AvalonBay Communities and Abode Communities selected to revitalize West Los Angeles Civic Center
By Chad Winthrop
AvalonBay Communities and Abode Communities have been selected to revitalize and redevelop West Los Angeles Civic Center site.
As designed by KoningEizenberg Architecture, executive architect AC Martin, and landscape architect OLIN, West LA Commons calls for a vibrant mixed-use community to replace the run down and under-utilized complex with a mixed-use community that provides open space, a community gathering place and affordable housing. The 8-acre project site, bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard, and Corinth, Iowa, and Colby Avenues, is currently home to municipal offices, the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Senior Center, and a closed courthouse.
“Our vision for West LA Commons will bring equitable housing opportunities to a highly-resourced neighborhood on the Westside,” said Robin Hughes, President & CEO of Abode Communities. “The proposed mix of residential, commercial, and civic uses will ultimately create a vibrant, interconnected neighborhood core for the community and residents alike.”
The development proposes 926 housing units, including 431 affordable and moderate-income units (including family, senior, and supportive units) and 495 market-rate apartments.
A 73,400-square-foot municipal office building restores the site’s original intent as a place for civic engagement and connects to a redeveloped Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center, a 20,900-square foot community center serving seniors living in West Los Angeles.
More than 41,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including a new community art gallery/flex-use space at the Courthouse Arts Pavilion, extends Santa Monica Boulevard’s pedestrian corridor while linking the site’s core community uses to the neighborhood at-large.
Some 118,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space includes “The Plaza,” the site’s community core featuring the historic Bandstand and flexible use space.
LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl expressed enthusiasm about the plan as proposed.
“AvalonBay and Abode Communities have extensive experience developing mixed-use housing and retail projects in Los Angeles, and successfully engaging local residents throughout the development process,” said Kuehl. “At the end of the day, this project is sure to be a welcome new asset in the community.”
Under the terms of the process outlined by LA County and the City of Los Angeles last year when they issued a Request for Proposals from developers, the AvalonBay-Abode Communities team will now enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the two government bodies. That process, which is expected to conclude in March, will establish certain parameters for the proposed project, including project scope and elements and the community engagement process.
LA City Councilman Mike Bonin noted that an extensive community outreach process lies ahead for the project, adding that the plans for West LA Commons already have been refined to reflect community feedback by scaling back the originally proposed 23-story tower to no higher than 8 stories.
“We look forward to ensuring continued community input is central to the project that AvalonBay and Adobe Communities will be working on,” Bonin said. “The community’s ideas will continue to be important in the next phase of this project.”