Projects Progress in Lincoln Heights and Santa Monica

January 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

Demolition underway at the 6.3-acre Albion Dairy site in Lincoln Heights. Photos taken looking downstream from the North Spring Street Bridge. The existing Downey Recreation Center park (with green lawn) is visible on the far left. The Los Angeles River is on the right, with the North Main Street Bridge visible.

I recently spotted a couple of projects that L.A. Creek Freak has reported on that are now making on-the-ground progress. In Lincoln Heights (photo above) the Albion Dairy site industrial buildings and parking lot are well on their way to being completely demolished. Information on that planned L.A. River park here. In Santa Monica (photo below) the Ocean Park Boulevard green street project is under construction. Information on that complete street project (including its green bike lanes) here.

Construction underway on the city of Santa Monica's Ocean Park Boulevard complete green street project

News and Events – 25 January 2012

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment


> Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited the L.A. River this month. Will plentiful federal funding for river revitalization soon follow?

> Will Campbell discovers a sweet new city of Burbank bike path along the Burbank Western Wash.

> Here’s a blog about recycled concrete rain gardens I’ve been working on with Koreatown Youth Community Center.

Sidewalk cyclist next to the new Avenue 19 bike lanes in Lincoln Heights

> The L.A. River Bike path bike lane bikeway takes a detour onto the streets of Lincoln Heights. I really really like bike lanes and I like the idea of getting them in first, then moving on to more expensive bike paths… but I fear the massive parking removal on this one here will trigger a backlash… potentially leading to future city reluctance to remove any parking anywhere ever. Even if  it’s not quite the L.A. River bikeway, it is a new precedent: the city of Los Angeles’ first completed asymmetric one-way bike lanes couplet… a treatment that I think works better on actual one-way streets. How about Cypress and Avenue 18 next?


> Elysian Valley neighbors have been experiencing some pollution issues due to Metrolink operations right across the river at Taylor Yard. Metrolink, So Cal Air Quality Management District, elected officials and the public will meet and discuss how to make the situation better. The meeting takes place TONIGHT – Wednesday January 25, 2012 at 6:30pm at the L.A. River Center, 570 W Avenue 26, L.A. 90065. More information here.

> Creek Freak’s Joe Linton will be speaking as part of the environmental media panel at the Council for Watershed Health forum on Tuesday January 31st 2012. More information at CWH website under events.

> CicLAvia returns Sunday April 15th 2012, starring the 4th Street Bridge over the L.A. River.

Downey Rec Ctr Albion Demolition Kick-Off This Thursday

September 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

Flier for this Thursday's Kick-Off Event - click for full-sized pdf

L.A. Creek Freak readers may remember the city of Los Angeles’ September 2009 acquisition of the 6-acre Albion Dairy site, adjacent to the L.A. River in Lincoln Heights. LACF ran this initial breaking news, a more detailed announcement, and photos of the site.

This week, at 12:30pm on Thursday September 29th 2011, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilmember Ed Reyes are hosting a demolition kick-off event. It’s open to the public – please attend and celebrate progress on the city’s newest river park.

An update on the project follows.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Albion Dairy Park Preliminary Designs, Meeting this Thursday

January 25, 2010 § 5 Comments

Design A features a soccer field, native landscape, skate park and bioswale

The city has released two preliminary design options for the new park at the Albion Dairy site in Lincoln Heights. The designs will be discussed at a community meeting coming up this Thursday night January 28th at 6:30pm at Downey Recreation Center. Higher resolution pdfs of the design options are available at the project’s website.

Design Option B which features dog park, skate park, tennis courts, native landscape, and bioswale.

Analysis of and opinions on the designs follows. Come this Thursday to give your input or give input via a three-page online survey hosted by the city (link is on the bottom right.)

« Read the rest of this entry »

Current Photos of the Albion Site

September 23, 2009 § 2 Comments

Albion Street Entrance to Ross Swiss Dairy

Albion Street Entrance to Ross Swiss Dairy

Regarding the city’s acquisition of the Albion Dairy site (and just how many separate blog entries L.A. Creek Freak is capable of squeezing out of a good big story), it seems like a lot of folks read the word “dairy” and get this very pastoral image of cows and rolling grassy hills.  So L.A. Creek Freak headed out to Lincoln Heights this morning to bring our readers some photos of the site as it exists today. Don’t let the word dairy fool you. You can see the site is indeed a fully-paved, industrial distribution center. Lots of 18-wheeler trucks, loading docks, basic industrial buildings, cars a-parking… not a blade of grass to be seen.

More distribution center than dairy
More distribution center than dairy

As our readers can see in the photo below, the Los Angeles River in this area is all concrete. Also visible in the photo are the two active railroad tracks that run between the river and the dai… er… distribution center. In the long run, as river-adjacent properties like this one are acquired, possibilities open up for river access above or below the rails, like these possible design renderings (see the four images at the bottom of the link) for the nearby L.A. State Historic Park.

View from the North Main Street Bridge - lots of trucks visible behind the fence

The west fence of the Albion Dairy site, viewed from the North Main Street Bridge - lots of trucks visible behind the fence

City Purchases 6-acre Albion Dairy Site for River Park

September 22, 2009 § 6 Comments

I was really excited to hear that the city was voting to purchase the Albion Dairy site earlier today, so I did my first ever blog from my phone – actually from council chambers. Here’s the follow-up story with lots more details and links.

First let me say thanks to all involved! Credit for this excellent purchase goes to City Councilmember Ed Reyes, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and also staff from the Community Redevelopment Agency, the Pubic Works Department Bureaus of Engineering and Sanitation, and the City Attorney’s office. Thanks to the mayoral Director of Capital Projects Christopher Espinosa and to Council Deputy Monica Valencia for providing background information to L.A. Creek Freak.

Albion Dairy Site. Dark green is new acquisition, light green is existing Downey Park.

Albion Dairy Site. Dark green is new acquisition, light green is existing Downey Park. Los Angeles River runs vertically on the left.

The Albion Dairy site is a 6.34-acre site located on the northeast side of the Los Angeles River in Lincoln Heights (google map here.) The triangular parcel extends from North Spring Street to nearly North Main Street. It’s adjacent to Downey Park and Recreation Center, and across the river from Los Angeles State Historic Park.

It’s currently in operation as a dairy, but there’re no cows there – it’s more of a distribution center and warehouse sort of thing, with lots of trucks picking up dairy goods. It’s operated by Dean Foods under the Ross Swiss Dairy label; the existing lease of the site will remain through January 2011.

The city has been in negotiations for a few years. I remember hearing some inklings of a project there in 2007 or so… but it wasn’t until today that I heard that the deal had been finalized. At the meeting of the full Los Angeles City Council this morning, the vote was unanimous to approve $17.4M in Proposition O funding for site aquisition and clean-up. The actual vote today was to shift $12.5M from another pot of money already approved for Taylor Yard to add to $5M that had already been approved for the Albion site. The full council action is detailed in this 7-page report and 1-page addendum from the city’s Administrative Officer (CAO.)  The CAO report includes aquisition major deal points, cost breakdowns, and a brief project description. There’s also a 1-page project description sheet from the city’s Bureau of Sanitation.

One interesting and far-sighted aspect of the deal, told to me by Espinosa, is that the owner was helpful in consolidating a Union Pacific railroad easement that runs diagonally through the site, and forms a panhandle into the area along the Downey Park pool (the panhandle is visible at the top of the image above.) With this easement included in the city’s purchase, the city can expand Downey Park to about 10-acres – both above and below North Spring Street. Downey Park has always been adjacent to the river, but never really pertained to it or connected with it. The expanded park property will include water quality features, likely some sort of natural area that would treat street run-off before it enters the river.

It’s going to be a while before the expanded Downey Park opens to the public (and this is probably a good thing with the city’s current major budget woes.) The site will continue to service its dairy business until early 2011. At that point, the city will clean up lingering toxics at the site, which likely exist from industrial uses that pre-dated the current dairy. Then a new Los Angeles River park will be built!

Albion Dairy Purchase!

September 22, 2009 § 3 Comments

Breaking news: The Los Angeles City Council is voting to purchase the 6.3-acre Albion Dairy site! Located in Lincoln Heights along North Spring Street, this will be a new Los Angeles River park. More details later today here at L.A. Creek Freak.

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