A long-running plan to redevelop the aging West Los Angeles Civic Center got a big boost in 2021, when the City and County of Los Angeles jointly selected a team led by AvalonBay Communities and Abode Communities to build new housing, commercial uses, and open space on the property. But three years later, changing market conditions may imperil the proposed development.

Aerial view of West LA CommonsKoning Eizenberg

The project, named West L.A. Commons, would rise from a multi-block site bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard, Iowa Avenue, Corinth Avenue, and Butler Avenue. Plans call for the construction of:

  • 926 residential units (including 495 market-rate and 431 income-restricted units);
  • 36,569 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and restaurant uses;
  • a new Felicia Mahood Senior Center;
  • 76,341 square feet of municipal offices; and
  • parking for more than 1,500 vehicles.

Koning Eizenberg, Olin, and AC Martin headline the design team for the project.

According to a motion introduced on April 26 by 11th District City Councilmember Traci Park, AvalonBay and Abode informed the city in February 2023 that increased financing and construction costs had reduced the projected return on investment for West L.A. Commons from 5.98 percent to 5.1 percent. Now, the team has reported a "significant gap" in the project's financing which may jeopardize its feasibility.

The motion from Park requests a report from the City Administrative Officer within 60 days on the status of the project, including its design, financing structure, and recommendations to resolve issues which may prevent  the project from moving forward. Her motion indicates that the CAO is already consulting with the developer and city departments on design enhancements to lower  construction costs.

Site plan for West LA CommonsKoning Eizenberg

Parks' motion has been referred to the Trade, Travel, and Tourism Committee for further consideration.

AvalonBay and Abode have already extended their development agreement with the city and county, citing challenges with financing the project and a hope that a delay would allow for market conditions to approve.

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