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City recommends team to design LA River’s G2 parcel park

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The site is key to revitalizing the river

An aerial view of the Taylor Yard G2 parcel in Los Angeles, California. There is a river and on both sides of the river are many houses, buildings, schools, and parks.
A team including WSP and Mia Lehrer are poised to plan and design the 41-acre space.
Courtesy of Mayor Eric Garcetti

The city’s bureau of engineering has announced its preferred team to makeover a 41-acre parcel fronting the LA River known as G2.

Its pick is engineering and consulting firm WSP, a team that includes landscape architecture and urban design firm Mia Lehrer + Associates and the nonprofit Mujeres de la Tierra, a public health and wellness-oriented organization based in Cypress Park.

The goal is to turn the land into a vast and vibrant public green space.

The bureau says that the team will be in charge of helping the city and community develop a plan for both interim uses and the eventual ecosystem restoration of the site.

At a meeting last week to showcase interim uses, three finalists competing for the job, including WSP, emphasized that though they had plenty of ideas for the site, they were waiting for community input before deciding on anything firmly.

The contract that would finalize WSP’s position is expected to be awarded next month, with the “extensive community engagement process” kicking off early next year.

The site isn’t even expected to be open for interim uses for three to five more years.

Once part of the Union Pacific Railroad’s Taylor Yard freight-switching facility, it is highly contaminated and needs to be thoroughly cleaned. At last week’s presentation, city engineer Gary Lee Moore said that the clean-up and development of the site is estimated to cost $252 million.

Regardless of the pricey remediation, the 41-acre property has long been considered a key element to the large-scale ecological restoration of the LA River. The city purchased the G2 parcel in March, paying nearly $60 million.

The recommendation now goes to the public works department, which has the final say over whether WSP gets the contract.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said that remediation alone was expected to cost $252 million. That cost is for remediation and development of the site.