More than a decade after plans were announced to redevelop the City Market complex in Downtown's Fashion District, the project has cleared a key hurdle with the Los Angeles City Council.

Rendering of City Market. Image via LADCP.

On March 6, the Council voted to execute a revised development agreement with The City Market of Los Angeles, Inc. for the proposed mixed-use complex, which would span across a former produce wholesale center bounded by 9th, 11th, San Pedro, and San Julian Streets. Plans approved in 2018 by the City Council call for the construction of multiple buildings featuring up to:

  • 945 residential units;
  • a 210-room hotel;
  • a 300,000-square-foot educational or corporate campus;
  • and nearly 500,000 square feet of commercial space (including restaurants, bars, event space, wholesale uses, and a cinema with 744 seats).

HansonLA's designs for the project included buildings up to 38 stories or 455 feet in height, interspersed with new courtyards and paseos across 10 acres of land.

Although the City Council has already approve the zone change and general plan amendment required for the project, the proposal was dealt a blow in 2020 when then-Mayor Eric Garcetti vetoed a prior version of the development agreement. In his letter, Garcetti objected to several changes to the agreement implemented by former City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who has since been sentenced to prison over racketeering and tax evasion charges tied to Downtown developments. Huizar's plan would have redirected payments intended for citywide funds to the Council District 14 public benefit trust fund.

Rendering of City Market. Image via LADCP.

The revised development agreement, formally introduced by Huizar's successor Kevin de Leon, retains funding for initiatives in the 14th Council District, including $1.9 million for homeless health services, $1.9 million for street improvements, $1.9 million for public transportation, and a $1 million contribution to the Parks Department for Pershing Square. However, instead of requesting a $3.9 million payment into the Council District 14 affordable housing trust fund, the City Market project would instead set aside 10 percent of the total on-site housing for rent below market rate - including 47 low-income units (between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income level) and 47 moderate income units (between 80 and 120 percent of the area median income level).

Nonetheless, a precise timeline for City Market remains up in the air. When the project was announced in 2013, it was expected that the project may be delivered in phases over the course of two decades. Now 11 years later, the project has been granted a 20-year period to complete the terms of the development agreement.

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