Following a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the mixed-use development planned for Metro- and County-owned lots at Exposition and Crenshaw Blvd is on track to become affordable for 200 future low and moderate income households. At the junction where the Exposition and Crenshaw Lines meet, the site is anticipated to become a hub for public transit within the region. Watt Companies, in partnership with the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, has proposed developing 40,000 square feet of commercial retail, a community space, and a 25,000 square-foot grocery store on the ground floor with 400 units of housing on the upper floors.
Initially, 81 units were planned as affordable housing. However, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas pushed to expand the number of affordable housing units within the development to ensure that the project would be accessible to households at a variety of incomes, consistent with the character and desires of the surrounding community.
“We have but one opportunity to get the development on this catalytic corner where the Crenshaw and Exposition Lines meet right. And right means building a model transit-oriented community with high-quality housing that the community that calls the Crenshaw Corridor home can afford,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “I am pleased to partner with Watt Companies and the West Angeles Community Development Corporation to help advance this community vision and ensure that 200 of the units will be affordable to a diverse array of low-income, moderate, and working-class individuals and families.”
There are approximately 7,100 people currently living in 2,700 households located within a half-mile of the station area, of which 53% are renter-occupied households. The median household income in the surrounding area is $39,000 per year.
“As a long-term stakeholder in this community, I look forward to the delivery of Crenshaw Crossing as it will bring much-needed new housing to the neighborhood at rents that are affordable to a wide range of people who live here,” said West Adams Neighborhood Council Land Use Chair Eva Marie Aubry.
As part of the development guidelines established by Metro at the initiation of this project, local residents such as Aubry noted the need for market rate housing as well as housing affordable to residents of the existing community, including seniors and working families. A development that incorporated housing accessible for people who have lived in the surrounding community was seen as a critical component of the development strategy.
“Various levels of rent will encourage a thriving commercial, residential and family atmosphere to the area,” said Lynetta McElroy, a leader of the Western Quadrant of Leimert Park and the president of Grayburn Avenue Block Club.
In addition to providing retail space for local small businesses to thrive, a new grocery store is anticipated to increase access to healthful foods in the surrounding area. Metro has estimates that the Crenshaw and Expo Lines will have a combined estimated ridership of over 45,000 persons a day, many of whom will have the opportunity to patronize the retail uses on the ground floor of the development.
As part of the motion, the Supervisor also allocated $2 million to support the construction of the publicly accessible transit plaza that will connect the development to the rail stations.“Watt Companies, together with our partner, the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, remains committed to delivering a project that serves everyone in the Crenshaw community,” said Watt Companies CEO Nadine Watt.