In a great big love-in of a City Council meeting this morning, the city unanimously approved The Village at USC project not once, but twice (thanks to a procedural error). Local groups had fought the billion dollar redevelopment, which will bring new retail and green space, a fire station, grocery store and beds for 3,000 USC students (and replace the sad University Village), because they fear the coming gentrification will push them out of the neighborhood. To allay those concerns, USC upped their contribution towards affordable housing to $20 million and agreed to create a tenants' rights legal clinic on campus before the Planning and Land Use Management Committee signed off on the project in October. With a few minor modifications, the plans were considered today in front of a packed Council chamber--time for speakers in favor of the project was limited to 10 minutes, and only one person, the owner of a Wendy's franchise, spoke against it. Now that the project has been approved, Kristina Raspe, vice president of real estate and asset management at USC, tells Neon Tommy that they'll need about a year to draw up plans and pull the necessary permits before work can begin.
· Neighborhood Advocates Win $20 Million Fund To Soften USC Expansion's Impact [Neon Tommy]
· The Village at USC is Ready For Its Close Up [Curbed LA]