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Mayor Garcetti Celebrates Final Acquisition of Land Considered 'Crown Jewel' in Vision to Revitalize the L.A. River

Posted on 03/03/2017
aerial landscape

Escrow closes on purchase of G2 property north of Downtown, property that is key to habitat restoration and opening new access for surrounding communities

Mayor Eric Garcetti today led a celebration of the close of escrow on nearly 42 acres of property at the center of plans to revitalize the Los Angeles River. The G2 parcel is the final remnant of the 250-acre Taylor Yard owned by Union Pacific Railroad.

“We’ve always considered G2 to be the crown jewel in our vision to revitalize the L.A. River, and that’s why I have been committed to fighting for the resources to finally return this land to the people of Los Angeles and the wildlife that call it home,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We got it done, and now this vast site can transform how Angelenos connect with the natural world — because it will allow for habitat restoration, and open more than a mile of direct access to the river for local communities that have been cut off from it for too long.”

Taylor Yard is on the east bank of the L.A. River, north of Downtown in the community of Cypress Park. The surrounding parcels at Taylor Yard have already been developed into Rio de Los Angeles State Park, the Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies, and the Taylor Yard Transit Village. The G2 parcel will connect Rio de Los Angeles State Park with the Bowtie parcel, another State Park site — opening up more than one mile of direct riverfront access. Mayor Garcetti worked closely with State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León to secure $25 million in state funding toward the City’s purchase and development of the G2 parcel.

“I’ve been focused on revitalizing the L.A. River for the better part of a decade, including fighting for the $25 million budget allocation that made it possible for us to acquire this parcel,” said Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León.  “We have a long way to go to realize our dream of a healthy L.A. River as a vibrant social and recreational center of our city, but today the future looks brighter than ever.”

“The purchase of the G2 parcel is a crucial step toward realizing Angelenos' vision of a restored Los Angeles River. Funding for the Los Angeles River has been a top priority for me since I was elected to the State Assembly in 2012,” said Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez. “I have continued advocating for the river since then, whether it be carrying legislation to put polluter fees to work for the Los Angeles River, or ensuring we are well represented in state water-bond negotiations. I am particularly proud to have worked with Senate Pro Tempore Kevin De León to secure a contribution of $25 million from the State of California towards the purchase of the G2 parcel, which will greatly enhance Angelenos' enjoyment of the river by opening up a mile of direct public access.”

On January 27, the City Council voted to approve the purchase, with an allocation of nearly $60 million.

“My colleagues and I were relentless in making sure the City negotiated a fiscally responsible purchase and sales agreement to acquire the Taylor Yard G2 site,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “Today, Angelenos now own the largest available piece of property along our Los Angeles River. Parcel G2 is a keystone for habitat restoration identified in our Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, and I commend the Chief Legislative Analyst, the City Administrative Officer, the City Attorney's office, the Bureau of Engineering, my staff, and the Mayor's office for the tremendous lift to acquire this asset for all of Los Angeles to enjoy."

The G2 parcel is prioritized in both the City’s Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration project, which was approved by the U.S. Congress in 2016.  Because of its size and location along a soft-bottomed stretch of the river, G2 can help restore riparian habitat, while also providing expansive new public views into Downtown and to the iconic Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Sign landmarks.

"It has been a process to secure the G2 site in Council District 1, but we have finally done it," said Councilmember Gil Cedillo.  "G2 is the most integral part of the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan for Northeast L.A., for it is the only direct access point to the river from the communities in our district. It is the beginning of the future for the L.A. River as we imagine it."

The City will now begin planning for beneficial public site use and site remediation in coordination with the State’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.