Last August, Los Angeles County issued a request for proposals to redevelop a series of dilapidated properties in Koreatown.  This Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is poised to vote on whether or not to move forward with the public-private partnership, which has been dubbed the Vermont Corridor.

Trammell Crow Company (TCC), which was selected over four other applicants, is expected to develop three buildings on the county-owned parcels featuring a combination of apartments, government offices and pedestrian-oriented commercial space.  The three development sites, which flank Vermont Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets, currently comprise more than a half-million square feet of office space for the Los Angeles County Departments of Mental Health (DMH), Parks and Recreation, Community and Senior Services and Children and Family Service.

The most prominent site, located at 510-532 S. Vermont Avenue, is to be redeveloped into a 400,000-square-foot office building which would serve as the headquarters of the Department of Mental Health.  The building, which is budgeted at approximatley $270 million, would also include 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and nearly 1,900 parking spaces.

Renderings of the tower, which is being designed by the architecture firm Gensler, portray an modern 20-story structure rising above a podium garage.

The Vermont Corridor project also encompasses an adjacent 12-story tower at 6th Street and Vermont Avenue, the current headquarters of DMH.  Although the County had previously broached the possibility of demolishing the mid-rise structure, TCC has instead chosen to convert the building to residential use.  The adaptive reuse project, designed by Steinberg Architects, would encase the tower with a glass facade and a honeycomb-like skeleton.

A staff report indicates that plans call for a total of 172 residential units, as well as 4,700 square feet of commercial space and structured parking.


One block north at 453 S. Vermont Avenue, the third development site is a small building which now serves as the headquarters of the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation.  Plans for the half-acre property call for the construction of an affordable housing complex which would also provide a community center for nearby residents.  TCC's would build a total of 72 residential units, with 12,550 square feet of ground-level space set aside for the community center.

Trammell Crow and Los Angeles County are expected to negotiate terms over the next 18-21 months, then return to the Board in April 2018 to execute a ground lease for the properties.  A full budget for the Vermont Corridor project has been previously estimated as $453 million.

The properties sit catacorner to a pair of proposed mixed-use developments, highlighted by the future Korean American National Museum.