Construction on the Medallion, a $125 million mixed-use project on a key plot near the Historic Core, the Toy District and the Civic Center, has been halted. Developer Saeed Farkhondehpour last week said he has stopped work for at least a year because of the sagging economy and rising costs, Downtown News reports.

"It's horrendous out there, absolutely awful," Farkhondehpour told Los Angeles Downtown News last week, referring to the retail and residential rental markets. That, coupled with a recent 20% increase in the construction cost for both phases of the project, convinced him early in May to halt all plans for the five-acre complex.

The development had been slated to provide 200 market-rate rental units averaging 1,000 square feet, plus 750 parking spaces. Just as importantly, it was supposed to include 203,000 square feet of retail, shops and restaurants, as well as an outdoor plaza and an amphitheater.

"Financing was all arranged; financing is still in place. I had to call the lender and tell him I didn't want to build something I can't rent out," he said. "That's been the concern for the past seven or eight months as it's been getting worse every month. The contractor came up with some 20% cost increases and that was like, let's just shut the damn thing down and forget about it."

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