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The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA approves major mixed-use project near Westlake, provisions included

Some affordable housing set aside; developer must donate $2M to community
By Hannah Madans | March 06, 2018 08:07AM

Rendering of The Lake on Wilshire (Credit: thelakeonwilshire.com)

As part of its approval of a major residential and commercial project slated near Westlake, the Los Angeles City Council required several concessions from the developer, including more than $2 million in donations to cultural and community programs. The new provision also provides for a minimum number of affordable housing units.

Dubbed The Lake on Wilshire, the project will include a 41-story apartment tower; a 14-story, 220-room hotel; and a five-story culture and performing arts center with an 850-seat theater. The hotel will replace a medical office building.

The project is being developed by the Walter and Aesha Jayasinghe family trust. Walter Jayasinghe, the owner and developer, is also a surgeon.

The Lake on Wilshire will rise about a block from the Westlake/MacArthur Park subway station. Home prices in MacArthur Park have skyrocketed. The median listing price for a home in the area in 2015 was $639,000. Today, the median list price is $999,000, according to Realtor.com. A lot of the increase happened over the past year.

The 33-page development agreement view between the trust and the Council stipulates that the developer must donate $2 million to New Economics for Women, a nonprofit; $450,000 to the Council’s Public Benefit Trust Fund; $20,000 to the Los Angeles Police Department for surveillance equipment for MacArthur Park; and $30,000 for Unite Here Local. The project’s cultural center must also be made available to the surrounding community and have neighborhood programming like job fairs.

Also included is a provision that the apartment tower — which will be among the tallest in the area — must have at least 10 affordable housing units. That would be about 2 percent of the apartment’s proposed 478 total units. There will also be 933 parking spaces.

In October, the City Planning Commission approved the project. At the time, Jayasinghe said he expected to include 39 affordable housing units. To do that, he would seek greater density than zoning usually permits. In September, the city implemented Measure JJJ, which allows loosens zoning regulations for projects that include more affordable units. The approved project is being given a 35 percent density bonus, and a 35 percent increase in floor area and parking, according to the document.

Research by Laura Hanrahan.