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One of San Pedro’s prime development parcels is about to get back into the queue.
Six months after Los Angeles County officials pulled the plug on the first developer tapped to overhaul the 1.8-acre county courthouse, 505 S. Centre St., which has sat closed since 2014, the deadline for new bids has closed — with several responses pouring in from prospective developers wishing to remake the property.
The county has not released specifics about how many developers submitted bids, or who they were.
“We are starting over,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement. “This time around we have more interest in this property and that gives us a better opportunity to build a project that we can be proud of.”
Officials are now reviewing the proposals, a process they expect to finish by mid-to-late October, with a recommendation for the supervisors anticipated for November.
Under the first developer, Holland Partner Group of Vancouver, plans revolved around a mixed-use project.
When those negotiations fell through in March, some, including Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, suggested the county should sell the property to a developer as one way to move the process along more quickly.
Holland, selected in November 2016, was eliminated in March after the two sides could not come to a project agreement following months of exclusive negotiations to nail down the details. County officials said Holland requested terms that were not financially feasible.
The property has long been viewed as a key parcel in San Pedro’s plans to revamp the downtown shopping district while better connecting it to the waterfront just a few blocks away, which is also being revitalized.
The hope was that the courthouse property could be finished around the same time as the San Pedro Public Market, scheduled to open in 2020 or 2021 in place of Ports O’ Call Village.
Developers for a new Rancho San Pedro development chosen for exclusive negotiations
An ambitious plan to redevelop San Pedro’s subsidized housing project could soon have a developer.
A 90-day exclusive negotiation period will begin with The Richman Group and One San Pedro Collaborative, chosen for the task that is expected to increase the 21-acre footprint and increase units from 478 to as high as 1,623.
All of the existing units will be replaced. In addition, more housing of a variety of types (affordable, market rate, rentals, for-sale) will be part of the new redeveloped project
The developers were selected for several reasons, including a focus on community engagement and the on-site services proposed as part of the housing, said Jenny Scanlin, chief strategic development officer for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
“They spent a lot of time talking not only to the Rancho San Pedro residents but to stakeholders in San Pedro to get the sense of what the community wanted,” Scanlin said.
Amenities could include such things as job training and counseling, a grocery store and other retail, community and youth services, family clinics and fitness centers.
The negotiation agreement comes with the option for two additional 90-day periods for talks if needed.
The additional density will be accomplished possibly by piecing together adjacent properties and also by building up, with taller buildings located on Harbor Boulevard and lower-scale buildings behind that as the property moves closer to neighborhoods.
No specific drawings are available at this stage, but Scanlin said the idea is for developers and the city to go out for public meetings as negotiations begin and continue to continue a discussion about the project that will be planned.
Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino called the selection of developers for the project “yet another game changing moment for San Pedro.”
While redeveloping the site has been brought up in the past, this time proved more positive, he said, due to the “buy in” from the residents already living in the World War II housing that was originally built for shipyard workers. No current residents will be displaced under the proposal.
The total number of units will be part of an ongoing discussion.
The city is in a good position, Scanlin said, to take on the Rancho San Pedro project.
It has already been rebuilding other low-income housing projects in the area, including Dana Strand in Wilmington and Harbor Village (formerly Normont Terrace) in Harbor City.
More recently, the city launched a $1 billion makeover of Jordan Downs in Watts, designed to become a new model for public housing.
Created to be indistinguishable from the surrounding community, the new developments are designed to do away with the stigma of low-income housing projects.
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