Sacramento, CA - The California State Assembly today voted 73 - 0 to authorize another $150 million in Proposition 1C funds. The Downtown Los Angeles Civic Park will receive $26.4 million of these funds, which were approved last week by the California Department of Housing and Community Development Loan and Grant Committee. The bill is pending the Governor's signature expected tomorrow or Monday.
The 16-acre park will connect the Music Center at Grand Avenue with City Hall at Spring Street, bordered by buildings along Temple and First streets. The Civic Park is a component of Phase One of The Grand, the three-block mixed-use project adjacent to the Walt Disney Concert Hall being developed by Related Companies. The initial funding for the design and construction of the park came from Related's $50 million ground lease payment for the Phase One development parcel.
"This is great news," said Supervisor Gloria Molina who chairs the Grand Avenue Authority, a city-county agency formed to implement the Grand Avenue plan. "The Civic Park will be the most important public space in all of Los Angeles and these additional funds will allow us to complete the complicated infrastructure needed to make the park accessible as well as add enhanced public features.
"Related has been a dedicated partner with us in securing these funds," Molina added. "With these new funds, the park will have approximately $82 million in the bank when construction is ready to start next summer," she noted.
The total includes $970,000 from State Prop. 40 funds and interest earned on Related's $50 million contribution. The Proposition 1C funds will go to the county for disbursement for park development.
"Sitting at the heart of our city, the Civic Park will be a signature icon for Los Angeles," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Thanks to Related and our partners throughout the county, all Angelenos will reap the benefits of this new, exciting, and engaging project."
Councilwoman Jan Perry, vice chair of the Grand Avenue Authority, said, "It is exciting and rewarding to see the Civic Park move forward. We are well on our way to realizing our vision for its central role in bringing our community together."
Nelson Rising, chair of the Grand Avenue Committee, the public/private partnership that is spearheading the Grand Avenue project, noted, "From the earliest stages of the Grand Avenue project, the committee saw the park as the essential link in the plan, knitting together downtown's civic, cultural and ethnic communities and giving Los Angeles the great central park that it deserves."
Related Companies is acting as a project manager for the design and construction of the Civic Park on behalf of the Grand Avenue Authority and was a co-applicant with the County of Los Angeles for the Proposition 1C grant. Los Angeles-based Rios Clementi Hale Studios is the lead design consultant for the Civic Park and MJM Management Group has been retained as the park operations and events programming consultant. It is expected that Civic Park will host community festivals, concerts, children's activities, civic events, benefit galas and farmer's markets. One of the primary features of the initial park construction is the upgrading and renovating of the historic Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain that will include programmable pop-jets, dramatic lighting and architectural modifications, encouraging park visitors to have more fun and interaction with the fountain.
Civic Park will feature flexible plazas, lawns and gardens, settings for both intimate gatherings and for large performances and festivals. Smaller gardens, groves, and walking paths will provide many passive spaces for quiet contemplation. A new 3/4-mile pedestrian promenade loop will encourage tree-lined strolling and jogging while unifying the disparate blocks. Amenities will include improved pedestrian access, public restrooms, security lighting, electrical, data and event infrastructure, hardscape and landscape renovation, and multilingual directional signage, all designed to accommodate a year-round calendar of diverse cultural performances and events.