By Arnold Adler
DOWNEY — Plans are continuing for an estimated $10 million sports complex, promised by Los Angeles County on property it owns in the southwest part of the city.
The City Council July 10 approved on a 4-0 vote an option to lease about 5.56 acres at 7631 and 7651 Gardendale St. between Erickson Avenue to the west and the St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy to the east.
Councilman Alex Saab was absent.
There is no timetable for construction, said Downey Community Development Director Aldo E. Schindler.
In a written report to the council, Schindler said city staff and county employees have been working on the project for several years.
The lease option calls for the city to maintain the complex, once built; and to pay a $10,000 option fee, to go toward future maintenance.
Once a formal deed is approved, Downey may lease the facility for 20 years at $1 a year, Schindler said.
Proposed for the Rancho Los Amigos South Campus Sports Center are three synthetic turf or grass soccer fields, with one of them large enough to host high school soccer competition as well as football and lacrosse play.
There would be a 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot building housing a community meeting room, restrooms, concession stands, administrative offices and storage.
Temporary or permanent bleacher seating also is being considered, Schindler said.
Lighting and a 74-space parking lot are planned. Fencing is planned along the boundaries plus landscaping with drought-tolerant plants.
The county is also considering security to protect neighboring historic building.
A warehouse off Gardendale, used by the Downey Rose Float Association, would not be affected. The association builds the city float for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade each Jan. 1.
However, should that site become available in the future, the city would be interested in acquiring it, Schindler said.
He noted that the county Board of Supervisors Nov. 22, 2016 allocated $10 million for the complex project, part of its $468 million redevelopment of the 80-acre Rancho Los Amigos South Campus, located south of Imperial Highway.
Some county offices are proposed there.
The sports complex was first proposed by retired Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe and is supported by his replacement, Janice Hahn, Schindler added.
Also planned on the site is a railroad depot in the area near Garfield Avenue and Gardendale Street for a proposed light rail commuter train to run on abandoned Union Pacific tracks from Artesia through Cerritos, Bellflower, Downey, South Gate and Lakewood, turning north to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
That project is not expected to be completed until 2028.
Los Angeles County also owns the renowned Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, 7601 Imperial Highway, which is undergoing a separate $418-million expansion.