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On February 28, the Los Angeles City Council's Arts, Entertainment, Parks, and River Committee will take up consideration of a proposed master plan which envisions transforming part of a City-owned property along the L.A. River into public green space.

The 24.6-acre Central Service Yard, which houses operations for the Department of Recreation and Parks at 3900 W. Chevy Chase Drive in Atwater Village, occupies "prime riverfront real estate," according to a motion introduced in 2014 by 13th District Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell.  Under the proposed master plan, which was developed by landscape architecture firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios, multiple phases of construction would rebuild and consolidate the CSY facility onto a smaller footprint, opening up the portion of the property which lines the east bank of the river to be repurposed as park space.

A full buildout of the project, budgeted at approximately $312 million, calls for demolishing most of the existing structures at the CSY lot to allow for the construction of a four-story, 100,000-square-foot administration building, a new warehouse, a handful of smaller office buildings, and a new parking garage.  Two existing construction shops would be renovated, rather than rebuilt.

This plan would result in approximately five acres of riverfront park space, with additional greenery planned for a landscaped buffer along the eastern side of the property.  One alternative within the master plan could allow for the CSY site's existing warehouse to be retained and reused as part of the park.

The master plan would be implemented in seven phases over approximately 10 years, with the proposed park scheduled to arrive in years six and ten of the buildout.  At completion, a graphic from RCH Studios states that the total amount of landscaped space across the 24.6-acre property would be increased more than eleven-fold, while the amount of paved space would be decreased by over 36 percent.

Besides the CSY property, the City of Los Angeles is currently pursuing a number of other improvements for the L.A. River, particularly along a soft-bottomed stretch known as the Glendale Narrows.  A new pedestrian bridge across the river is set to rise just south of the CSY site, and a $1-billion makeover is planned with the Army Corps of Engineers for an 11-mile stretch of the river between Griffith Park and Downtown.  A handful of smaller projects are also bringing parks and new observation areas to the northern reach, while stakeholders in Southeast Los Angeles County consider methods to remake the lower L.A. river.

Site plan for the full buildout of the proposed CSY master plan. Image via City of Los Angeles.
Full buildout of the proposed CSY master plan. Image via City of Los Angeles.
Overhead view of the CSY site. Image via City of Los Angeles.
Location of the CSY site. Image via City of Los Angeles.

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