Back in July, we reported on a fire that seriously damaged a toddler playground at Pan Pacific Park. At the time, there was no word yet on whether or not the vandalized equipment would be repaired or replaced, but the Buzz learned this week that the LA Parks Foundation has received a donation of $236,000 from Hackman Capital Partners, owners of nearby Television City, to rebuild the damaged playground.
Community anger was strong in the days following the fire, with lots of outrage expressed on neighborhood social media, and Carolyn Ramsay, Executive Director of LA Parks Foundation, told the Buzz this morning that the incident was “especially demoralizing” because it’s a space so frequently used and highly valued by local families.
But now, according to the Parks Foundation, “the donated funds from Television City will be used…to build a new and improved playground by Summer 2023, with funds covering the cost of equipment and installation as well as community outreach.”
“The new ADA-accessible playground will cater to small children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, promising fun elements including a spiral slide, tilted rock wall and tic-tac-toe panel.”
“Television City is thrilled to support Pan Pacific Park, a treasure of the Beverly/Fairfax community,” said Hackman Capital founder and CEO Michael Hackman, in a public statement. “Parks are often the heart of a community and an essential part of what makes a great city.”
‘We are so grateful to Television City and Hackman Capital Partners for this donation as a park playground plays a vital role in connecting a community,” said Ramsay in the same statement. “Parks and playgrounds help kids learn balance, coordination, dexterity and social skills while having fun. It is crucial that community parks and playgrounds be as accessible as possible, providing a place for children and adults to be active and enjoy time outdoors.”
And Jimmy Kim, General Manager of the Los Angeles The Department of Recreation and Parks, echoed Ramsay, saying the Department “is extremely thankful to Television City for their generous donation.”
“Their quick response to restore an essential park amenity,” he said, “is a testament that their organization values the quality of life of the communities we serve.”
Ramsay explained to the Buzz that the Parks Foundation had actually been discussing possible projects for Pan Pacific Park with Hackman Capital Partners since February of this year. And after the July fire, she said, the talks resumed in earnest. Ramsay credited Hackman with the idea of donating funds for the playground restoration, and said the company is an “extraordinary property owner…genuinely interested in the community.” She also said that supporting the park is a “natural” for the historic production studio, located just a short distance west of the park on Beverly Blvd.
The donation is “such welcome, great news at a time when we really need it,” said Ramsay, and it provides “such a happy end to the story.”