The corner of Vermont and Sixth Streets in Koreatown is about to be transformed with a soon-to-be-built, mixed-use project as part of a public-private partnership formed with the Trammell Crow Company, Los Angeles County, Public Facilities Group and West Los Angeles-based Meta Housing Corporation.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved funding this week and certified the final environmental impact report for the project, which will be built on three sites. It was originally approved two years ago.
“We were really drawn to the opportunity for a project in partnership with Los Angeles County and then really to be a part of the revitalization of the Vermont Corridor, and we’re very much about advancing transit-oriented developments in greater Los Angeles,” said Greg Ames, managing director of Trammell Crow Company.
Known as Vermont Corridor, the development will include a 21-story, 468,000-square-foot office tower designed by Gensler that will serve as the new headquarters for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. It will also have 7,500 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Hathaway Dinwiddie is the general contractor.
There will also be an adaptive reuse of an existing office building that will feature 172 residential units, 4,700 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 72-unit senior affordable-housing complex with a 13,000-square-foot community center. Meta Housing will develop the senior housing complex and the community center, designed by Y & M Architects.
Trammell Crow Company subsidiary High Street Residential will oversee the 172 studio, one- and two-bedroom units that will be built in the existing 12-story office building. Steinberg Architects is designing it.
“That’s pretty exciting that you can touch all those product types in one project,” Ames said, noting that he sees the project as an ideal partnership that will have an incredibly positive impact on the area. “It’s a fantastic opportunity. It truly will transform that part of Koreatown.”
Ames summed it up as a first-class project to be constructed out of the dilapidated buildings on the property.
“I think the whole project is a bonus for the area,” Kitty Wallace, executive vice president at Colliers International, said.
She said the fact that it will be a beautification project of the existing office building, add new in-demand multifamily there, and bring an affordable housing component to the area make it a “trifecta of goodness.”
Mark Tarczynski, executive vice president at Colliers International, said traffic is already a concern in that neighborhood, so that is an issue that needs to be addressed.
“If the city and the developers come up with a successful traffic flow improvement program, then it should be successful.”
He said he is always for such projects that develop an area to a higher and better use, and, “to me, this is a much higher and better use.”
Tarczynski added that the project would provide some much-needed workforce housing, which could also help reduce the carbon footprint since some of the government employees may live and work on-site.
The development will rise one block from the Metro Red and Purple subway lines. Koreatown is one of the city’s hotspots when it comes to new residential construction with currently around 2,600 units in development, according to CoStar data.
Most of metro Los Angeles is evenly split between renters and homeowners, but nearly 90 percent of Koreatown residents rent their homes, according to CoStar Market Analytics. More than 90 percent of the area’s rental supply is 3-Star or lower, and is more than 20 years old.
The first phase of the project, which will include the 21-story office tower, is scheduled to begin in August or September, with an expected completion date of the end of 2021, according to Ames.