The Los Angeles City Council signed off Tuesday on a mixed-use project that will add 1,400 apartments and condominiums, a 200-room hotel and commercial space near downtown’s Fashion District.
The project at the site known for The Reef, a design and wholesale showroom space at 1900 S. Broadway, includes a pair of residential buildings each towering over 30 stories, as well as retail and commercial areas. The Reef was formerly known as the LA Mart.
The council voted 11-0, without comment, to approve the project. The panel also asked the City Attorney’s Office to draw up an agreement in which the developer would contribute about $23.5 million toward affordable housing and other community benefits.
The development agreement was intended as a way to appease critics of the project, but opponents told the council that they feel city leaders have ignored concerns that the cost of living will go up in the area and make housing less affordable for nearby low-income residents.
The Planning and Land Use Management Committee approved the project earlier this month over the vocal objections of dozens of supporters and members of United Neighbors in Defense Against Displacement.
The group, which filed a formal appeal with the city, raised concerns that the project does not include enough affordable housing on-site and contended that as many as 43,000 nearby residents could be displaced.
Of the residential units, 549 would be rented out as apartments and another 895 would be sold as condominiums. Plans also include a hotel, community room and commercial areas featuring a grocery store, restaurant, gallery, fitness center and retail shop space.
During the committee hearing, the project received its share of endorsements from some nearby residents, a labor group and the councilman for the area, Curren Price.
Price pointed to the thousands of jobs that the construction of the project and the future hotel could create, many of them for local residents. He also said the developer has agreed to contribute $15 million toward affordable housing projects at other locations and $3 million for job-training, after- school and other community programs.
The developer was also being asked to include 28 units of affordable units for very low-income tenants, a contribution that amounts to about $5.3 million, according Price spokeswoman Angelina Valencia.
—City News Service
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