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Los Angeles May Grow An Extra 40 Acres

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Los Angeles may soon pick up an extra 40 acres for redevelopment purposes. The 40 acres in question runs along Alameda Street near the 9700 block in South L.A. and according to the Los Angeles Register, there's not a whole lot there "save a few dead animals…cracked pavement, and a whole lot of weeds." It also belongs to no one, even though it is near several other city jurisdictions, which is why L.A. wants to adopt it. In order for the land to officially become part of L.A., it will need approval from the city, county and the Local Agency Formation Commission. The L.A. City Council's Budget and Finance Committee has already approved adding the parcel to the city.

In August 2013, L.A. City Council approved a $1 billion plan from the L.A. Housing Authority to redevelop the surrounding neighborhood. If the land is adopted by L.A., it will be included in that plan, the Jordan Down Urban Village Specific Plan.

Watts' Jordan Downs housing project has long been said to be a hotbed of crime and other unfavorable activities, so much so that Jordan Downs was featured in an article in the L.A. Times this August when it made it three years without a homicide. The project was built in the 1940s as a place for workers to live during World War II, then converted into public housing in the '50s. It received little attention over the years as it deteriorated and was infiltrated by gang violence and drugs. The 1993 film Menace II Society was shot in Jordan Downs.

Currently, over 2,200 residents live in 700 apartments, city reports say. The city wants to demolish those buildings, clean up the area and remove contamination along Alameda Street from former industrial uses, then build 1,400 housing units, plus shops, restaurants, parks and other neighborhood amenities. The plan is for those who already live to be relocated into the new units, which will remain affordable.

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Currently, the city has been providing the area with community services such as job training, classes and youth outreach, Curbed LA reports.

According to David Roberts, who works in the office of 15th District Councilman Joe Buscaino, cleanup has begun.