Invited residents and their guests gathered on the Hollywood Park property last Saturday, in what may be the last opportunity to be there before construction begins in earnest. The event was a celebration of the Inglewood City Council approving the Revitalization Initiative at the February 24 meeting. Food, music, and speeches by community activists and council members were the order of the day. The location was the parking lot, to the north of the grandstands, almost the exact spot where the stadium and performing arts complex will be built.
The site was made festive with balloons and grandstands on either side of a small Astroturf field. After the speeches concluded and everyone had eaten, some hardcore football fans grabbed a ball and threw passes among adults and children. There were diehard Rams fans decked out in their jerseys with banners and pennants. The mood was festive on this warm March day.
I had the opportunity to tour the project two weeks ago. I wanted to see what is going on so that I may report to you as the project progresses. This is the first in a periodic series chronicling the development. The senior construction manager for Turner Construction was my guide.
Like many in town, I was concerned about the trees on the property and those removed from the sides of Prairie and Century. Those trees on the property line were removed due to age, condition, and disease. However, the other trees on the property were assessed and 96 of them have been boxed and relocated to the back for safekeeping. They will be part of the final landscaping of the project.
The stored trees were placed on the perimeter of The Renaissance property and near the property line of homes on 11th Avenue to offer a bit of privacy, and as a noise and dust buffer. A few trees have been temporarily re-planted instead of boxed, as that is best for their care.
Species in storage include Carrotwood, Olive, Sycamore, Chinese Elm, Weeping Willow, and Mediterranean Fan Palm. The company that boxed the trees comes to the site monthly to check on them. Each tree has its own irrigation system created in PVC piping. Further, every couple of months a Certified Arborist checks the health of each tree. Any vitamins or minerals needed are given at that time. Sadly, some trees, despite their excellent care, will not survive. Trees are sensitive and some just can’t take the stress of transplantation. There is no way to know in advance which trees will survive.
There are still trees left in place at various locations on the property. These will remain to act as windbreaks and dust blocks for both surrounding residents and construction. These trees will be removed and boxed as construction moves along.
Turner Construction is working hard to make construction – never an easy time for those nearby – as quiet and dust free as possible. Part of the construction team is a water truck that spends each day continually spraying the dirt roads throughout the site. There is also a sign at the construction entrance that notes a number to call for excessive noise.
The green cloth on the perimeter isn’t to obscure the view, though it does do that. The cloth is to safeguard workers and equipment from road detritus - rocks, hubcaps, etc. The sidewalks and ground on the street side of the green cloth will become an extra lane on Prairie and Century. The corner will also be re-aligned.
The race track area looks wild and wooly now. The track itself is gone and everything in the infield has been dug up or has gone brown. The track used was state-of-the-art and very expensive. It was sold to another race track.
The concrete from the infield and asphalt from roadways and the stables and housing on the grounds is piled up on site. Instead of hauling it off to a landfill, this pile will be crushed and used as a ‘base’ for the future roadways in the development. Conservation at work, yes, but it is also less expensive.
Sixteen of the squares of the racing silk designs that grace the front of the grandstands have been removed by the developer and are stored on grounds. No word just yet about what they plan to do with them.
There you have an overview of the development as it stands today. The next major happening will be taking down the grandstands. I will keep you informed as things progress.