Los Angeles County has issued a request for proposals for the redevelopment of two properties in the Arts District.

The two sites, which total approximately 1.5 acres at the intersection of East 4th Place and Hewitt Street,  are currently improved with a two-story office building and a parking structure.  Combined, they function as the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Civic Center office, which serves more than 40,000 people each year in the Downtown and Skid Row areas.

The County is now seeking a replacement for the office building and parking structure, both of which were built in the 1960s.  The request for proposals calls for a development featuring a minimum of 40,000 square feet of new Class A office space and associated parking, all the while maintaining existing operations for DPSS.

Construction costs for the replacement facility would be fully borne by the private developer in this arrangement.  In order to achieve this, the County would allow applicants to incorporate other uses into their proposals - including housing, office space, retail, and other uses - providing sufficient income to finance construction.

The County RFP lays out a number of requirements for any project applicant, including the need to comply with prevailing wage labor standards and achieve LEED Gold Certification in construction.  Additionally, the development would be expected to provide affordable housing, use design elements which complement the existing aesthetics of the Arts District, and also provide parking accommodations for use by Art Share L.A. - a non-profit organization which neighbors the DPSS sites.

Proposals are due by 2:00 pm on February 7, 2019.

“I am excited to see that LA County Arts District DPSS facility will be rebuilt as a state of the art facility with affordable housing for those who need it, including artists,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis in a statement. “The existing DPSS facility has been providing critical services for Skid Row and Downtown communities since the 1960s... This project is in line with my continued commitment to optimize County assets for community benefits, and building much needed affordable housing to address our homelessness crisis.”

A similar arrangement made by L.A. County for the Department of Mental Health's headquarters in Koreatown has resulted in the construction of a 20-story office tower, as well as plans for new affordable and market-rate housing on surrounding properties.

In addition to Art Share, the County-owned properties also neighbor a historic building at 4th and Merrick Streets which Hudson Pacific Properties recently renovated as office space.  The entire 130,000-square-foot property was leased by the online coupon company Honey earlier this year.