The Lincoln Theatre, a near century-old landmark, is set to get some new neighbors, according to an application submitted late last month to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.

The Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), which acquired the historic venue at 2300 S. Central Avenue in 2020, is seeking approvals for a new project which would build affordable housing and commercial uses on an adjoining property to the south. The new development, which would rise at 2312 S. Central Avenue, is described as a four-story structure featuring 60 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments with approximately 6,500 square feet of commercial space and parking for 64 vehicles.

View looking east from Central AvenueQDG Architecture

CRCD is seeking entitlements using both the Transit Oriented Communities incentives to achieve a larger structure than otherwise allowed by zoning and the Mayor's Executive Directive 1 for streamlined processing. All of the apartments are to be reserved for low-income households, save for a two-bedroom manager's unit.

QDG Architecture is designing the project, named the Historic Lincoln Theater (HLT) Housing Project in honor of its neighbor. Plans call for an exterior of masonry veneer, fiber cement boards, and stucco.

'Along the South-Central Avenue frontage, the Project provides Ground Floor storefront bays and arches, large transparent windows and changes in the frontage plane to provide relief from the proposed building massing," reads a narrative included with the project's findings. "The storefront bays and arches include a change in architectural detail with the use of stone veneer along the base of the arches...."

The Lincoln TheatreWikimedia Commons

The Lincoln Theatre, completed in 1927, became known as the "Apollo of the West,“ between the 1920s and 1950s as an anchor of the African-American community centered on Central Avenue. It played host to movies, live theater, and performances from Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, according to an information sheet from CRCD. More recently, the Moorish Revival building by architect John Paxton Perrine has served as a church. The property has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2009.

The project, located at the northeast corner of Central and 25th Street, sits a few blocks south of a similar affordable housing complex now underway at 2106 S. Central Avenue.

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