In 2017, the City of Los Angeles enacted a new master plan for the Downtown Civic Center, setting the stage for the construction of up to 3.1 million square feet of government offices and private development through 2032.  Four years (and one Councilmember) later, that plan will be tweaked to place a greater emphasis on housing.

"While the city developed a Civic Center Master Development Plan (CCMDP) to help determine what to do with city buildings, it neglected to include all of the city properties in the Civic Center region that are good for new offices or affordable housing," reads a motion introduced on September 29 by Councilmember Kevin de Leon, who represents the Downtown area and portions of the Eastside and Northeast Los Angeles  "Expanding the footprint of the CCMDP and adding in other properties will provide more flexibility to interested parties from the private sector."

A new master plan, according to de Leon, would provide an opportunity for the City of Los Angeles to meet its goal of accommodating 25,000 new homes by the year 2025, while also consolidating more city services within a more compact area.  The Councilmember, who recently joined the race to succeed termed-out Mayor Eric Garcetti, cites a new project with Little Tokyo Service Center and Go For Broke as the type of housing development that could be built in the Civic Center.

The motion instructs the Economic and Workforce Development Department, the City Administrative Officer, and Chief Legislative Analyst to issue a request for information from prospective developers, with the end goal of developing at least 3.5 million square feet of housing in the Civic Center (up from 1.1 million square feet under the approved plan), while also building or consolidating approximately 1.5 million square feet of offices within the neighborhood.  The proposed solicitation could include properties already evaluated under the master plan, as well as additional sites including the L.A. Mall, City Hall East, City Hall South, the 911 Call Center, the Parker Center lot, the Personnel Building, and the Medical Services Division/Testing & Training Center building.

De Leon's instructions call for the completion of projects prior to the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, and requests a report back to the Council at an unspecified date.

The existing Civic Center Master Plan, drafted by IBI Group, had envisioned redeveloping numerous sites surrounding City Hall to accommodate a mix of housing, offices, ground-floor commercial uses, and new public open space.  The first component of the plan - the Parker Center site - was dealt a setback last year when swelling costs prompted city officials to abandon plans for a 27-story office tower on the property.