Earlier this year, Los Angeles County officials released a long-awaited feasibility study outlining the potential redevelopment of the General Hospital Building. Completed in 1934, the 19-story building contains more than 1.2 million square feet of floor area, and is a well-known landmark in communities for the surrounding communities of Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, East Los Angeles, and El Sereno. However, the complex has been left vacant above street level for more than a decade, stemming from damage incurred as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
The structural retrofits which are needed as a result of that earthquake have stood as one of the primary obstacles to the redevelopment of the property. However, County officials received welcome news in California's 2022-2023 budget, adopted in June, which allocates $50 million to the project. Nonetheless, more money is needed to complete the work.
A motion introduced by First District Supervisor Hilda Solis, adopted by the Board at its meeting yesterday, attempts to bridge that gap. Solis has directed County staff to explore mechanisms for financing the work associated with structural upgrades to the General Hospital Building, including environmental studies, hazardous materials removal and abatement, and a seismic retrofit.
The motion from Solis has identified $14.7 million in unspent funds from the L.A. County-USC Master plan process which could be allocated to the project, as well as up to $10 million which could be raised through philanthropic efforts, and an additional $50 million which could be generated by establishing an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District. Likewise, the motion directs the County chief executive officer to allocate $10 million from the Care First, Jails Last program and $20 million from future rounds of Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention funds.
The County is also expected to pursue a public-private partnership to implement the General Hospital redevelopment, as well as the redevelopment of 12 acres of surrounding land known as the West Campus.
While exact plans for the historic structure and neighboring sites are not set in stone, County officials have long indicated that the project should incorporate housing, commercial space, and retail space, as a way to tackle the region's housing and homelessness crises. According to the feasibility study, the potential uses for the property might include:
- Housing for deeply, extremely, and very low-income community members
- A mix of unit types, including multi-generational and family-size units
Community Service Spaces
- Health and social support services
- (non-profit & government)
- Job training center / Classrooms / Meeting rooms
- Senior center
- Preschool / Daycare
- After School Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and
- Social enterprise space / Business incubator space
- Community garden
- Pocket parks / Trails / Plazas
Neighborhood Serving Retail
- Grocery offering culturally-responsive products
- Local vendors
- Healthy food
- Job opportunities (at multiple levels of education and income)
- Arts / Culture space
- Commemorative space
A report back on the financing plan is expected within 120 days, while a report on a potential request for proposals to private sector partners is expected within 45 days.
- LAC-USC Medical Center (Urbanize LA)