For years, Metro has looked to boost ridership on its expanding rail network by allowing residential and commercial developments on agency-controlled land near stations.  Los Angeles County is now looking to get in on the action, with two opportunity sites adjacent to the under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line.

On December 20, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors will consider a staff recommendation to work with Metro to issue a request for proposals for the development of County-owned properties abutting future stations in Baldwin Hills and Inglewood.  Although private developers have until May 2017 to submit their projects, a review of Metro's development guidelines and past outreach efforts may provide a glimpse of what the future holds.

Expo/Crenshaw Station

At Expo/Crenshaw Station, the Crenshaw Line's current northern terminus, two properties are being considered as opportunity sites for Metro's joint development program.

Directly across the street from the station, at 3606 W. Exposition Boulevard, the County has announced its intentions to vacate a one-story structure that currently houses operations for the Probation Department.  Following this action, the underlying 1.5-acre property would be available for redevelopments.

Metro will also field proposals for the 1.77-acre lot that is expected to serve as the Expo/Crenshaw Station's main entrance and temporary park-and-ride facility.

During the course of a one-year community outreach process, members of the surrounding community expressed a desire for a "village-like" experience that conveys the multi-cultural history of the Crenshaw corridor.  Potential uses may include mixed-income and senior affordable housing, local-serving stores and restaurants, and parking.

It should be noted that all projects in Metro's joint development program are required to set aside 35% of total residential units for households earning 60% or less of the Los Angeles area median income.

A development on the County-owned property would be required to build a second access portal to the underground station, using a knockout panel on the west side of Crenshaw Boulevard.  The entrance could be incorporated into the design of a building, or built as part of an open-air transit plaza.

Developers are also encouraged to pursue street vacations for the portions of Exposition Boulevard and Exposition Place that separate the opportunity sites from the at-grade tracks to the north.  Doing so would both increase the developable square footage of the properties, create extra open space and improve pedestrian safety.

All other design features would be subject to the patchwork of specific plans that govern the subject properties.  One requirement is a maximum height of approximately 82 feet along Crenshaw Boulevard.  Building heights would be stepped down moving towards the residential district to the west.

Some nearby properties are already slated for non-Metro-sponsored projects, such as the Charles Company's District Square development.


Fairview Heights Station

At the future Fairview Heights Station in Inglewood, L.A. County is seeking a developer for a 1.4-acre site at 923 E. Redondo Boulevard, currently a small office building that houses the Department of Public Social Services.

As with the Expo/Crenshaw sites, a year-long outreach process has yielded feedback from the surrounding community about the type of development they would like to see.  Metro distilled public comments into general themes that include mixed-income residential units, neighborhood-serving retail, a connection to the surrounding arts-oriented community and links to the nearby Edward Vincent Junior Park.

Like all of Metro's joint developments, 35% of the total residential units would need to be set aside for households making 60% or less than the Los Angeles area median income.

Building heights fronting Redondo Boulevard could rise up to 75 feet above street level, although heights would be scaled down towards the residential neighborhood to the north.