Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Councilman Curren Price reiterated his support Tuesday for The Reef mixed-use development project, despite opposition by members of community groups who contend it would raise the cost of living in South Los Angeles and drive out current residents.

Members of Union del Barrio, the South Central Neighborhood Council, Dreamers of South L.A. and other groups were among those expected to gather outside Price’s office late this afternoon to protest the proposed development, which includes more than 1,400 condo units, a 208-room hotel, and retail and dining areas.

The project is being proposed for two empty parking lots at 1900 S. Broadway, close to Los Angeles Trade Technical College and two Metro light rail stations.

The protesters, who planned to hold up signs and luggage symbolizing residents who will be forced out of the area, say the developer has said the single-unit condos are expected to go for $2,000 a month, twice as much as the typical resident of the area can afford.

According to analysis by the groups, as many as 43,000 current residents could be displaced as a result of the project.

The protesters also say that despite the developer promising millions of dollars to the city for affordable housing, none of those units will be part of the project.

Azucena Favela, a member of the South Central Neighborhood Council, said she is “disappointed in Councilman Curren Price for supporting the Reef, a project that does not include affordable housing units on site.”

Price said he continues to support the project because he believes the developer’s commitment of $15 million for affordable housing and other programs benefiting the community shows the developer has the “commitment and desire to being a good neighbor, and has made it a point to offer our community the opportunity to be part of something great.”

He also said he has already identified 10 sites in his district that could use the affordable housing funds, adding that he will be requesting another $3 million from the developer when the project is discussed at a planning commission meeting on Thursday.

Price said he welcomes this project and that he “can’t in good faith oppose a life-changing development that has the potential to transform an entire community for the better.”

He said the project will be needing 2,700 construction workers, and will create another 600 permanent jobs. The benefits agreement also includes a provision calling on the developer to hire 30 percent of workers locally, he said.

–City News Service

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