Developers Colony Holdings have been fighting to build a huge mixed-use housing tower in Koreatown—on Eighth Street near Catalina Street—since 2009, but they've now found a very helpful ally in Mayor Eric Garcetti, who last month overturned a City Planning Commission decision to deny the development. (The commission had rejected the plan because they felt the project was too large compared to the rest of the buildings in the area.)
The tower first went up for review in 2009, when it was 35 stories with 270 units; the developer was denied the zoning changes necessary to build that project. It surfaced again in 2013, at 25 stories with 227 units, and was denied again. The latest version of the building rises 27 stories and features 269 residences, 562 parking spaces, and commercial space at street level, according to Urbanize LA.
Opponents still say this is the wrong spot for such a project—too far from the transit hub a half-mile away at Wilshire/Vermont and too large for the mostly low- and mid-rise buildings that surround the site. The LA Times says that housing activists, an immigrants' rights group, and a group called Fix the City (which has sued the city over developments elsewhere) are among the opposition.
Members of the City Planning Commission were also firmly against the building. One commissioner, an affordable housing developer, called the tower "wildly inappropriate" for the location. Fix the City, which got in on the suing-LA-over-the-denser/taller-Hollywood-plan action back in 2012, contends that Garcetti "overstepped his legal authority" and says it's planning its next legal move. Garcetti is almost entirely alone in his support of the project, save for Councilmember Herb Wesson, who reps the area. An aide to Wesson explained the official's backing of the project: "You have density naturally occurring in this neighborhood, and we need to be able to build housing."
· Garcetti overrules his own appointees for Koreatown developer [LAT]
· Proposed K-Town Tower Miraculously Alive [Urbanize LA]
· Old Koreatown Mixed-Use Tower Plans Back at 25 Stories [Curbed LA]