Joint Development Guidelines for Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Corridor

LA Metro is supporting the economic and physical development of Los Angeles communities through its Transit-Oriented Communities Program.

CHALLENGE

In 2008, Los Angeles County voters showed their overwhelming support for Measure R, which solidified a groundbreaking plan to double the length of the commuter rail system by 2035. To ensure that this major investment in the rail network produces wide-ranging benefits in the communities that it serves, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) launched the Transit-Oriented Communities Demonstration Program, a comprehensive approach to facilitating joint-development on the land it owns around transit stations.
 
As part of the program’s implementation, Metro engaged HR&A to support the development of program and design guidelines that incorporate broad community objectives – like community development, economic development, and multi-modal mobility – into joint development projects along the Crenshaw/LAX light rail corridor.

Solution

To define the appropriate scale and character of supportable development at each station area, HR&A analyzed market demand for key land uses at each station and tested the financial feasibility of potential development scenarios through pro forma financial modeling. Our financial feasibility testing placed a significant emphasis on potential opportunities that would likely result with the introduction of rail transit.
 
Also, to incorporate community input and feedback, HR&A attended and facilitated a series of community stakeholder meetings at each station area.
 
After using HR&A’s recommendations to develop overarching vision and design guidelines, Metro issued final development guidelines for the Fairview Heights and Expo/Crenshaw station areas in June 2016.
 

IMPACT

Building upon the development guidelines, Metro issued a Request for Proposals for a joint-development opportunity at the Expo/Crenshaw Station and selected a subsidiary of Watt Companies, a nationally recognized real estate investment and development firm, for a six-month exclusive negotiation agreement.
 
The Watt Companies’ initial proposal included many of the program elements recommended by HR&A – affordable housing for residents at the very low-income level, nearly 50,000 square feet of community-serving space, as well as retail spaces targeting locally-owned businesses.

LA Metro is supporting the economic and physical development of Los Angeles communities through its Transit-Oriented Communities Program.