In 2021, former City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas initiated a study to determine if an LADOT parking lot near the Wilshire/Vermont subway station in Koreatown could be suitable for redevelopment with affordable housing. Ridley-Thomas may have left the council early due to his legal troubles, but his successor is ready to pick up the baton.
In a motion introduced on November 8, 10th District Councilmember Heather Hutt calls for the parking lot at 682 S. Vermont Avenue to be offered to developers through a public request for proposals, with an eye toward serving residents of the Koreatown neighborhood. The item has been referred to the Council's Housing and Homelessness Committee for consideration.
In justifying the proposal, Hutt points to the result of the 2023 Los Angeles homeless count, which found that there are more than 46,000 unsheltered residents in the city at any given point. That problem is compounded by thousands more experiencing housing insecurity.
The move from Hutt comes five years after then City Councilmember Herb Wesson had identified the property at 682 Vermont as a potential site for an interim housing facility. That proposal was met with vocal opposition from a group of Koreatown residents who argued that the parking lot sat too close to schools and businesses, and objected to a lack of community input prior to Wesson's proposal. A shelter was eventually approved for a site located a half-mile east at Lafayette Park.
The parking lot is currently surrounded by a number of new and ongoing developments, including a two-tower complex which sits immediately north facing Wilshire Boulevard, Holland Partner Group's 36-story Hallasan development, and an adaptive reuse project from Jamison Services which is transforming a 1970s office building at 695 S. Vermont Avenue into homes.
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