At the intersection of 45th Street and Broadway, the empty shell of a building originally planned as a community center will instead become affordable housing.
The Steve & Sohyun Park Lee Foundation, which city records show acquired the property for $3.7 million in 2019, recently secured construction permits to compete the unfinished buildings as a 41-unit apartment complex reserved entirely for low-income households.
Downtown-based architecture firm PQNK is designing the project, which is part adaptive reuse and part ground-up construction, and will include landscaped courtyards and community amenities for use by residents. Renderings of the finished product depict the building's brick exterior painted in salmon and white.
Completion of construction is expected by the end of 2021, according to a representative of PQNK.
The building, located at the southwest corner of the intersection, was planned by People Coordinated Services of Southern California (PCS) as a "youth and recreation center," to serve residents of the surrounding South Park neighborhood. The non-profit organization initially secured funding for the project through Proposition K in 2009, but faced difficulties fundraising in the years that followed amid California's budget crisis.
After the building was cut down from its original three-story height as a cost-saving measure, PCS broke ground on the center in 2013. However, during the course of buildout, crews made a series of discoveries beneath the property - old concrete footings which delayed construction and buried trash that required soil remediation.
By 2016, the project was abandoned at roughly 60 percent completion, and remained as such for five years.
The Steve & Sohyun Park Lee Foundation, has been based out of the Little Tokyo community since 2009. According the organization's website, its activities include the development of affordable housing and the provision of supportive services and programming for youth in underserved neighborhoods.