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Committee endorses skyscraper with 438 market-rate condos across from Figat7th

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A separate city commission had pushed to make 5 percent of the units affordable

The project seen from the corner of Eighth and Fig, where it would replace a parking lot.
Courtesy of Mitsui Fudosan America

The Los Angeles City Council’s planning and land use management committee voted Tuesday to approve plans for a 41-story tower at Figueroa and Eighth streets with 438 condos and about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

As part of its approval, the committee rejected recommendations from the city planning commission—including one that would have required the developer to make 5 percent of the condos affordable.

Developer Mitsui Fudosan America had appealed the affordable housing requirement, arguing that it was already paying nearly $5 million in “public payment benefits” in exchange for the site’s air rights. It also said its planning application was “deemed complete” by the city before LA’s linkage fee ordinance was adopted, which charges developers in order to fund affordable housing.

As planned, the skyscraper will rise across from the Figat7th shopping center. In a statement to Curbed, Stuart Morkun, Mitsui Fudosan America’s vice president of development says the company is pleased with the committee’s decision.

“We... look forward to the start of construction,” Morkun says.

The tower at Eighth and Figueroa.

The tower will also hold 505 parking spaces. The planning commission had voted to mandate that Mitsui Fudosan “screen” its parking podium with mock apartments or office units that would hide its three floors of above-ground parking.

But the planning and land use management committee rejected that condition too. (Mitsui Fudosan says it did alter the design to enclose its parking structure.)

In its appeal, Mitsui Fudosan had said its design complies with city codes and was created after “extensive consultation” with the city and stakeholders.

In March, the committee removed a similar condition for affordable housing in the College Station development in Chinatown. That project was ultimately approved by the full City Council without affordable housing. Neighbors and activists have since sued the city and Chinatown Station’s developer, Atlas Capital, over the lack of affordable housing.