UPDATED, Dec. 27, 9:25 a.m.: The first phase in the plan to transform Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park and with it South Los Angeles, will tip off in January, at a cost to L.A. County of $70 million.
S.J. Amoroso Construction was hired to lead the project. Named after the Lakers legend, the park in South L.A. will add a 20,000-square-foot event center and an outdoor wedding pavilion to its roster, as well as improved security features and parking lots, according to LAist.com.
Crews will also construct a “wetland experience” by diverting and cleaning water from the Compton Creek nearby to fill a pond at the park. Work is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The entire redevelopment plan for the 120-acre site is expected to cost around $135 million. It will be broken down into five more phases over the next 18 years, with plans for an equestrian center, outdoor amphitheater, and more.
The park project is just part of the recent surge of investment and redevelopment in South L.A. Luzzatto Company paid $17 million in October for a 42,000-square-foot warehouse next to Metro’s planned Crenshaw Line, and hopes to convert it into creative office space. Earlier that month, construction also started on the second phase of a $1 billion redevelopment project in Watts, which will bring 1,400 new housing units, retail space, a community center, and nine acres of green space.
Johnson, who is the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, played a key role in recruiting NBA superstar Lebron James to play for the team. The presence of James, who has two homes in L.A., led to business owners hoping to take full advantage of a “LeBron effect.” [LAist.com] — Gregory Cornfield