The Real Deal Los Angeles

Major Downtown area projects move forward, despite haters

Both Trammell Crow Residential and private developer Ara Tavitian won appeals for their projects this week
November 02, 2016 03:30PM

Renderings of The Reef (left) and the Alexan (right)

Renderings of The Reef (left) and the Alexan (right)

Both Trammell Crow Residential and investor Ara Tavitian got some good news this week.

Trammell’s 305-unit Alexan project, planned in the southern part of the Financial District, won a Central Area Planning Commission ruling against an appeal last week. Meanwhile, Tavitian’s $1.2 billion mixed-use complex, dubbed The Reef, gained a favorable ruling against the appeal of a community group.

Opponents of the Alexan were largely residents of the neighboring Eastern Columbia Building, who lament that the new structure would block their views and say it would be out of character for the neighborhood. Opponents of The Reef claim the complex could attract renters who have been priced out of places like Echo Park, driving up rents and displacing up to 43,000 residents out of the neighborhood, the L.A. Times reported.

The city’s Planning and Land Use Commission rejected this argument from the Reef’s detractors: United Neighbors in Defense Against Displacement, Joe Donlin and the nonprofit Strategic Actions for a Just Economy. Instead, the planners prioritized the potential economic benefits of the project.

Tavitian has agreed to set aside 5 percent of his planned 1,444 units as low-income housing and to pay the city’s affordable housing fund $15 million. He also agreed to spend $3 million on job training and educational community programs.

The Reef will still require City Council approval. No groundbreaking date has been set for the Alexan. [LADTN] [LAT] — Cathaleen Chen