Garcetti And City Council Celebrate Purchase Of 'Crown Jewel' L.A. River Parcel

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The current G2 parcel, and a rendering of a draft concept of what interim uses might look like. (Photo and rendering courtesy of the Office of the Mayor)

By Mariel Turner

Mayor Eric Garcetti acknowledged the closing of escrow on a 42-acre riverfront parcel, known as the ‘crown jewel’ of the Los Angeles River revitalization plan, on Friday, more than a month after the city approved its purchase.

“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,” Mayor Garcetti said in a press release. “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.”

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to allocate around $60 million in state and city funds to purchase the G2 Parcel in January.

The purchase of the Cypress Park property is an essential step to restoring the wetland habitats surrounding the L.A. River because of its size and location, the Mayor’s office said.

The G2 Parcel will also create one mile of direct riverfront access with views of downtown, the Griffith Observatory, and the iconic Hollywood sign by connecting the Rio de Los Angeles State Park to the Bowtie parcel, according to the LA City Council.

“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,” Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León said in the press release. “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 land was part of the recently developed Taylor Yard, a 250-acre yard owned by Union Pacific Railroad, according to city officials.

The city is expected to work with the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control to create a plan for public site use and remediation.

Mariel Turner is a freelance reporter who covers local and entertainment news in Los Angeles.