The City of Los Angeles continues to move forward with plans to construct a new pocket park next to a library in Koreatown

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department circulated a notice of intent to request the release of $4 million in community development block grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The money would go toward the construction and operation of the Pio Pico Library Park, to be located at 694 S. Oxford Avenue.

The project, which is being designed by JFAK Architects, calls for replacing the library's surface parking lot with a one-level subterranean garage capable of accommodating up to 50 vehicles.  At street level, plans call for community-serving amenities such as an amphitheater for public events, a children's playground, shade structures, a fitness area, a walking loop, seating, and tables.  A total of 96 bicycle parking spaces would also be provided as the park's perimeter.

Plans for the Pio Pico park come years after the former Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency attempted to convert a long-empty lot at 7th Street and Hobart Avenue into a "Koreatown Central Park."  The demise of the state CRA system felled that plan, and the City of Los Angeles did not act to save the property for green space in the aftermath.  The lot has since been sold and developed with an apartment building called the Pearl on Wilshire.

The library site is also located on the same block as "Liberty Park," a large grassy expanse adjacent to the Wilshire Park Place office tower. Though the title of "park," is somewhat of a misnomer - the office building and Liberty Park are both private property - the space does occasionally house community gatherings. As such, an attempt to redevelop the site with a mixed-use tower was met with was met with blowback last year, resulting in the full property being nominated as a Historic-Cultural Landmark.