In a bid to boost transit ridership, Metro has pursued joint developments at a number of its rail and bus station sites throughout Los Angeles County.  Its latest opportunity may arise as part of the $1.75-billion Regional Connector subway, which includes a rebuild of the at-grade Little Tokyo/Arts District Station as an underground stop.

Per a presentation given earlier this month to the Regional Connector Community Leadership Councils, Metro intends to pursue a transit oriented development for the property which sits atop the future subway station at 1st Street and Central Avenue.

Over the next six-to-eight months, Metro staff will solicit community input for the project before requesting authorization from its Board of Directors.  Should the Board allow the process to proceed, staff will then spend another six-to-eight months soliciting and selecting a development team for the property.

Following the selection process, Metro will  enter into a one-to-two-year phase of project refinement and negotiations with the selected developer.  Once an agreement has been reach, permitting and construction will take place within 18-to-24 months.

Any proposal for the Little Tokyo Station site would be required to comply with Metro's joint development policy, which includes a provision that 35 percent of all housing units on the property be set aside as affordable housing.

A request for proposals could be issued in mid-2018.

Joint developments have been completed on numerous Metro-owned properties, and several more are either underway or in the midst of negotiations.

In the more distant future, development is slated for the Mangrove site adjacent to the existing Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, as potentially the Office Depot proprety 2nd Street and Central Avenue.