Downtown LA Gets a New Park

The Grand Avenue's centerpiece gets the green light

Downtown LA is going green in a grand way.

County supervisors agreed Tuesday to lease public land for the development of a $50 million, 12-acre park that will run from the Music Center to City Center, despite strong objections by one board member.

The $3 billion Grand Avenue project planned by The Related Cos. -- to include residential and retail space downtown -- has been delayed indefinitely, but the board's action will allow the project's centerpiece park to be built.

"What we have before us is an opportunity to move forward a very important part of the project," said Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Molina and county Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka both expressed disappointment with the project delays, but attributed them to broader economic concerns and said The Related Cos. was not at fault.

But Supervisor Michael Antonovich moved to delay the board's vote.

"It only seems fair to ask whether this is a reasonable expenditure of public funds in an environment of decreasing sales and property tax revenues, an existing county hiring freeze, reduced federal and state aid, and the anticipated "curtailments" to personnel and programs in the county's 2010-11 budget," Antonovich's motion stated.

Fujioka urged the board of move forward, saying delaying approval "could have a significant impact" on both timing and costs.

The Grand Avenue Authority, set up to oversee the development of the project on land owned by both the county and the city of Los Angeles, was established in 2003.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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