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Everyone Betting on Dodger Stadium Land Development

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Decades after the last residents were cleared out of Chavez Ravine, development at the site is still a perennially hot topic. Now that the Dodgers and their Chavez Ravine stadium have sold to Guggenheim Baseball Management, the LA Times is speculating on what will happen to the 300 acre site (which includes many acres of parking lots, still partly owned by much-hated former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt). According to the paper, real estate experts "say it's likely the new owner is looking to do more with the land than simply park cars. They point out that the rich price paid by Guggenheim — at $2.15 billion, a record for a sports franchise — suggests it will need to add new revenue streams in addition to what is expected to be a lucrative television contract." Stan Ross of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate guesses that "There is probably a media or a real estate play." And don't forget that new minority stakeowner Magic Johnson is a real estate investor (his Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund has worked with 940 East 2nd St., One Santa Fe, and Sunset & Vine).

During the few short good years, McCourt proposed a massive Chavez Ravine development around the stadium that would've added retail, restaurants, a Dodger museum, garages to replace lost parking, and open space and promenades. And practically since Dodger Stadium was built, people have been suggesting that it be relocated Downtown--now with the proposed South Park NFL stadium plan, those noises are getting a bit louder (NFL stadium developer AEG says that "a downtown baseball stadium would be among other possible options if the football stadium were derailed.") Of course, that would mean tearing down the MLB's third oldest ballpark, which is just old enough to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (And wouldn't that be a fun preservation battle to watch go down?).

According to the LAT, McCourt gave up half of his parking lot shares, but "will retain complete control of five parcels comprising nearly 20 acres of land immediately adjoining them." And it turns out that in 2008 he also picked up "an entire city block between College Street and Figueroa Terrace, just down the hill from the stadium," for $9.1 million. The site is right next to the 110 Freeway exit, so McCourt will be right in the way if the city ever wants to expand the access there--which it will probably need to do if Chavez Ravine gets redeveloped.
· Developing Chavez Ravine is likely in play for new Dodgers owner [LAT]
· McCourt Sells Dodgers But Keeps Stake in Stadium Parking Lots [Curbed LA]

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