The Community Development Commission has been selected to oversee new developments on a busy stretch of Vermont Avenue in Koreatown, helping to usher in a new era of business friendly neighborhood improvements as well as much needed affordable housing.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved having the Community Development Commission oversee the redevelopment of county-owned land to turn it into two parcels of private development and one for a new county office for the Department of Mental Health with up to 800,000-square-feet of total new construction. This is historic in that the county will use a portion of its property for private development that will generate revenue to offset costs to build a much needed new county building. Additionally, the project will generate construction and permanent jobs while expanding the tax base for local jurisdictions.
The proposal to tear down the crumbling headquarters of the Departments of Mental Health, Community and Senior Services and Parks and Recreation comes after ten years of trying to bring about changes and to remove the blight created by these dilapidated buildings. The County buildings, which are decades old, suffer from years of wear and tear, including asbestos, broken down elevators, root trees growing through the floors and water damaged walls. One of the buildings is red tagged.
The Community Development Commission, which functions as the county’s economic development department, has a record of producing thousands of affordable housing units throughout the county. The CDC has been asked to look at a variety of options that could include senior housing with a community center on the ground floor, in response to the needs expressed by the community living near the area.
The board’s decision to move forward with these plans will initiate an open, competitive and transparent process that will allow business owners to bid on the development of the properties.
“This stretch of Vermont has undergone tremendous change over the past ten years,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Now, the county can also do its part in helping usher in new construction that will only benefit the area. Our county workers will no longer be expected to work in subpar conditions. Importantly, residents will be given the opportunity to reside in new, affordable housing as well as enjoy the future businesses that will cater to so many on this lively and busy stretch of Los Angeles.”