COMPTON — After 70 years of manufacturing and distribution brick, the Compton Brickyard is getting a complete makeover.
Ground was broken Dec. 3 on a project that will convert the brickyard into a 1.1 million-square-foot light industrial park.
Mayor Aja Brown, City Councilwoman Janna Zurita were joined by Brad Cox, senior managing partner for developer Trammell Crow, project manager Greg Ames, State Sen. Isadore Hall, retired Councilwoman Delores Zurita and local civic and business leaders.
Located at 13633 S. Central Ave., the Atkinson Brickyard had been family owned since 1934. The clay mining and brick manufacturing operation on site ceased in the early 2000.
When completed, the new Compton Brickyard will boast a sustainable design with state-of-the-art architecture the likes of which do not exist currently anywhere in Greater Los Angeles, the developer said. The project will help connect Compton to the billions of dollars flowing annually through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while also creating a best-in-class development on a site they say that has been underused for decades.
“I am excited to see Trammell Crow take on such a grand project,” Mayor Brown said. “From day one they have been committed to the city of Compton and transforming this site. They have been very responsible and giving corporate partners who believe in Compton and have shown that through their investment in us. Promises made and promises kept.”
Zurita, who grew up with the old brickyard in her backyard, worked with Trammell Crow to secure $45,000 that will be used to revitalize Jackie Robinson Stadium news that got a standing ovation from Compton Baseball Training Academy founder Gerald Pickens, who also attended the groundbreaking.
Completely privately funded, the new Compton Brickyard is expected to have an economic impact of more than $100 million annually, according to an independent report provided by Trammell Crow.
The developers have committed nearly $1 million to the city of Compton to support the project, including $463,573 to the Compton Unified School District and Compton Community College District, $250,000 towards Compton CareerLink job training program where six Compton residents have already been selected for an apprenticeship with all fees and costs covered; and $45,000 to the revitalization of Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Plans also call for $8.9 million in neighborhood improvements by the end of 2016 with $1 million dedicated to perimeter landscaping. Other improvements include: the repaving of Central Avenue along the property’s frontage, rebuilding the intersection of Sam Littleton and McKinley avenues, new sidewalks along Central Avenue and around the property’s boundaries, new traffic signals at 139th Street and Central Avenue and Rosecrans and McKinley avenues, one new crosswalk at 139th Street and Central Avenue and the planting of more than 500 trees around the property and maintained at the developer’s expense.
A local woman, Ginell Butler, opposed the project in a news release she sent out to local media.
Butler said the idle brickyard had produced rodents, spiders, bugs and ants that have invaded local homes and accused Trammell Crow of refusing to assist neighbors in getting rid of the pests unless the residents signed a liability waiver.
The project also is expected to bring hundreds of industrial jobs to Compton.
As a part of the city’s community benefits agreement with Trammell Crow, $250,000 in seed money has been donated to create an industrial jobs training program in collaboration with the Compton Unified School District and Compton College to help ensure that Compton residents are qualified to compete for the new job opportunities as they become available.
Typical light industrial jobs include expeditor, fork lift operator, inventory technician, packager, pick and pack worker, shift coordinator, sorter, shipping and receiving, security and warehouse staff roles among others. The project will provide preferential hiring during construction for local and minority-owned subcontractors.
Interested job candidates can contact the Compton CareerLink at (310) 605-3050 for more information.
The project is scheduled for completion next fall.