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Council Member Wants More Housing In Plan To Remake Downtown's Civic Center

A rendering of the 2017 plan for the Civic Center.

For the past four or so years, a total redevelopment has been planned to replace the former police station Parker Center and other older city buildings with office high-rises, housing and retail. There hasn't been much movement on the plan since the demolition of Parker Center wrapped in 2019  — until now.

Last week, the council member who represents the area knocked the dust off those plans with an aim to add a lot more housing, Urbanize LA reports

Kevin de León introduced a motion last week asking that the city explore expanding the list of properties that could be covered by the Civic Center master development plan, which was approved in 2017

That plan was championed by then-Council Member Jose Huizar and sought to consolidate city offices and generate more activity in the area after the workday, through proposed retail, housing and hotel uses. However, due to rising costs projected on the Parker Center replacement tower, the project was canceled in July 2020, Urbanize reported

De León’s motion states that while that plan was conceived to make the best use of the city buildings in the area, it didn’t include all the city-owned sites in the area that could also be utilized for new offices or affordable housing.

“Expanding the footprint of the CCMDP and adding in other properties will provide more flexibility to interested parties from the private sector,” de León wrote. 

The council member's motion describes the redevelopment of the Civic Center as an opportunity to make headway on the city's goal, set in August, of adding at least 25,000 units of homeless housing to the city by 2025. As of January 2021, the city had approximately 24,500 units of units of housing for unhoused people, including temporary housing, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing, the Daily News reported

The motion directs the city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department, city administrative officer and chief legislative analyst to put out a request for information from potential developers with the aim of building at least 3.5M SF of housing and creating 1.5M SF of centralized city offices on sites that are included in the existing master plan and on city sites in the area that weren’t previously considered for development. 

De León’s motion also states that the city wants these projects to be finished before the 2028 Olympics come to the city, and that the ultimate developments should “reduce the costs to the city as much as possible while maximizing the amount of affordable housing that can be constructed.”