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Redeveloping Rail Yard for Olympics Could Drain LA River Restoration Budget


Redevelopment of Union Pacific’s 125-acre PiggyBack Yard (PBY) in Downtown LA will transform the rail yard to a park on the LA River, but there is growing concern over the cost of the project.

Former LA County supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who now heads the LA Initiative at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, says pushing the project’s completion from 2033 to 2024 could drain about a third of the river project’s estimated $1.35B budget. LA’s 2024 Summer Olympics proposal identifies PBY as the site of the Olympic Village, which would provide housing for 16,500 athletes. Following the Olympics, the city would convert these residential units to market rate and affordable housing.

Originally, city officials had counted on federal funding to help redevelop the site, which is contaminated. The city is still negotiating  with the site's owner, Union Pacific, which is not planning to relocate or close this active rail yard soon and even has plans to modernize it. [LAT]