Weingart Center revises plan for homeless high-rise on Skid Row amid opposition

Plan calls for sleek 18-story tower with 278 units

Rendering of Weingart Center (Credit: JWDA)
Rendering of Weingart Center (Credit: JWDA)

The Weingart Center, a homeless-services provider on Skid Row, is planning to construct an 18-story building for the chronically homeless next to its existing facility at San Pedro and 6th streets under a newly revised plan, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Initial plans filed in February called for a behemoth structure made up of two multiple multifamily apartment towers above 12,300 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. But the Weingart Center recently revamped the proposal, pushing instead for a single high-rise.

Critics of the dense project argue that the concentration of homeless people on Skid Row is hurting Downtown business, while also creating a dangerous environment for anyone battling addiction or illness. About a third of the city’s permanent supportive housing units is located in DTLA, with roughly 2,600 formerly homeless residing in those units.

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Others, such as DTLA Council member Jose Huizar and supportive-housing provider SRO Housing Trust, are throwing their support behind the project, which is expected to be completed in 2021.

Rendering of Weingart Center (Credit: JWDA)

If approved, the $138 million tower would offer 278 new units of affordable housing within a sleek, modern-looking building designed by San Diego-based Joseph Wong Design Associates. The center has tapped Chelsea Investment Corp. to develop the project.

This isn’t the first time local advocates have come out against a major development in the Skid Row area. Just a few months ago, opponents of the 33-story “7th & Maple” apartment tower gathered in a nearby plaza to protest the pricey project being developed by Realm and Urban Offerings. [LAT] — Natalie Hoberman

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