A developer’s option could take the rio out of Rio de Los Angeles State Park

December 21, 2011 § 9 Comments

[Updated with corrected development costs.  Thanks to Melanie Winter at The River Project for the corrections.]

Things are about to get a little ridiculous over by the RIO DE LOS ANGELES State Park.  Because that whole Rio de Los Angeles part could potentially be blocked from that State Park part by a wall of industrial development.  Kids, come and play soccer over by this…well never mind.

Here’s the shortish explanation:  Anyone remember that huge battle to buy the Taylor Yards and create a vision for a riverside park(1,2), with the potential for eventual naturalization of the river along this largest underutilized brownfield parcel on the river?  We got 40 acres and developed parkland along San Fernando Road for something like $45 million, with another parcel (aka G2) between that and the river.  (We also got an 18-acre strip, G1, along the river further upstream for an additional $10.7m- A link to parcels and ownership is here.)  Parcel G2 (that really should be river floodplain) is up for grabs.   Developer Trammel Crow appears to be an interested buyer in G2, and is apparently talking industrial development.  Is this a ploy – common enough in local environmental conservation/acquisition efforts –  to up the property value with entitlements and re-sell to the City/State for a big return?  And who would take on remediation costs in such a scenario?  Who knows.  Why even let the situation get to that point?  Here’s a link to a petition, sponsored by The River Project, an organization that’s carried the Taylor Yard torch from early on, to Trammel Crow asking them to withdraw their interest in exercising their option to buy.  Phew, that’s a mouthful.  But hopefully correctly stated.

I’m a little confused why/if the City/State didn’t have an option to buy this parcel, and why “railbanking,” something the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy makes look so doable never seems to be so in LA.

Anyway…we need our developers to share our vision of a livable Los Angeles – and to put their resources towards making it happen.  This action seems like the wrong direction when visions of a Los Angeles living with natural processes is actually becoming chic.   This is even more humiliating when you see how Chicago has managed to coalesce around a really big vision of a 140,000 acre conversion of brownfields to wildlands.  (Yes, you just read 140,000.)  A higher quality of life supports multiple returns on investment, so what’s the big?

Some of Joe’s previous posts related to the Taylor Yards/Rio de Los Angeles State Park:

Demolition at the Taylor Yards

What’s the Plan

Touring Native Plantings at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park

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§ 9 Responses to A developer’s option could take the rio out of Rio de Los Angeles State Park

  • nishith says:

    This seems too incompetent to be true! Don’t we have a newly minted River Revitalization Corporation that is supposed to be monitoring these types of opportunities and hopefully putting the City in a good position before the fiasco can occur.

  • Chad says:

    Nothing but greed. Have always hated this Dallas company, now I despise them. Thanks for the coverage.

  • Matt Horns says:

    Where’s FOLAR?

  • Ben says:

    Is there any plan to connect the park with Frogtown and the LA River bike path by building a pedestrian/bike bridge? This would be a great benefit.

    • Jessica Hall says:

      I agree – makes a lot of sense. My graduate design studio a few years ago also proposed that concept – a long overdue post of mine is/was to be about their work.

    • Joe Linton says:

      City of L.A.’s LARRMP (L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan) concept designs show two bike/ped bridges in that area. One near the 2 Freeway and one in the middle, closer to the 110 Freeway.

  • skr says:

    Tbh, the existing road tbere should be extended to frogtown with a motor bridge in addition to a ped/cycle bridge. Ive been watching that parcel (g2), and it looks like remediation has started. It would really suck to have that developed and I’m a big fan of development. Let’s see what happens when the CRA gets axed along with the Atwater corridor redevelopment monies. I’m guessing this plan gets the axe without that.

  • The Echo Park Improvement Association town hall meeting next week (Feb. 2) will feature a guest speaker from The River Project, who will update us on this issue. Can I forward you guys the information via email? We’d love LA Creek Freak to attend!
    February 2, at Barlow Hospital in Williams Hall at 7pm

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