Carson looks to score despite lost NFL stadium deal

South Bay city has plans for housing, restaurants, industrial space and park on former landfill site

Los Angeles /
Feb.February 08, 2022 11:56 AM
(Daily Breeze)

Carson, whose bid to build a $1.7 billion stadium to host the Rams and Chargers lost out to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, might be a winner after all.

The working-class South Bay city ended up paying $1 for the 157-acre former landfill once envisioned as a site for an NFL stadium, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Plans are now in the works to develop all five of the landfill’s parcels at Del Amo Boulevard and the 405 Freeway.

They include 900 affordable housing units, an industrial complex, restaurants, a 12-acre community park and an amphitheater.

Carson was paid more than $1.5 million to cover negotiation costs after the stadium deal fell through in 2016, City Attorney Sunny Soltani said.

Once on the brink of landing the prized National Football League stadium, the city saw its dream slip away when team owners voted 30-2 to give final approval to the $5.5 billion SoFi complex, developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. A year later, the Chargers signed on to join the Rams as tenants of SoFi.

The win for Inglewood ended a fierce rivalry to bring professional football back to the Los Angeles market, with both the Rams and Chargers relocating to the region. The arrival of the two came nearly two decades after the Rams and Raiders exited Southern California. It also spelled the end of a complex land deal intended to bring a stadium to Carson.

The Chargers and Raiders considered joining forces on a development in Carson. The long dormant landfill – with a toxic cleanup at a reported cost of $100 million – was once owned by Carson Marketplace, an entity of Starwood Capital. Terms of the sale of the land to a company owned by both teams while they were considering the Carson project were not disclosed.

Once a deal for a stadium in Carson fell through, an entity controlled by the city exercised its right to buy the land for $1.

Now the one-time garbage dump is in the hands of Carson residents. The city once harbored 24 landfills and 76 junkyards, taking on the unkindly sobriquet of the “garbage can of Los Angeles County” in some quarters.

The former landfill, however, continued to have toxic repercussions. In 2020, developers Simon Property Group and Macerich, which had planned an outlet mall on the site, filed an $85-million lawsuit accusing the city of running out of money to complete the needed remediation work. The bulk of the suit was thrown out in 2021.

Soltani said the latest plans hold the potential to make good on all the wrangling over the years.

“I think the entire region benefited from this deal because at the end of the day, we’re on the cusp of developing this property that had been sitting there unremediated, undeveloped for five decades,” she said.

[LADN] – Dana Bartholomew





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