The old South Central Farm parcel in Central-Alameda is close to being made whole again, which means it can be sold to a clothing manufacturer. City Maven reports that the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee approved a deal yesterday that will allow developer Libaw-Horowitz to pay the city $3.6 million for park improvements in the area in exchange for 2.6 acres of the 14 acre parcel--land that it was supposed to have set aside for a park. The property, bound by 41st Street, Alameda Street, Long Beach Avenue, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, was home to the farm until 2006, when protestors including Darryl Hannah took to the trees in an attempt to stop the developer's bulldozers.
When Curbed last heard news of the parcel, mayoral candidate and Councilmember Jan Perry was pushing the land swap, claiming that the former farm site would not be a safe location for a park given the pollution from industrial uses and freeways in the area.
Libaw-Horowitz is also in escrow to sell the 14 acres to a buyer who wants to build a garment manufacturing plant on the site. Councilmember Perry made this pitch in a statement following yesterday's vote (as quoted at the City Maven): "This is and has been a privately owned piece of land since 2003. Additionally, this is an industrially zoned land in the middle of the Alameda corridor. The city has the opportunity to enhance recreation and park spaces for people in the immediate area and support job creation through this amendment. At a time when unemployment is in excess of 20 percent for the area, this is an important goal."
Of the $3.6 million due the city if the deal is granted full approval, $2.7 million would be spent on new playground and exercise equipment, building renovations, and a basketball court for the Pueblo Del Rio housing project. The rest will be used for new play equipment and sports programs at Fred Roberts and Ross Snyder parks.
The deal still requires City Council approval. The Harbor Department deferred to the City Council in August when it had a chance to vote on the deal. The South Central Farmers website is currently silent on yesterday's vote (they've previously shown opposition). Horowitz protesters back in 2006 via the LA Times
· Budget Committee Swaps Land for Park Improvements in South L.A. [City Maven]
· Clothing Factory vs. Park Fight on South Central Farm Site [Curbed LA]