Owner lists controversial $1.2B development project in South Central

The project had previous monikers including "SoLA Village" and "Reef"

2014 rendering of the mixed-use project (Gensler + Patterns)
2014 rendering of the mixed-use project (Gensler + Patterns)

Let the bidding war begin.

PHR LA Mart, the owner of a two-block stretch in the South Central neighborhood near Downtown, will now accept bids for the long-awaited $1.2 billion SoLA Village mixed-use project, the Los Angeles Times reported. The news of the listing comes shortly after the owner reached a deal with affordable housing advocates.

The 1.66 million-square-foot project, now dubbed “Broadway Square Los Angeles,” was initially proposed by the owner, an entity tied to Dr. Ara Tavitan, in 2014. Tavitan has already obtained approvals for a 208-room hotel; 1,444 residential units comprised of condominiums and apartments; 152,000 square feet of retail space, and 72,000 square feet of signage.

Activists had pushed for more affordable housing in a project that roused concerns within the neighborhood about gentrification and displacement, and they ultimately cut a deal with Tavitan. The project now includes 70 units dedicated to low-income residents, advocacy groups Strategic Actions for a Just Economy and PolicyLink announced Tuesday.

Since it was first proposed three years ago, the project has faced an identity crisis — bearing names like SoLA Village and often dubbed ‘Reef project’ before being rebranded as “Broadway Square” in its new listing.

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The 9.7-acre site is currently occupied by one main building: a 12-story LA Mart hosting furniture showrooms and event space. Parking takes up much of the remaining land.

PHR purchased the 784,000-square-foot property at 1933 S. Broadway for roughly $55 million in 2012, records show.

The family business, led by managing partner Tavitan, will consider offers to jointly develop the property, or sell the entitled site altogether. Bids are due by Dec. 1.

Laurie Lustig-Bower of CBRE has the listing.

Despite neighborhood pushback, developers are increasingly interested in building in Historic South Central. Earlier this summer the owner of Orbit Electric filed plans for an adaptive reuse complex at 2100 S. Figueroa Street. Developer Daryoush Dayan wants to build two residential towers next door at 2222 S. Figueroa Street. [LAT] – Natalie Hoberman