The Los Angeles City Council’s Information and General Services Committee on Monday approved a motion by Councilman Ed Reyes (CD-1) to grant the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation access the old Lincoln Heights Jail, located on North Avenue 19.
Committee members, Councilman Tony Cardenas (CD-6) and Councilwoman Jan Perry (CD-9) voted to approve the motion: Councilman Joe Buscaino (CD-15) was absent from meeting, according to the Los Angeles City Clerk’ office. It could move to the full council next week for final approval, according to Reyes spokesperson Tony Perez.
The motion, originally introduced in April of this year, grants the issuance of a Right of Entry Permit to the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation (LARRC) to conduct an environmental and cost estimating analysis and to negotiate and execute a lease agreement for use of the Lincoln Heights Jail. LARRC is an independent nonprofit corporation.
According to the motion, the group is working with the City to redevelop the Lincoln Heights Jail with the goal of building “a clean-tech hub that promotes and enables entrepreneurial education, cultural initiatives and a sound multi-cultural economic base.”
Redevelopment would take place in phases—the first being to immediately “reactivate” the site with an application for Prop K Funds to build a rock-climbing wall, the third largest west of the Mississippi, which requires an environmental study, the motion states.
Reyes’ press deputy, Monica Valencia, told EGP the motion specifically addresses creating a climbing wall to expand recreational activities along the LA River, and not the redevelopment of the entire building. She said there is currently no proposed project to redevelop the building itself.
However, the LARRC website lists the jail as one of their redevelopment projects along the river. The group, with help from the city, intends to restore and refurbish the Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, decommissioned as a jail in 1965, so it can be used again, the website states.
“The project will follow the highest standards in design, program, and will make the most of its riverside location. Councilman Reyes has assured the community that existing tenants will be included in the redevelopment plans,” the LARRC website states.
One of those tenants is the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, BFA, which puts on bilingual theatre productions and provides training in the arts.
The jail is located within the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (CASP), the Cleantech Corridor, and is a proposed CRA/LA project area. The building, sitting next to the Los Angeles River, is owned by the City of LA (General Services Department). “We are currently conducting due diligence for repositioning the building in partnership with Metabolic Studio, Homeboy Industries and other stakeholders,” the LARRC website states.
The dilapidated building had been determined a safety hazard by the Los Angeles.