Longtime plans replace the shuttered San Pedro Courthouse with multifamily housing and retail have taken a key step toward reality.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve an option to lease agreement with Genton Cockrum Partners, which was selected to redevelop the 2.6-acre site at 515 Centre Street in 2018.  The Pasadena-based developer's proposal for the courthouse property calls for the construction of a new eight-story complex containing studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom above 25,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a 559-car garage.

The developer has agreed to set aside space at the buildings ground floor for either a grocery store or a food hall, and will set aside 20 percent of the proposed apartments - or 60 in total - for households earning no more than 80 percent of the area median income for a period of 55 years.

MVE + Partners is designing the contemporary podium-type building, which would have an M-shaped footprint above its podium level, creating a series of courtyards for use by residents.  Additionally, plans call for 6,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space at ground level.

Under the agreement between Genton Cockrum Partners and Los Angeles County, the developer will pay $150,000 to cover costs and expenses for the County and a $100,000 civic arts fee.  Genton Cockrum will be required to secure building permits and financing prior to the expiration of the option to lease on December 31, 2022.

The ground lease would run for a term of 66 years, with a base rent of $25,665 subject to increases every year to account for changes in the consumer price index.  The developer will receive $120,000 per year in base rent credit for either the first 20 years, or until the ground lease terminates.  At the conclusion of the lease, Genton Cockrum Partners would have the option to purchase the site for the greater between $12 million - minus the total base rent paid by the developer - or $6 million increased annually to account for inflation.

At the time the project was submitted to the City of Los Angeles for entitlements in April 2020, demolition and construction activities for the proposed apartment complex was expected to begin in April 2021.  The project received City-level approvals in December 2020.

Genton Cockrum Partner is the second developer to try its hand at the San Pedro Courthouse site.  Holland Partner Group was previously selected to build a 250-unit complex on the property after a request for proposals process in 2016, but the Vancouver, Washington-based company was unable to reach final terms with the County.

The Courthouse site is one of a handful of publicly-owned properties in Downtown San Pedro currently poised for redevelopment, including the Ports O' Call Village and the Rancho San Pedro public housing complex.  Parking lots at 711 Beacon Street and 500 Mesa Street are also being considered as potential development sites by the City and County.

Other projects from Genton Cockrum Partners include a 12-story Four Seasons-branded condominium tower now wrapping up construction in Beverly Grove.