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Luis Montejano- Sotheby's International Realty's Blog

By Luis Montejano | Broker in Riverside, CA
  • Echo Park Lake Has Been Drained – Wildlife Dazed and Confused

    Posted Under: General Area in Echo Park, Home Buying in Echo Park  |  November 11, 2011 8:43 AM  |  575 views  |  No comments

    By Luis Montejano, Broker Associate and Realtor in Los Angeles (Sotheby’s Int’l Realty, Los Feliz)

    If you want to find deep water in Echo Park any time soon, you better stick with MacArthur Park. Announced in 2010, the $64 million L.A. city initiative to drain Echo Park Lake is now well underway. It’s been done before—more than a few times—and this much is true: whenever a project like this comes around, it always gets worse before it gets better. Residents are dealing with it though; they know the end result is worth it.

    While it’s true that reducing the lake to a desiccated mud flat doesn’t result in the prettiest site in the world, residents now have something to look forward to. Officials in charge from the Los Angeles Department of Public Works report that they are taking seriously the issues of foul smells, inconvenient parking restrictions, and the potential harm to wildlife. Their focus is to address those issues and offer a lasting community improvement that will make Echo Park a more attractive place to live and work.

    Wildlife biologists have safely transported more than 90 turtles and 2,800 live fish to their temporary vacation spots. As organic waste is removed and clean water is introduced, Echo Park will gradually become home to new fish and wildlife, and the relocated species will be re-introduced. That will alleviate the odor problem that has been reported and restore balance to the eco-system of the region. In time, the area will be close to its original pristine form and residents will be able to enjoy boating, and sunsets once again.

    It’s probably safe to say that any eco-rehabilitation project that includes draining an entire lake into the Pacific at a rate of 1 millions gallons per day, the relocating of wildlife to temporary safe havens, demolition, clean-up and improvements is no walk in the park. Teams are working to make the project run as smoothly as possible, but official’s caution that there are sure to be some bumps in the road.

    Nonetheless, the project promises some much needed improvements. Reports say that new sidewalks, an observation deck, some benches, and a new crop of lotus plants are all in the works. Even the restoration of the Lady of the Lake statue to her original location is being considered. Echo Park is well on its way to becoming a true lakeside community again. It will take time, but those who buy Echo Park real estate there now will find affordable prices and home values that will certainly go up when the Echo Park project is complete.

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