Development Pressure: 1997–1999
In 1997, a Federal Express facility was constructed on 8 acres in the middle of the site. The following year, Nelson Nameplate, a local business, constructed an expanded facility on roughly 9 acres at the northwest tip of the site.
When Legacy Partners proposed a 49-acre business park - the LA Media Tech Center - at the site’s northern end in 1998, the community welcomed their proposal for the jobs it might bring. We had some concerns about the project’s environmental impacts, so the LA City Planning Dept. conditioned Legacy to work with us to develop and incorporate cutting edge stormwater Best Management Practices before approving project. Legacy Partners listened to concerns regarding impacts to the community and the River, and made substantial changes in their design to accomplish an environmentally sound design.
In 1999, Lennar Partners, a Florida based developer proposed a 2/3 industrial 1/3 retail development for Parcel D. The proposed development included 650,000 sq ft. of industrial warehouses in an area immediately adjacent to residential neighborhoods and schools, posing numerous environmental impacts to the community. We worked with them for many months in an attempt to achieve basic environmental goals as we had successfully done with Legacy. Although their Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) was seriously flawed, the City approved the project and the City Council approved $4.37 Million in public subsidy funds to offset the developer's costs.
Facing the prospect of a development that would negatively impact the community and forever cut off its access to the river, The River Project’s founder Melanie Winter filed the official opposition to the project’s MND.