At its June 4 meeting, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt a final environmental impact report and authorized staff to move forward with the rehabilitation and renovation of the former Department of Mental Health headquarters in Koreatown.

The project, considered the final component of the Vermont Corridor redevelopment, calls for a structural and cosmetic upgrade to the 12-story tower at 550 S. Vermont Avenue. Plans call for renovating the existing 12-story, nearly 155,000-square-foot-structure, while extending floor planes to create an additional 88,340 square feet of offices. Plans also call for providing approximately 2,000 square feet of retail space at street level, which would be leased to commercial tenants.

View of the former Department of Mental Health building looking northeast from 6th StreetGoogle Street View

While the Department of Mental Health has relocated its headquarters into a newly-built 21-story tower next door, the department could return to its old home through the relocation of its Human Resources Division, which would relocate from a building at 5601 E. Slauson Avenue. Other potential tenants include the Executive office of the Board, which would move from 350 S. Figueroa Street, the Department of Public Social Services, which would move from facilities at 2601 Wilshire Boulevard and 2415 W. 6th Street in Westlake, and the Department of Children and Family Services, which would move from a nearby site at 501 Shatto Place. Finally, the Department of Public Health would move from properties a 3530 Wilshire Boulevard and 600 S. Commonwealth Avenue, the latter of which is poised to undergo a conversion to residential uses.

The cost of the project, estimated at $170 million in 2022, has grown to approximately $210 million in 2024. The County would cover that cost through the issuance and sale of bonds.

Vermont Corridor Site 2Google Maps

Work on the renovation and expansion of 550 Vermont is expected to occur over a 31-month period.

The County has partnered with developer Trammell Crow Company on the Vermont Corridor project, which also included a new parking structure on Shatto Place to the east and a new senior affordable housing complex with a YMCA community center on the opposite side of Vermont Avenue.

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