Future route of Metro light rail may guide future development

Decision on West Santa Ana Branch could spur residential construction

Map of potential alignments (Metro via Urbanize)
Map of potential alignments (Metro via Urbanize)

In recent months, city developers have been turning to public transportation to help guide future projects under the new transit-oriented communities plan.

Now, a Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee will consider the exact route for the proposed West Santa Ana Branch light rail line, a decision that could help shape that Downtown development.

The Metro Board of Directors’ Planning and Programming Committee will open the discussion this week, Urbanize reported. A decision could come by spring.

As of 2015, the 20-mile light rail line along Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue was scheduled to end at L.A. Union Station. Six new alternatives will now be considered.

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Among those options are the potential for a station at 4th and San Pedro streets in the Industrial District, a station in the Arts District near 6th Street and a station in Little Tokyo.

The new line, which is expected to cost upwards of $3.5 billion, was mentioned in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “28 by 28” proposal. The initiative is aimed at speeding up the city’s transportation projects before the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Under a recently-approved measure, residential developers can now streamline certain development projects near transit hubs and can receive density bonuses if they include affordable units in their construction.

There are now 22 approved transit-oriented communities projects, including a 38-unit apartment in Koreatown, a 24-unit building in Sawtelle and a 170-unit property in the San Fernando Valley. [Urbanize] – Natalie Hoberman