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Bridge Housing Begins Construction On Jordan Downs

Jordan Downs redevelopment

Jordan Downs, a big development in the Watts neighborhood of South LA, is kicking off its first phase.

Developer Bridge Housing will build 115 apartments next to the neglected public housing complex, Curbed Los Angeles reports.

Jordan Downs was converted to low-income housing in the 1950s after being built for factory workers during World War II.

Rendering of Phase 1 of Jordan Downs

The city hopes to create a thriving mixed-use community with a total of 710 apartments and townhomes, nine acres of green space and a community center.

The first 115 apartments will be set aside for residents who earn 50% or less of LA County's median income, with 72 of them saved for those who currently live there. Existing residents also have been promised their rents will not go up, and they will not be forced out during construction.

Thirty percent of the construction workforce will come from Watts.

There have been concerns soil in the area is contaminated due to its history of being used as a site for manufacturing of steel and storage for oil, paint thinner and gas.

A lawsuit was filed earlier this year by the LA Unified School District against the Housing Authority of the City of LA to try to get the city to pay to clean up toxins from the ground at nearby David Starr Jordan High School.

In recent years, state regulators said the area where Jordan Downs is being built was sufficiently cleaned up and did not pose a risk for locals.