Koreatown developer faces blowback from Planning Commission

Commissioners questioned the developer’s outreach to existing residents

Oct.October 16, 2018 02:00 PM
Hankook Property Management’s Kee Whan Ha and 1000 S. Vermont Avenue

The Los Angeles Planning Commission has shot down — for the moment — plans to redevelop a full-block on a busy Koreatown street, claiming the developer was unprepared to build a 228-unit project.

Hankook Property Management, led by Kee Whan Ha, was requesting approvals to build a large residential project with 53,500 square feet of commercial space at 1000 South Vermont Avenue. The seven-story project, which would include 565 parking spaces, had been in the pipeline since 2016.

But in order to do that, the developer would have to demolish 32 apartments in two buildings, 21 of which are rent-stabilized. Nearly 9,000 square feet of medical office space and a gas station would also be torn down.

Commissioners questioned whether the developer had fully explained to the current tenants the potential repercussions of the project, since no one had gathered at the hearing to comment on the project, Curbed reported.

“I’m not confident the outreach has been sufficient,” said commissioner David Ambroz. “I’ve never been here before where people are so poorly armed with information when they have a project.”

A project representative said they had sent the required notifications by mail, and had “sporadic” conversations with a few tenants. They are planning on setting aside five percent of the 228 units as affordable, as well as offering an extra five units in another building nearby.

The commission decided to postpone a vote until Dec. 13. [Curbed] — Natalie Hoberman

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