A staff report issued last month by the Economic and Workforce Development Department recommends that the City of Los Angeles should enter into an exclusive negotiation agreement with Hudson Pacific Properties for the redevelopment of the Marlton Square site in Baldwin Hills.

The staff recommendation, first reported by the L.A. Business Journal, relates to a roughly 5.7-acre property composed of city- and CRA/LA-owned parcels located at 3700-3916 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 4011-4027 S. Marlton Avenue. The proposed negotiating period would run for an initial term of 12 months, with two optional 90-day extensions which could be exercised at the discretion of the City of Los Angeles.

3700-3772 Martin Luther King Jr. BoulevardGoogle Street View

Hudson Pacific's winning bid, which was selected over three other proposals, would include:

  • a pair of five-story office buildings featuring 300,000 square feet of space;
  • a 19,000-square-foot location for Tiffany Haddish's Diaspora grocery store;
  • a 10,000-square-foot food incubator operated by Black-owned food and beverage company Good Vibes Only; and
  • an urban farm operated by Cropswap LA which would provide produce for the incubator and grocery store.

Perkins&Will is designing the proposed project, along with landscape architecture firm Agency Artifact.

Hudson Pacific's submission includes a proposal to purchase the city-owned portion of the Marlton Square site for $13 million, although the final price will be determined by an appraisal at a later date.

If the agreement is finalized, Hudson Pacific will be responsible for shepherding the project through the city entitlement process, including its environmental review.

To win the staff recommendation, the Brentwood-based developer beat out competing proposals from South LA Studios, Nvision Development Group, and Harridge Development Group. Harridge, which acquired the neighboring Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza mall and its development rights last year, unsuccessfully appealed the decision to select Hudson Pacific.

3700-3772 Martin Luther King Jr. BoulevardGoogle Maps

While the city's request for proposals had aimed to secure a bioscience project for the property, building on a medical facility recently opened nearby by Kaiser Permanente, the final recommendation focused on Hudson Pacific's experience and ability to create a development that offers “equitable business and meaningful job opportunities.”

The company is responsible for large, mixed-use projects across L.A. County that are leased to a number of high-profile companies, including the Google-anchored One Westside complex and multiple office towers now occupied by Netflix.

Marlton Square, originally known as Santa Barbara Plaza, was home to a number of local businesses and department stores in the mid-20th century, but saw a gradual decline in the decades that followed. Portions of the sitehave already been developed with the Kaiser Permanent facility and a 102-unit affordable housing complex built by Meta Housing Corp.