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The Real Deal Los Angeles

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

Plan calls for sleek 18-story tower with 278 units
December 11, 2017 03:30PM

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.

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