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Trammell Crow buys Los Angeles River development site

November 4, 2011 |  7:00 pm


Developer Trammell Crow Co. has agreed to buy a once-controversial site along the Los Angeles River near downtown Los Angeles with the intention of turning it into a manufacturing center for technology businesses.

Trammell Crow said it would pay $15.4 million to the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency for 20 acres of land at Santa Fe Avenue and Washington Boulevard. The deal is contingent on a decision from the state Supreme Court expected by January on budget legislation that sharply limited the agency’s functions.

The Cleantech Manufacturing Center project would create 300,000 square feet of industrial and office space to house about 200 workers and would be the southern anchor of a planned technology corridor along the river, said David Bloom of the CRA.

The top 30 feet of soil at the site has been cleared of contaminants left by generations of industrial use involving train maintenance and bus manufacturing, said Brad Cox, a senior managing director at Trammell Crow. Work could begin by the end of 2012 while further pollution abatement continued, he said.

“There are just not a lot of large parcels available in the downtown-adjacent area, and this is a chance for us to deliver a state-of-the-art product to attract clean-tech tenants,” Cox said.

Earlier plans to reuse the site decades ago included a prison and a toxic waste incinerator, but neighborhood opposition thwarted those proposals.


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Photo: Redevelopment official Cecilia Estalano, left, and city planner Claire J. Bowin look over the clean technology corridor plan on the Los Angeles River in 2009. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times