As we bring in the New Year, now is the perfect time to reflect on how South Los Angeles is changing this year, and years to come. This time around, South LA has some massive updates around housing, transportation improvements, and new community resources. Let’s jump in.
First, up: The Evermont mixed-use development.
In August of 2022, co-developers BRIDGE Housing, the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), and Primestor Development broke ground on the new 180-unit mixed use development on Vermont and Manchester Avenues, a section of the region that was hit hard during the ‘92 uprising, leaving this once bustling commercial corridor into a declining shadow of its former self. But now, we’re seeing some actionable investments taking place in the community.
The residential portion of the development will include 62 affordable senior homes, 60 apartments for individuals in need of supportive services, and the remaining apartments reserved for low-income tenants.
On the bottom, the developers are planning 64,000 square feet of commercial space, with a Target anchoring the commercial activity. This is big news, since the closest Targets in the vicinity are the Target on Century in Inglewood, and the smaller Target at USC Village.
While we’re on this topic, let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time a development was planned on this site. In 2015, developer Sassony Properties planned an expansive outdoor mall, but the dream fell short and failed to make any progress, and the land was left vacant.
The Evermont mixed-use development is slated to be completed in 2024.
105 Freeway Express Lane
Who likes the carpool lane on the 105 Freeway? Well, enjoy them while you can.
In August of 2022, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority contracted construction companies Flatiron and Myers & Sons Construction to convert the carpool lane on the highway between the 405 Freeway interchange and Norwalk into a Fastrak ExpressLane—just like on the 110 Freeway. This project first surfaced in 2018, and LA Metro conducted an environmental study in 2020.
In case you’re wondering if there is already a Fastrack on the 105 Freeway, there isn’t. There’s only a Fastrack entrance to the 110 Northbound express lane, and a Fastrack exit for the 110 North. Right now, the carpool lane is still free and does not charge for single occupants—given you don’t get caught.
Based on a request for proposal submitted by a bidding contractor, this project will begin in early 2024 and will be phased through 2028, likely aiming at a full completion just before the Olympics in LA in 2028.
This timeline, however, makes a lot of sense, given that athletes and Olympic partners will likely need fast access to the stadiums and arenas in Inglewood.
Slauson Connect on the Upcoming Active Transportation Corridor
In 2022, I published a video on the active corridor plans LA Metro has plans on Slauson Avenue. Well, into the new year, there hasn’t been noticeable progress made, but there is news on a new recreation center along the active corridor trail.
The Slauson Connect Recreation Center is along the forthcoming active corridor of Slauson Avenue between Budlong and Normandie avenues. Championed by the 9th district, the recreation center will have a childcare center, classrooms, an outdoor playground and a rooftop garden. There’s no word on when this project is slated to be completed, but it’s likely that it will be completed along with the active corridor in 2024.
Last year we talked about the K-Line development along Crenshaw Avenue, but this year we’ll start seeing Destination Crenshaw’s public art exhibit come into fruition.
On a 1.3 mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard, between Slauson Avenue and and 43rd Street, Destination Crenshaw has partnered with several stakeholders to create an open-air museum that chronicles the black art and experience in a series of exhibits and open parks. In 2020, the Destination Crenshaw raised more than $100 million from private backers and donors, and public sources like the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.
While the project isn’t set to be completed this year, CNN reports that the Sankofa Park and four “pocket” parks of Destination Crenshaw will open by the fall of 2023.
A few other honorable mentions include…
Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices in Watts
In Watts, Kaiser Permanente is making progress on its Watts Medical Offices and new Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center. In September of 2022, Kaiser completed the framework for the building, and the healthcare organization is expecting the center to open in early 2024. The new center 60,000-square-foot-three-story building, including medical offices and an expansion of the current Watts Counseling and Learning Center and Preschool .
Los Angeles County Natural History Museum
The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum is undergoing a $75 million expansion project. This project includes a new 60,000 square-foot Natural History Commons building, which will create a new entryway for the museum, and refreshed landscaping around the premises. Inside will also include a new 400-seat auditorium.
Later this year we should also see the opening of the Isla intersection, the 53-unit supportive housing development built from shipping containers. This project is well behind schedule (it was supposed to be finished in 2022), but is adding an “interesting” flare to the Broadway-Manchester community.
Last up, if you’ve been following my South LA Pulse newsletter, or just keeping an open eye in the region, you’ll notice there are several new apartment complexes that are currently under construction. In fact, between December 1 2022, and January 1 2023, a one month time period, four apartments were either planned or approved to be built in Los Angeles, according to entries submitted by Urbanize LA.
And that wraps up our list of projects happening in South LA. If I missed any, leave them down in the comment section below.