Short Odds for $2B Hollywood Park Plan

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 2:43 PM PDT
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Short Odds for $2B Hollywood Park Plan

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It's been a 71-year run for Hollywood Park. But it hasn't always been a day at the races, financially speaking.

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The Inglewood City Council tonight will consider a proposed $2 billion real estate development that would replace the historic
Hollywood Park racetrack and change the face of the city.

The track's owner, Bay Area developer Wilson Meany Sullivan, plans to start work on a massive retail and residential complex in about a year if the council approves the project, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Development would end racing at Hollywood Park, where thoroughbreds have raced since 1938.

Racing would continue "up to the last minute" before construction, Chris Meany, a partner at Wilson Meany Sullivan, told The Times. Horse racing officials would get six months' notice, he said, and racing would stop at the end of one of the track's two annual seasons, which conclude in July and December.

Meany said he knows there are racing fans who don't want to see the end of the track, but he said the track is no longer viable as a business.

The new project, called Hollywood Park Tomorrow, would incorporate the existing Hollywood Park Casino. According to Meany, the card club is more profitable than the track, which no longer pulls the crowds it once did, The Times reported.

Through its sheer size, Hollywood Park offers a rare opportunity for large-scale development in an urban area. At 238 acres, it is about the size of Boston's financial district and twice as big as Vatican City.

The developer's proposal calls for creating a new neighborhood in Inglewood, with curving streets, parks and possibly a school. The district would include office buildings and a hotel, according to The Times.

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