Montejano, Broker Associate and Realtor in Los Angeles (Sothebyâ€™s Intâ€™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.
Itâ€™s been done beforeâ€”more than a few timesâ€”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 itâ€™s true that reducing the lake to a
desiccated mud flat doesnâ€™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.
Itâ€™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 officialâ€™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.