Casden West LA, the controversial and huge mixed-use development planned to replace the cement plant at Sepulveda and Pico is up for a Planning Commission vote this week. And despite having several unmitigatible impacts (air quality, noise, traffic, etc.), staffers are recommending that the commission approve the project, with a few modifications (pdf). According to the staff report, any one of the benefits of the project--new jobs, more senior housing, increased density around the Expo Line--would be enough to outweigh the concerns. So what is being built? The total number of apartments is up 100 to 638--including 71 set aside for "very low income" seniors--but the total retail square footage is down about a third to 160,000, including a grocery store. And this transit-adjacent project is due to get 1,795 parking spaces on six underground levels. However, there will be several concessions made to transit-friendliness (in addition to the project's location near the future Sepulveda station of the Expo Line):
-- A redesign to allow direct pedestrian access from the transit plaza to the grocery store and planned big box retailer, and better pedestrian access from Pico
-- On-site bike sharing and car sharing facilities
-- 84 bike parking spots
-- Transportation awareness-raising kiosks scattered around the site
-- A transit "concierge/coordinator"
-- Transit incentives and free/discounted Metro Passes will be provided to residents and employees by the developer
In addition to changing the mix of retail and residential space and improving pedestrian access to the site, the four buildings planned have each dropped about 10 feet in height.
· Staff Recommendation Report [Official Document]
· Here's West LA's Huge, Unpopular, Expo-Adjacent Mixed-User [Curbed LA]