The Los Angeles Children's Museum should move to the soon-to-open North Hollywood subway station, providing easy access to children throughout the county, an official proposed Thursday.
In a motion to be considered by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board on Thursday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky asked that the agency negotiate a long-term lease of MTA land. Officials are considering a site at the southeast corner of Lankershim Boulevard and Cumpston Street.
"The museum has indicated that it is interested in relocating to a site that is accessible to mass transit and can attract patrons from all over the county," Yaroslavsky said.
Doug Ring, chairman of the museum's board of directors, confirmed that the museum is considering the North Hollywood site, along with Hansen Dam, land near the Japanese American Museum downtown, Exposition Park and a property near Orthopedic Hospital in South Los Angeles.
A lawsuit by homeowner groups and the Sierra Club to protect Griffith Park from encroachment from new development recently convinced the group to abandon plans to build a larger museum near the Los Angeles Zoo.
"Having now spent six years trying to nail down a new Children's Museum site, we're going to the first site that stops moving long enough for us to nail down," Ring said.
The existing museum, across the street from City Hall downtown, has only 17,000 square feet of space, but is visited by nearly 250,000 children annually. The museum has $9.5 million in bond money for a new facility.
The new museum would be 80,000 to 120,000 square feet, depending on the size of the site selected, Ring said.
While the museum has money to build a new facility, it does not have money to lease land at market rate, Ring said. Therefore, it will ask the MTA to provide a site for $1 a year, the same terms that exist for its current lease, he said.
The Children's Museum is the second project to emerge this week for the North Hollywood station area. With the subway station set to open June 24, officials are scrambling to find development to place on the vast amounts of vacant land around the terminal.
Agency officials have come under fire for not having development lined up for agency properties before the station's opening.
The MTA board Thursday will also consider a proposal by Deputy Mayor Jaime de la Vega to enter negotiations to provide agency land to the group that puts on the Grammy Awards so it can build a senior housing project for retired musicians across the street from the North Hollywood station.