City engineers, public works officials and developers stood on a hilltop just north of downtown on a recent weekday and gazed at a low-lying railroad yard dotted with weeds on the far side of the Los Angeles River channel.
To the uninitiated, it was a mildly depressing vista of concrete, unwanted vegetation and old buildings. But that's not what the people gathered on this hilltop saw.
"You're looking at a game-changer for Los Angeles — the epicenter of the transformation," said Omar Brownson, executive director of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corp.
City officials are negotiating to buy the 42-acre Taylor Yard from the Union Pacific Railroad Co....