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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Population zero: This is why Manchester Square near LAX will soon be uninhabited

July 26, 2017 02:00PM

Los Angeles International Airport and its surrounding neighborhood (credit: Getty Images)

The neighborhood of Manchester Square near the Los Angeles International Airport will soon have a population size of zero. 

Airport leaders voted last month to seize the remaining 37 residential properties by eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use. They plan to turn the land into an LAX transportation hub.

L.A. City Council is expected to approve the use of eminent domain in a vote next month, KPCC reported.

City officials started clearing out the 20-square block neighborhood in 1999, after the airport offered voluntary buyouts to homebuyers.

The process was slow but it picked up speed when a landlord with 35 properties sold its holdings to the city in December 2016. The deal helped motivate the board of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which operates LAX, to pursue eminent domain by a vote made in June.

As of last month, the owners of 26 of the remaining 37 properties decided to sell. Their tenants will receive relocation assistance, according to KPCC.

Attorney John S. Peterson, who represents some of the remaining owners, said his clients would sell if they receive proper compensation.

The mostly deserted neighborhood will used for airport parking, public transportation and a new rental car center will be constructed on the site.

Airport leaders filed a final environmental impact report in February for the project called the Landside Access Modernization Program.

If approved, they eye-popping $5 billion project could start as earlier as this year and finish in 2023, according to LAWA. [KPCC] — Subrina Hudson