The Los Angeles City Planning Commission has voted to deny appeals from two neighboring property owners seeking to halt the Weingart Center's plan for a high-rise affordable housing development at 6th and San Pedro Streets.

The project, which would rise immediately north of the Weingart headquarters at 554 San Pedro, is currently improved with a 7,000-square-foot food service building and a small parking lot.  Approved plans call for the construction of 12- and 18-story buildings on the property, featuring 378 residential units dedicated to supportive housing and family affordable housing, as well as ground-floor retail, supportive services, open space, and basement parking for 32 vehicles.

Joseph Wong Design Associates and AHBE Landscape Architects are designing the two buildings, which would rise to heights of 200 feet an 132 feet.

The appeals, which were filed by the owners of a commercial building which abuts the project site, expressed concern that increasing the concentration of homeless housing in the area would lead to an increase in loitering and drug use, and that the construction period would have adverse impacts on the neighboring business.  The appeals also contend that the Weingart Center did not approach neighboring property owners for input on the proposed development, and that the project's environmental study inaccurately identified the appellant's property as an abandoned building.

A staff report to the Planning Commission recommended that the project's approvals should be upheld and the appeals denied.  The Commission agreed with that assessment, voting unanimously to strike down the appeal.

The project at 554 San Pedro is the first component of a three-phase development planned by Weingart and its partner Chelsea Investment Corp., which would result in nearly 700 new supportive and affordable housing units surrounding the non-profit's headquarters.  Construction is expected to occur over 49 months, beginning with the 12- and 18-story buildings, which are scheduled for occupancy in 2022.

A third phase of the project would consist of a separate 19-story tower on a surface parking lot across 6th Street, which could be completed between 2023 and 2025.