The one transaction that went unnoticed from the early 1990s was the port’s $13.3 million purchase of the site at 41st and Alameda streets. Now, the battle over South Central Farm has changed all that.
Looking back a decade, it’s not hard to find irony in the correspondence between various city officials. In January 1994, 10 days before the Northridge earthquake, Riordan sent a memo to the head of the port instructing him to buy the land. At that point, even the mayor had noticed the small band of residents quietly farming on the property with the city’s blessing.
“A community issue still exists, in which a local organization is using a portion of the property for agricultural purposes,” Riordan wrote to port executive Ezunial Burts. “We will ensure that this matter is resolved before the port takes possession.”
Obviously, things are taking a bit longer than anyone could have imagined.