give you discounts at local shops. The most obvious thing, of course, is the appearance of street banners you can see below.

Curbed LA wrote a blurb about SORO over the summer. The user comments are entertaining for local reactions. I have heard this area called both "Beverly Hills Adjacent" and "Mid-Wilshire" (although I know Mid-Wilshire extends up towards Koreatown). What do you think of the efforts to brand this random neighborhood? Any chance of giving SORO an identity as strong as when we think of SoHo or Beverly Hills?


  1. I applaud their effort to create an identity, which is better than simply being referred to as "going along Pico until you get to La Cienega." I think of the success Eastlake has had branding itself as a separate community, even though it is technically part of the city of Chula Vista, which in itself is considered a suburb of San Diego. It may stick, it may not. For the name to enter LA's consciousness, either they need to spend a lot of money advertising and marketing OR there needs to be a reason for people to go there, not simply pass through.

  2. Oh weird! I saw those signs and didn't really know what they meant. But does anyone remember SOHO (South Hollywood)? They tried rebranding themselves in 2007 and it never really took off. I agree with Aaron- there has to be a reason to go for it to be successful.

  3. Solid point GotGame, I can see that happening here too if SORO doesn't develop an appealing identity. Right now, why would anyone go there? They wouldn't.

    SoHollywood failed for basically the same reason (and it's not that far, geographically, from SORO). But WeHo is an LA landmark now because it's a hotspot that people want to go to - it's known as the gay district in LA and has tons of bars, clubs, etc. making it a viable "let's go out tonight" destination. Although not as much for straight guys.

  4. heh heh - "lame-o-SORO-ous" cracked me up waaaaay more than it should have...

  5. Totally agree Scott

    Now what'll happen is that I'm going to start using lame-o-SORO-ous in conversation, but nobody is going to know what it means. And it's going to be too hard to explain. D'oh. Dropping cultural references works much better when they're mildly recognizable, like movie quotes.