Folks who live in downtown's East Village finally have a public park to call their own – and not an ordinary park.
It’s an artistic and architectural marvel — a small but creative greenbelt in the midst of a booming residential neighborhood shedding its past as a grimy industrial stretch.
Fault Line Park is named for the Rose Canyon seismic fault that runs miles underground, its north-to-south path traced by a concrete walkway on the 14th Avenue site between Island and J streets.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Todd Gloria presided over a Friday morning ribbon-cutting ceremony that attracted top civic leaders and scores of upscale East Village residents.
The 1.3-acre park cost $3 million to build — but nobody's blinking.
After all, it's a price-appropriate centerpiece for a neighborhood populated by $150 million residential towers whose penthouse apartments lease for $10,000 a month.
East Village now encompasses several major excavation sites that’ll give way to more skyscrapers, eventually rising where warehouses once stood — until local speculators began redeveloping in the early 1970s.
"And then the national guys came in,” says David Hazan, president of the East Village Association. “They got wind of it, and then all of a sudden the landscape changed,”
Hazan, who’s done business in East Village since 1974, said the newer investors have the kind of money and vision to bring about wholesale change.
“And now you see the result,” Hazan enthused, spreading his arms wide. “Cranes in the air, new buildings, parks. So it's an exciting time down here. Very exciting."
But curbing some enthusiasm for potential homebuyers accustomed to suburban comfort zones might be the proximity of folks kindly referred to these days as "unhoused" and "displaced."
They’re a vestige of the neighborhood’s down-at-the-heels early days where warehouse delivery truck drivers routinely dodged derelicts too wasted to know they were in harm’s way.
With this in mind, the city found it necessary to declare the park a 24-hour alcohol-free zone, with a 9 p.m. to dawn curfew.
But East Village residential pioneers such as Bob Link, who bought into East Village with his wife 11 years ago, said not to worry — there's now so much to this community to embrace and celebrate.
"I've never felt unsafe walking the streets,” Link told NBC 7. “We have walked our dog on the streets. We've stopped and talked with people that are unfortunate, finding themselves without a place to live right now.
“I've had an opportunity to work and try to find solutions, and I think a lot of people in East Village are solution-oriented," he added.