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Magic Johnson Park In South LA Is Getting $70M In Upgrades -- Including A 'Wetland Experience'

(Courtesy office of Mark Ridley-Thomas)
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Some big changes are coming to the Earvin "Magic" Johnson Recreation Area in South Los Angeles after county leaders voted to start construction on new amenities.

The first phase of construction in the Willowbrook-area park begins in January 2019 and will cost $70 million. A new 20,000-square-foot community events center will be built and improvements will include an outdoor wedding pavilion, better security lighting and parking lots.

Renderings of the project show happy ghost families enjoying strolls and bike rides in the park on upgraded paths as kayakers paddle in the lake and phantom horses take in the scenery.

(Courtesy office of Mark Ridley-Thomas)
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"The master plan reflects feedback from hundreds of residents and the result is visionary," County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a press release. "From a state-of-the-art events center, new water features, upgraded walking paths and play areas, we are building amenities at Magic Johnson Park that everyone will enjoy."

The park will also feature "a wetland experience for park goers" by diverting and cleaning water from nearby Compton Creek and using it to fill the lower lake, according to county officials.

County officials also said the project will create job opportunities for local residents. Amoroso Construction, the company hired to build the project, is required to allot 30 percent of the total construction hours to people who live within five miles of the park, or in a zip code within L.A. County with a high poverty rate.

(Courtesy office of Mark Ridley-Thomas)

The first phase of improvements and upgrades is slated to wrap up in 2020. The park's master plan projects a total of six phases of improvements and possible future amenities include an equestrian center, sculpture garden, skate park and aquatic center.

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