The site is an approximately 157-acre former Class II landfill, known as the Cal Compact Landfill (CCLF) site. It is generally located southeast of the intersection of the I-405 and the I-110 Freeways and is bounded by Del Amo Boulevard to the north, Main Street to the west, the I-405 Freeway to the east, and by the Torrance Lateral Flood Control Channel on the south and west.
Landfill operations on the CCLF were performed from 1957 to 1965, at which time the landfill was closed and covered with a layer of dirt. An estimated 6.2 to 6.3 million cubic yards of solid municipal waste were disposed of on site, with a total estimated landfill volume of 7.8 million cubic yards. Other than various remedial investigation and construction activities, the site has remained vacant since the closing of the landfill.
In 1988, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued a Remedial Action Order (RAO) to 12 different parties potentially responsible for the contamination of the site (Docket No. 87/88-040). Only one, BKK Corporation, responded to the RAO. Beginning in 1990, BKK Corporation, the California Department of Health Services (the predecessor agency to DTSC), and a potential developer, Metro 2000, collaborated on the Remedial Investigation (RI) to identify and characterize the extent of contamination on- and off-site. The investigation took place over the course of several years, during which time groundwater monitoring wells were installed on-site, and soil, air, surface water, soil gas, and ground water samples were collected and analyzed for contamination.
After completion of the RI, BKK submitted a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to address on-site contamination. Due to the nature of the contamination, the site was divided into two separate Operable Units (OUs): the Upper OU and the Lower OU. The Upper OU consists of the surface soils, the waste zone above and within the Bellflower Aquitard, and the Bellflower Aquitard down to, but not including the Gage Aquifer. The Lower OU includes the Gage, Lynwood, and Silverado Aquifers, and all other areas impacted by the geographic extent of any hazardous substances that may have migrated or may migrate from the Upper OU. The Lower OU will continue to be monitored, but no remediation is necessary at this time.
The RAP analyzed the threats to surface water, ground water, soil, and air on site, and determined that the most appropriate response included a groundwater extraction and treatment system (GETS), a clay cap over the areas filled with waste, and a landfill gas control and collection system (GCCS).
After the completion of the RAP, the site was the subject of multiple development proposals, but no real progress was made until the mid-2000s, under the Carson Marketplace plan for development. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was approved for the project in 2006, followed by the installation of the GETS, portions of the GCCS, and portions of the cap. In a 2009 Explanation of Significant Differences, a linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) membrane was permitted by DTSC in place of clay as a component of the landfill cap. Deep Dynamic Compaction (DDC), a method used to compress soil to reduce settlement over time by dropping a tamper from a rig, was also performed on the site in preparation for development.
Since the 1990s, the site has been the subject of multiple development proposals. The original vision for the property, the LA MetroMall 2000 project, was proposed in the early 1990s as a large traditional shopping mall featuring over 200 stores. However, the challenges of remediation and financial obstacles made the project infeasible. The next proposal was for a 75,000 seat NFL stadium, which never advanced beyond planning stages.
In 2005, the City of Carson approved plans for a mixed-use retail, restaurant, hotel, and entertainment development called Carson Marketplace. At this time, the Carson Marketplace Specific Plan replaced the existing regional commercial and light industrial zoning, and the City’s General Plan was amended to change the property’s land use designation to Mixed-Use Residential. After changing the name to The Boulevards at South Bay, plans for the development fell through in the aftermath of the 2008 recession.
In 2015, the site was again proposed to be the location of a new NFL stadium, this time with an additional retail and hotel component. A Stadium Overlay zone was added to the property by a public vote in 2015, but the NFL’s decision to locate the stadium in Inglewood reverted the site back to The Boulevards at South Bay Specific Plan zoning.
The currently proposed project, The District at South Bay, may include up to 1,834,833 square feet of regional and neighborhood commercial, including 350 hotel rooms, and up to 1,250 residential units, in addition to the 300 units planned for the 11-acre property north of Del Amo. Macerich, a national Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), in partnership with Simon Property Group, has submitted plans to build an approximately 711,500 SF fashion outlet mall on the portion of the property immediately adjacent to the I-405 Freeway.
Construction activities on the site include the completion of the remedial systems, including the completion of the GCCS, installation of the remaining portions of the landfill cap, and the overall grading of the site. No additional deep dynamic compaction will be performed.
Once the site is graded, concrete pile supports will be driven through the waste to native ground beneath, which will support buildings and critical infrastructure in the case of additional settlement of the landfill. The LLDPE membrane cap will be placed following installation of the piles. When the cap is complete, a building protection system (BPS) will be installed in areas where foundations are planned. Foundations will be lain over the BPS, and vertical construction will follow. Construction on the remaining remedial systems is anticipated to begin in October 2018.