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City of Los Angeles collects $4.8 million for sale of would-be soccer field

January 5, 2010 |  7:44 pm

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office on Tuesday collected more than $4.8 million for the sale of a three-acre lot south of downtown that figured in a dispute over a nonprofit organization’s failure to transform the property into a state-of-the-art soccer field and youth center for low-income families.

In 2001, the City Council allocated a $2.4-million community development block grant to Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles in order to purchase the land for development of the youth center. The city filed a lawsuit in 2008 for breach of contract after Concerned Citizens failed to make any progress on the project.

In August, a judge ruled in favor of the city on the grounds that Concerned Citizens did not have a right to the property, which was seized by the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2008 through eminent domain. As a result, the city was awarded the property’s fair market value, which was deposited with the court.

In the lawsuit, the city demanded Concerned Citizens pay back the amount of the original block grant, plus the amount the land had appreciated since 2001, which totaled about $4.8 million. The city was also awarded about $132,000 in attorney’s fees and costs.

“The city has already redirected the collected money to another project site south of downtown, only a few blocks away from the property that was in dispute,” Deputy City Atty. John A. Carvalho said. “That project is a large green space with an affordable housing component.”

-- Louis Sahagun