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The proposal to build park space above the U.S. 101 freeway's Downtown Slot has been quiet for some time, but don't count the project as dead quite yet.

Representatives of Park 101 have begun circulating updated information on the project, which would cap four blocks between Grand Avenue and Los Angeles Street.

The park is split into four segments, as seen here:

  • The Hill would respond to the elevation change between Hill Street and Broadway with sloping terrain featuring native plants and a viewing deck.
  • Moving east, LA Courtyards could include a children's play area, terrace seating, shade structures and a flexible grass area.
  • The Plaza could offer adaptible open space and water space, amongs other features.
  • The MerCado, located between Main and Los Angeles Streets, would feature a hardscape environment that could be used for cultural events, farmer's markets, and other functions.

The maintenance of the park could be funded through the development of six City- and Count-owned properties, as indicated by the image above.

  • Sites 1 & 2 consist of a .64-acre parking lot located north of the freeway between Main and Spring Streets.  According to the presentation from Park 101, the property could be developed with with four-to-five-story buildings featuring residential uses above ground-floor retail space.
  • Site 3, located across the freeway at the north side of the Los Angeles Mall, could be developed with a residential or hotel tower up to 25 stories in height.
  • Sites 4 & 5, located along the north side of the freeway between Broadway and Spring Street, are currently bisected by freeway on- and off-ramps.  Park 101 suggests shutting down the ramps to free up a nearly two-acre development site which could yield a high-density mixed-use project of up to 13 stories in height.
  • Site 6, located cross the street from Union Station, also features a freeway on-ramp.   Shutting down the ramp would create a 2.27-acre development site that could be appropriate for office buildings up to three stories in height.

Moving forward, the backers of Park 101 intend to evaluate possible funding mechanisms and the potential for the various development sites.  A full buildout of the proposal carries an estimated cost of $180 million.

It is unclear what will come of the segments of sunken freeway between Los Angeles and Alameda Streets, as well as the area located east of Alameda.  Earlier visions of Park 101 have shown both of these sections capped with green space.

Friends of Park 101 will continue its campaign on June 19, with a benefit event on the grounds of the 101 freeway overpass.

Related improvements are already taking shape in the neighborhood, including the La Plaza Village development and a streetscape project at Union Station.

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