Councilwoman Park Leads Historic Vote to Bring New Green Space to Westside 

The unanimous vote will transform LAX’s northside area with tennis courts, soccer fields and other recreational amenities 


Westchester, CA – Councilwoman Traci Park led a unanimous vote on Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council to approve a historic $65 million agreement between Los Angeles World Airports and Lulu’s Place that will bring state-of-the-art recreational and enrichment opportunities to approximately 20 acres of LAX’s Northside Area. The transformative project will include new tennis courts, soccer fields, a dog park and community playground.


“Activating LAX’s Northside area with green spaces and recreational opportunities has been a long-time community vision,” said Councilwoman Traci Park of the 11th District. “I’m thankful for this groundbreaking partnership with Los Angeles World Airports and Lulu’s Place, which will serve and enrich countless generations of Westchester residents and Angelenos, while honoring the life and legacy of an extraordinary woman  – Lulu Kimmelman.”


The restoration of LAX’s Northside Area for community-based uses goes back decades when LAWA first acquired 340 acres of land abutting LAX’s northern boundary in the 1970s. After robust community engagement, the City Council approved an Environmental Impact Report for the site in 2016 which envisioned the development of new green spaces, airport use, and commercial use, in addition to design guidelines for the site.


“Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is excited to work with CD11, the community, and the Kimmelman Foundation and its partners to bring a state-of-the-art recreational facility to a portion of the vacant LAX Northside campus,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. “The Lulu’s Place team is developing this multimillion-dollar facility that will bring tennis courts, pickleball courts, soccer and multi-purpose fields, a dog park and a children’s playground to the community at no cost to the City or to the airport.”


Lulu’s Place is inspired by the passion and generosity of its namesake – Carol “Lulu” Kimmelman – a California native who passed away in 2017. A lifelong tennis player and former public school elementary teacher, Lulu believed fervently in the power of tennis and other sports to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds. 


“Lulu believed all children have the potential to achieve greatness. By harnessing the power of athletics and education, Lulu’s Place will serve generations of young Angelenos as a living legacy to an extraordinary woman,” said Doug Kimmelman, president of the Kimmelman Family Foundation and husband of Lulu Kimmelman. “We’re grateful to LAWA, Councilmember Park, and Mayor Bass for enabling yesterday’s momentous approval, and look forward to being great partners with the City as this world-class community center takes shape.”


The project has been celebrated by the local community, over 100 of whom gave public comments and submitted letters of support during this week’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee, which heard the item before City Council’s consideration.  


“As a mother and president of the NCWP, this is an exciting investment in our community that will bring new recreational opportunities for our children to add to the resources available to our local schools,” said Paula Gerez. “ I am proud of the significant role our Neighborhood Council played in working with the Kimmelman Foundation to make sure Lulu’s Place is successful, and we look forward to the on-going partnership that will help shape this project as it moves forward.”


“The Lulu’s Place project is an exciting one for the St. Bernard High School community, and I am thrilled about our families having access to the amazing parks, athletic facilities and especially the learning opportunities, said Rosalie Roberts, principal of St. Bernard High School. “As an educator for more than 20 years, I know these learning resources can change the lives and the future academic trajectories of a young person by exposing them to hands-on relevant learning opportunities. We are grateful that the Lulu’s Place project is moving forward.”


In approving the lease, Councilwoman Park also instructed Los Angeles World Airports to continue their engagement with the surrounding community to address concerns related to the construction and operation of the project.