SOUTH L.A. ( — Part of South L.A.’s infamous “Death Alley” is getting new life.

Statistics show the two-mile stretch off Vermont Avenue has been the site of dozens of killings over the last decade.

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For the past year, architecture professor Marcela Hicks and students from L.A. Trade–Technical College have been cleaning up part of the stretch near Florence Avenue to spur reformation — both physically and symbolically.

Now that the alley is open, so are minds, says Hicks. And on Saturday, community members sat down with entrepreneurs and architects to set the neighborhood on a new course.

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The group that gathered was led by design strategist Matthew Manos — every table throwing out different ways to use the space.

“We sometimes see ideas for community gardens, so places where people can come together and cultivate fresh food,” Manos said. “We have even seen ideas for completely new schools that are totally unconventional. And then we have had ideas for businesses that exist on Mars.”

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CBS2/KCAL9’s Laurie Perez reports the lot could also see parks, festivals, art exhibits or pop-up stores with locally-made products.