Vermont Manchester Project Takes Shape

Moving one of South Los Angeles’ most innovative mixed-use projects a step closer to fruition, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to begin exclusive negotiations with the Bridge Housing Corporation as the developer selected to build a signature housing and retail project at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Manchester Boulevard. The mixed-use project is designed to fulfill many of the needs of the community and surrounding neighborhoods. It is slated to include 180 affordable residential units – 55 units to serve as supportive housing and the other 125 units for households earning 40 to 60 percent of the area’s median income. Accommodations will range from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

In addition, the project is envisioned to have 62,000 square feet of commercial uses, with potential tenants including a grocer, a restaurant, general retail, and a job training center to be operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The project also includes a plaza for the community and a five-story parking structure with about 400 parking spaces.

The County received proposals from six developers and, after a thorough review of each proposal, the evaluation committee recommended entering into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Bridge Housing. In addition to Bridge Housing, the developer team also includes the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) and Primestor Development, Inc.

“Bridge Housing, and the team it has assembled, has the precise mix of experience with public-private partnerships, as well as experience building both affordable housing and commercial development. It also has the sophisticated financial acumen that we were seeking,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sponsored the ENA motion and who is spearheading the project. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’ve made.”

Bridge Housing has built more than 17,000 units of housing, with a total development cost of over $3 billion. The CRCD maintains a portfolio of $103 million of housing development projects in operations, pre-development and/or construction in the South Los Angeles area. Primestor, the commercial development arm of the team, has developed, managed, and acquired several million square feet of commercial/retail space throughout the United States, overseeing a portfolio in excess of $750 million. Bridge Housing would be responsible for all contract matters.

The four-acre site, which the County acquired by eminent domain last spring, has long been an eyesore in the community, many of whom are welcoming the advent of housing and retail. In the months before construction begins, the County plans to maintain a consistent level of engagement around the wishes of the community.

County engagement began with a kick-off event last July, when neighbors were invited to share their vision for the site while enjoying hotdogs and ice cream. Next up will be a family-friendly Fall Solstice event. Stay tuned for more information!