We were a bit concerned last month by the less-than-verdant construction shots we took of Downtown's new 12 acre Civic Park. But County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky allays our fears slightly--"the downtown park project is definitely entering its green period," according to a story on his website. That means trees are being trucked in, with 50 (of 373) new trees planted since July. Many of the trees are palms, but there will also be dozens of California sycamores, Tipuana tipu trees, coast live oaks, and other varieties when landscaping is done; supposedly in May. There's also a new Starbucks going up at the north end of the Rios Clementi Hale-designed green space. The coffeehouse--bigger than the previous incarnation at 1,195 square feet--is getting a slanted green roof and a new ten year lease agreement with the County. Rent "will go to $3,585, from $2,250," Yaroslavsky's site says. "Since business is expected to increase once the new park is open, the county--which will receive 6% of the coffee concession's annual gross sales above $717,000--anticipates that its take will go up as well. The total annual revenue for the county, including the rent, is projected to be about $70,800 a year."
If you're still not convinced that progress being made, the restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain will be tested around the first of the year, while barricades that closed off the project from Grand Avenue will be coming down soon--the Grand Ave. sidewalk, which has been annoyingly inaccessible, opens on Monday, "along with a mid-block crosswalk that leads to the Music Center and the Grand Avenue ramps to the Hall of Administration parking lot."
· Greening of LA's Civic Center [Zev Yaroslavsky]
· Downtown Civic Park Looks Like It's Taking Its Sweet Time [Curbed LA]