Hollywood Park Project Gets Key Approval

Final action on a redevelopment plan for Hollywood Park could come as soon as May 28 after the Inglewood Planning Commission recommended approval to the City Council.

The massive 238-acre mixed-use project, which would mean the destruction of the racetrack, has been dubbed "Hollywood Park Tomorrow." The package, approved unanimously by the planning commission May 11, included a final environmental impact report, a general plan amendment, zoning code changes, and other public-use entitlements. It was sent on the council, which had been scheduled to meet next on May 26, but has changed the date to May 28.

The developer for property owner Bay Meadows Land Co. says it will pour $2 billion into the project, which it plans to build over the next decade. Its current scope entails 620,000 square feet of retail space (shops, restaurants, and a giant movie theater complex), 75,000 square feet of general office space, a 300-room hotel and convention center, about 3,000 residences, a rebuilt casino and gambling facility (to replace the one adjacent to the racetrack), and 25 acres of park or open space.

Diane Becker, a racetrack supporter who is fighting the development, said she was heckled by the gallery when she attempted to speak against it.

"I don't think they liked hearing that no one will come to Inglewood just for some shopping," Becker said. "Hey, the truth hurts sometimes.

"The developer will promise them anything," she added. "It is such a bad idea, especially economically. I think they must imagine money just falls from the skies into Inglewood when this developer comes to town."