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City Council signs off on developer for high-profile Lincoln Heights Jail redevelopment

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The proposed reboot of the Art Deco landmark will bring residential, commercial, and manufacturing space to the site

A rendering of the Lincoln Heights Jail in Los Angeles, California. There are buildings lining a pedestrian street. Over the street are strings of purple lights. There are purple trees lining the street. Courtesy of Rios Clementi Hale Studios

The Los Angeles City Council today approved a developer that beat out two other finalists in a bid to redevelop the Lincoln Heights Jail along the Los Angeles River.

The winning developers, Lincoln Property Company and Fifteen Group, proposed the Lincoln Heights Makers District—a collection of commercial and manufacturing spaces, a public market, creative office space, live-work housing, green space with an amphitheater, recreation space, and a communal rooftop space.

Designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Lincoln Property’s project will include the adaptive reuse of the 1930s-era (likely haunted) jail building. The developers have also combined the jail site with a property across the street that they already own, where “they intend to build additional affordable housing and commercial office space,” city documents say.

The developers have also agreed to create a greenway from the project’s site to the Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park station nearby.

The City Council voted to proceed with Lincoln Property Company’s proposal, but is still working out some details, such as a development agreement and whether the developers will lease or buy the city-owned site.

The Art Deco-style jail was built in 1931 and added onto in 1949. Increasingly overcrowded, it was decommissioned as a jail in 1965. In 1993, it was named a city Historic-Cultural Landmark.