Back in 2013, Angels Knoll—the very site where Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel so romantically shared a bench in (500) Days of Summer—was closed to the public, with the hope that a lack of people would expedite a sale of the property. As of late last year, nothing had happened: the City was hoping to purchase the site from the agency in charge of selling assets owned by the defunct community redevelopment agencies, but that meant coming up with $10 million it didn't have. Today, Downtown News reports that things are finally moving. The City will act as "the middleman for a sale to private developers," but the park is unlikely to reopen as the sale moves forward, and will probably stay a vacant, ugly space even as fancy nearby projects rise.
It comes down to money, as it so often does. The City is in the process of assessing the land right now; what was valued at "more than $10 million" last September is now looking to be "north of $20 million." After the value is determined, the site will go out to bid, hopefully by the end of the summer. The park could be reopened as these proceedings move along, but that would mean spending—something the City is hesitant to do, considering a sale is (hopefully?) imminent. A BID could also step in and bring the park back, but that, too, depends on resources. Local stakeholders are unlikely to spend money on a project like this, where any work they may put in would be ripped up by the eventual developers.
Whoever ends up with the site, another skyscraper still seems all but certain. The plot has a number of entitlements already, and backs right up on Two California Plaza; Equity Residential's 33-story apartment building is going up over the Red Line entrance across the street. Downtown News quotes recently-reelected Councilman José Huizar as being in favor of "some sort of mixed-use high-rise development." It's nice to pay lip service to the greening of Downtown, but when money's involved, glass and steel is much preferred.—Ian Grant
· Public Plaza and Park Likely to Remain Shuttered for Years [Downtown News]
· (500) Days of Summer Park Could Be Replaced With Skyscraper [Curbed LA]