Affordable housing and public park set to replace old industrial buildings in South LA

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A long-planned project that would bring seven acres of housing and park space to South LA may finally be getting underway. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a motion on Tuesday calling for the demolition of a group of industrial buildings on the site now, clearing the way for the project’s development.

Known as the Slauson and Wall Green Space and Affordable Housing Project, the development will be located at 5867 South Los Angeles Street. It has been in the works since the now-shuttered Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles acquired the property in 2010, then entered into an arrangement with nonprofit organizations TRUST South LA and Abode Communities to develop the site into three acres of housing and a four-acre park.

Once expected to be complete by 2015, the project predictably ran into delays when the state’s redevelopment agencies were dissolved in 2012.

In January the City Council authorized a total of $4.1 million to pay for the first phase of development on the project. That includes more than $1.75 million just to raze the properties located on the site right now. The cost is high, the motion says, because it includes cleanup of lead and asbestos contamination on the project site.

TRUST South LA estimates the entire project will take five years to complete. Once finished, it will include 120 units of affordable housing managed by TRUST South LA, a community center managed by Abode Communities, and the park space, which will be maintained by the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.

TRUST South LA and Abode Communities are also working on the redevelopment of the Rolland Curtis Gardens apartments in Exposition Park, which is turning a housing complex with 48 units into a larger mixed user with 140 affordable units, a health clinic, and retail. That project has been somewhat controversial—both with neighbors who worry that a lack of market rate units will keep the area segregated, and with current residents worried they may be displaced during construction.

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