Corporation formed to help transform LA River

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2009 10:26 AM

A nonprofit corporation was established Tuesday to help advance a decades-long plan to transform 32 miles of the concrete-filled Los Angeles River into a strip of parks, walkways, bike trails and housing.

The Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation is tasked with buying, selling and developing property along a portion of the river stretching from the west San Fernando Valley to East Los Angeles.

City Councilman Ed Reyes said the newly formed body would be able to carry on its mission, despite changes in the makeup of government that have stymied progress in the past.

"This could be a pillar that would withstand that political turbulence," he said.

The articles of incorporation were approved by five board members who were appointed by the mayor and council's office. The board is comprised of business people, neighborhood advocates and cultural figures, including former "Melrose Place" actress Daphne Zuniga.

The corporation was formed as part of the $2 billion L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan, which also calls for a Los Angeles River Authority made up of city, state and federal officials and a philanthropic Los Angeles River Foundation.

The city of Los Angeles in September bought its first parcel of riverside property, which will be used as a park, as part of the plan. The six-acre former dairy center distribution center site cost $17 million, which came from a 2007 bond measure approved to fund water quality improvement projects.

The corporation will receive $750,000 in seed money from the city's redevelopment agency, but officials plan for it to become financially self-sufficient.