Clearing the Way for New Development at Vermont and Manchester

Rendering of the proposed development at the corner of Vermont Avenue and Manchester Boulevard (Killefer Flammang Architects).

Los Angeles County crews demolished the last remaining structure at the corner of Vermont Avenue and Manchester Boulevard to make way for new development projects on a site that sustained extensive damage in the 1992 Civil Unrest and remained mostly vacant ever since.

“We are sweeping away the vestiges of the past and creating a promising future at Vermont and Manchester,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said.

After a Superior Court judge approved its use of eminent domain, the County took possession of the four-acre property on May 7th and began the process of developing one of the largest tracts of vacant land in South LA to benefit the surrounding community.

On May 21st, the County started to demolish the burnt hulk of a building that used to be shopping center. Once that is completed, crews will clear weeds on the lot, and install new fencing around the property.

The County’s next step is to encourage robust community engagement in conceptualizing interim uses for the site, as well as the development projects.

In partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the County is looking to build the first boarding academy in the state that will focus on preparing youth for careers in the transportation sector. It also has plans for 180 units of affordable housing, as well as 50,000 sq. ft. of retail and various transit-related amenities.

The County sued in December to condemn the property on the east side of the 8400 and 8500 blocks of South Vermont Avenue from longtime owner Eli Sasson. In his ruling, issued April 26th, LA Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy wrote, “The Court finds that (the County’s) needs override any hardship suffered by (Sasson).” He added, “(Sasson) will not lose rents and (Sasson has) sat idly on the project without development for years.”

By law, the property owner will receive fair and just compensation for his land.