Special Report: LA Rising – South LA Renaissance

Special Report: LA Rising – South LA Renaissance
Rendering: Jordan Downs in South L.A.

South L.A. is going through a revival, and a number of developers are planning large-scale projects in the area. Most of the projects focus on adding more housing stock to the area, but some feature large retail and other uses as well. This Special Report looks at some of the biggest projects in the area now.

In this report: Five Questions With Bridge Housing Corp.’s Matt Mason:

Matt Mason joined Bridge Housing in March. He is currently overseeing multiple projects in Jordan Downs, a legacy public housing project in South Los Angeles where 700 public housing units had fallen into disrepair. Mason manages Bridge Housing’s effort to rehouse all 700 residents of the older units, in addition to attracting new residents to create a mixed-income neighborhood. Projects under construction, in conjunction with The Michaels Organization and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, include Jordan Downs Park Place and Jordan Downs Cedar Grove.

Matt Mason

What made you interested in Jordan Downs?

This is a really challenging project, but it’s also highly rewarding. Jordan Downs is a legacy public housing project by the city of Los Angeles and has faced a number of challenges over the years, including concentrated poverty and deferred maintenance. Over time, it had become somewhat rundown. HUD and the city of Los Angeles Housing Authority came up with a plan to redevelop the site in a way that looks like a city instead of a master-planned project from the 1940s. 

What are some of the major issues with the original development? 

It’s the type of project where the streets don’t go through and it just doesn’t act like a city. You can’t walk to the store, the buildings all look the same. It has all those public housing characteristics that we’re so familiar with. Bridge Housing Corp., along with the Michaels Organization were selected by the city’s housing authority to redevelop the site a total of 1,309 units, almost twice as many units as are there now. 

What does your plan for Jordan Downs include?

It’s being redeveloped in a way that not only re-houses all of the residents of the original 700 units, but also brings in new residents at a variety of income points to create a mixed-income neighborhood that is intended to be more financially stable. It will also be designed in a way to bring in new retail so that you can walk to services. Streets that used to dead-end now go through and create a normal city urban street grid where you can walk to a store, walk to the train, walk to the bus.

How has the community responded to the development? 

The community became supportive over time, but there were a lot of questions through the process. Bridge was very involved in doing community outreach and making sure that we were going into a neighborhood that wanted the new development. Concerns people had about displacement were addressed with zero displacement — each of the existing units were offered a place in one of the new buildings. There were also concerns about development and clean-up of formerly industrial land through remediation of that land. Those were the two main areas of community concerns that I think we’ve heard over time.

What do you like about your job? 

I like that every day presents new challenges and opportunities to grow and learn. It’s never the same thing two days in a row. I like building affordable housing for low-income families and the satisfaction of knowing that all the effort goes into assembling all these different financing sources builds this affordable housing., especially at a time like this, when Los Angeles is experiencing a historic housing shortage and a historic homeless crisis.


Costco in Baldwin Village

Location: Intersection of La Brea Ave. and Coliseum St.

Description: The development is expected to be a mixed-use complex with 800 rental apartments situated above a Costco store. Almost a quarter of the rental units will be reserved for low-income households. Costco predicts that 400 new jobs will be created at the location.

Developers: Thrive Living

Architects: Rios Architecture and Architects Orange

Completion date: TBD


Project Big Western

Location: 4230 S. Western Ave.

Description: Located near Exposition Park, the five-story building will have 68 units — 20% of the units are reserved for low- and extremely low-income families.  Construction is 80% complete and the residences will be ready for occupancy this summer. 

Developers: SoLa Impact

Architects: E.D.D.G. Inc. 

Completion date: 2023


Crenshaw Crossing

Location: 3630 Crenshaw Blvd. 

Description: The proposed project, which is adjacent to the Expo/Crenshaw Station, will include as many as 401 residential units, with 61 units reserved for very low-imcome households and 40,454 square feet of commercial and community floor area. 

Developers: Richman Group, Watt Capital Partners, West Los Angeles Community Development Corp.

Architects: Belzberg Architects, SVA Architects and RELM

Breaking ground: 2024


Baldwin Hills
Crenshaw Plaza Mall

Location: 3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Description: The $1 billion redevelopment project will include housing, office space, restaurants and retail. The Harridge Group paid $111 million for the mall and $30 million for the adjacent Macy’s store. Macy’s announced in January that it would close the location.

Developers: Harridge Group

Architects: TBD

Completion date: TBD




Inventory:18,539,882 square feet

Square feet available in the area: 3,717,316

Vacancy Rate: 16.8%

Asking rent: $3.65 per square foot

Under Construction: 211,617 square feet

Year to Date Net Absorption:
84,324 square feet

Source: Colliers


Inventory: 41,021 Units

Buildings: 1,092

Vacancy Rate: 5.3%

Average Asking Rent (per unit): $2,033 ($2.78 per square foot)

Under Construction (units): 3,135 (29 buildings)

Year to date Delivered (units): 60
(3 buildings)

Year-to-date absorption (units): -15

Source: Colliers


Number of Hotels: 65

Number of Rooms: 5,915

Under Construction: 2
(229 rooms)

In Planning Phases: 10
(3,164 rooms)

Source: Atlas Hospitality Group

No posts to display