A proposal to redevelop and expand the Southern California Flower Market as part of a mixed-use complex cleared another hurdle yesterday, with a vote by the Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

The project, which would span a nearly four-acre site at the intersection of 7th and Wall Streets, calls for replacing the southern half of the existing Flower Market with a 15-story structure featuring:

  • 323 residential units - including 32 to be priced for moderate-income households;
  • 64,363 square feet of office space;
  • 63,785 square feet of wholesale market space;
  • 4,385 square feet of retail space;
  • 13,420 square feet of good and beverage space;
  • 21,295 square feet of event space; and
  • 681 parking spaces located in above- and below-grade levels.

The Planning Committee considered two appeals of the project, one brought by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the other by a consortium of labor unions known as CREED LA.  Both appeals asserted deficiencies in the development's environmental impact report.

While committee members expressed admiration for Flower Market development, Councilmember Gil Cedillo suggested that the project could be improved through the inclusion of additional covenanted affordable units and improved noise insulation.  Cedillo, a former labor organizer, noted that the project had already received the endorsement of some trade unions, but requested that the developer be conditioned to continue negotiating with CREED.

The Committee's vote recommended approval of the Flower Market's vesting tentative tract map and certification of its environmental impact report, though with the addition of the conditions proposed by Cedillo.  Those items will be considered by the City Council at a later date.

The Flower Market, founded more than a century ago by a collective of Japanese-American flower growers, has existed at its current address since 1912.  The proposed redevelopment has been billed as an opportunity to ensure that the market can remain viable in its current location, rather than relocating outside of Downtown.

Architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa is designing the 205-foot-tall tower, which would have a colorful exterior highlighted by floral murals and a series of pedestrian paseos.

Construction of the project would occur in phases to avoid displacement of vendors during the course of development.  Vendors would consolidate in the facility's south building while its north building is renovated, then return to the north building before construction of the tower begins.

The project site is one of a handful of large mixed-use and multifamily residential developments planned or under construction nearby, including a 33-story tower at 7th Street and Maple Avenue, and a pair of supportive housing projects being built by Skid Row Housing Trust.