Following through on one of his campaign promises, L.A. Mayor James Hahn last week said he intends to expand the Mayor’s Business Team’s mission to include identifying sites for housing and expediting mixed use projects with substantial housing components.
Hahn also named a City Hall insider, Jonathan Kevles, to head the Business Team. Kevles, 33, served as an organizational consultant to various city departments, including the Community Redevelopment Agency, the Department of Water & Power, and the City Attorney’s office led by Hahn.
Kevles also brings some economic development experience to the job, helping clients get permits for projects as an analyst for Kosmont Partners in the early 1990s.
After his appointment, which needs no council confirmation and takes effect immediately, Kevles said he and Hahn agreed that housing needs should also be considered in business team projects.
“The business team will be out there in the community looking for properties suitable for housing projects and trying to shepherd those through the process,” Kevles said. “We’re going to pay special attention to mixed-use projects, especially in under-served communities.”
On the business assistance side, Kevles said he plans to sharpen the business team’s focus on attracting high-paying jobs to the city and building up industry clusters.
“We intend to target businesses in growth industries, building up supply and vendor networks,” Kevles said. “Biomed, entertainment, tourism, food processing and apparel come to mind.”