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First look at new county development planned for long-vacant Vermont/Manchester lot

The project would bring affordable housing, a public school, and a transit plaza to the neighborhood

Affordable housing, a transit hub, and a school are part of the Board of Supervisors’ plan for the site.
Courtesy of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ vision for a new complex at the corner of Vermont and Manchester avenues in South LA is coming into focus. Streetsblog LA spotted a suite of new renderings for the project on a website from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The county’s project would include building 180 units of affordable housing, a public school, a transit plaza and bus transfer center, and shops on the roughly four-acre property.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is organizing a community forum this Saturday to gather feedback on the proposed development, which was just announced in November.

In December, the Board of Supervisors voted to use eminent domain to seize the site in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood from its owner Eli Sasson and Sassony Properties. Sasson has controlled the property for about 20 years, and is suing to stop the county.

At public hearing last month about using eminent domain to seize the property, many community members who opposed the move noted that the County had not asked for their input. (Congresswoman Waters did not support the eminent domain action.)

The now empty lot was once home to a swap meet. It was destroyed in the civil unrest of 1992. Since then, there have been plans but no real action on the site. Most recently, a showy shopping center was said to be in the works. Instead, as nothing materialized, the land became a “public nuisance,” the county said in a November report.