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340 Acres Near LAX Getting Total Overhaul

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A three-mile pedestrian path and lots of open space

The total reboot of about 340 vacant acres owned by Los Angeles International Airport north of LAX has been a long time in the making, but now, an update to the LAX Northside Plan has been approved, and it’s going to mean big changes to the empty land, says KPCC.

The plan aims to mix office space, retail, pedestrian and bike areas, and green space on the large site, and will include eco-friendly features, like "permeable pavement and green roofs," area councilman Mike Bonin tells KPCC. The plan calls for a three-mile pedestrian path connecting Westchester to Playa del Rey and the beach, plus as much as 49 acres of open space. Rios Clementi Hale Studios was the master planner for the project.

Here are the plan's three goals:

  • Bolster pedestrian culture through improvements like the paseo and the open space
  • Create some "low-scale development," such as offices and retail outlets as a buffer between these fun recreation options and the airport
  • Integrate sustainable landscaping

The plan won the go-ahead from airport commissioners, planning commissioners and the Los Angeles County Airport Land Use Commission, but still needs to be reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration, because it’s so close to the airport.

It's definitely scaled down from a 1980s plan that wanted to throw office high-rises and big retailers onto the land in a way that would have resulted in much more developed square footage, around 4.5 million square feet. This time around, the maximum would be about half that—2.32 million square feet.