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The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA Housing Authority reaches settlement over contaminated Jordan Downs site

21-acre former steel mill property is part of Jordan Downs' controversy
January 12, 2017 08:45AM

Jordan Downs housing in Watts

The massive redevelopment of Jordan Downs is one step closer to fruition, thanks to a settlement reached between the Housing Authority of Los Angeles and the owners of a former steel mill site that’s part of the project.

Nine years ago the Housing Authority purchased the 21-acre South L.A. property along with several other companies, according to Law360, but soon afterward they found that the site contained levels of arsenic and lead — among other chemicals — that exceeded state health standards.

The agency filed suit in 2011 against the former owners, which include PCC Technical Industries and GK Technologies, and took its own steps to get rid of the toxins.

The settlement, filed last Thursday, wiped all impending trials and proceedings off the table. The details of the settlement are unknown.

The Jordan Downs redevelopment calls for the transformation of the notorious public housing project into 119 acres of a mixed-income “urban village” with up to 1,800 residential units. The $1 billion project received federal approval last June.

Critics of the project have voiced concern about the contamination as well as whether current public housing residents will be guaranteed affordable units in the new complex.  [Law360]Cathaleen Chen