Hollywood Park Project OK'd in Inglewood

'Hollywood Park Tomorrow' redevelopment would begin construction in about one year.

The Inglewood City Council, as expected, gave final approval on July 8 to several zoning and specific plan amendments allowing the owners of Hollywood Park to replace the track with a massive real estate development.

The package included a 134-page development agreement between the city and owner Hollywood Park Land Co., an affiliate of Bay Meadows Land Co., which purchased the 238-acre site from Churchill Downs Inc. in 2005. The series of council actions concluded a process that began last month with the approval of a final environmental impact report.

Developer Wilson Meany Sullivan says it plans to invest about $2 billion into the project, dubbed "Hollywood Park Tomorrow." It plans to begin the project in about one year.

The owners have promised to keep Hollywood Park open through the end of of 2009 and would provide the racing industry in California with six-month notice before closing the track. Chris Meany, representing the developer, reportedly told the Inglewood council that racing would continue "up to the last minute" before construction.

According to the report, an overflow crowd attended the evening meeting at the Inglewood City Council chamber and filled up a downstairs meeting room as well. While some spoke in favor of preserving the track, most were supportive of the development project, according to the report.

Hollywood Park opened for racing in 1938 and hosted the first Breeders' Cup in 1984.

The project calls for the demolition of the racetrack and construction of approximately 3,000 for-sale dwelling units, 620,000 square feet of retail space and 75,000 square feet of office and commercial space. There would also be allotted 10,000 square feet of community serving uses for a home owners’ association. An optional 300-room hotel, including 20,000 square feet of related meeting space, is in the plan.

A four-acre site is also proposed for civic uses, which could include uses such as a school, library or community center. Approximately 25 acres would be designated for recreation/open space (parks and a lake). The project would still include a card club where one currently exists next to the racetrack.