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Los Angeles County Planning Big-Time Redevelopment Along Vermont in Koreatown

Some of LA County's older government buildings along Vermont Avenue between Fourth and Sixth Streets in Koreatown could be on the chopping block as the county launches a request for proposals seeking to transform three sites into new developments that would include a new home for the Department of Mental Health and either new office space, residential, or both. The "aged facilities" on the sites now have been deemed blighty, deteriorated, and inefficient in the official request for proposals.

The changes are headed for three sites, as broken down here:

Site One (510, 526, and 532 South Vermont): This 1.6-acre site is imagined as the future home of a shiny new headquarters for the Department of Mental Health, with 400,000 square feet of office space in a LEED-Silver-certified building. Preliminary renderings drawn up by SRK Architects (which are definitely subject to change) envision the new DMH as about 20 stories high with street-level retail space. There would also be parking for as many as 1,800 cars. These properties are currently housing a stubby building used by the County's Department of Parks and Recreation, parking space, and "a two-story abandoned structure with roof," according to the official request for proposals.

Site Two (550 South Vermont and 3175 W. Sixth St.): This property would hold a high-rise with ground floor retail shops and, according to the RFP, either offices or residential upstairs. As residential, the proposed development could hold up to 373 units, or as many as 700 if future developers tried to get a zoning change. (The units would likely be market-rate, says the City News Service.) Redevelopment of this roughly one-acre site, home to the current DMH building, would mean razing that structure first.

Site Three (433 South Vermont): The RFP suggests that this half-acre spot be developed either as a "project with the highest economic benefit to the County" or affordable housing for seniors. As the latter, it could accommodate about 54 units and 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail. The building at this spot now houses the County's Department of Parks and Recreation.

The County's looking for one developer to do all this—"plan, design, entitle, finance and construct new structures"—and, as part of the project, upgrade a County-owned parking lot at 523 Shatto, says the website for County Supe Mark Ridley-Thomas. The project's estimated to cost $453 million all together. Proposals are due by December 2015, and will be presented in the following month.

· Los Angeles County Proposes Koreatown Developments [ULA]
· Los Angeles County aims to redevelop Vermont Corridor [CNS]
· Request for Proposals [LA County]
· The Vermont Corridor is in for a Transformation [Mark Ridley-Thomas]