Planning commission green lights mixed-use complex near USC

The Fig would bring a hotel, student housing, and retail to South LA

Feb.February 14, 2019 03:00 PM
Ventus Group Executives Scott Gale and John Booty

A new sprawling complex planned for a site near the University of Southern California is making its way through the approvals process, whether opponents like it or not.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Planning Commission threw its support behind the Fig, a a $300 million mixed-use complex set to bring hotel rooms, student housing, restaurants and shops to South L.A., the Los Angeles Times reported. It still needs approval from the City Council to move forward.

Located on a 4.4-acre site, the proposed project on Figueroa Street would rise across the street from the Banc of California Stadium and near the University of Southern California’s campus. The project would include a cluster of seven-story buildings featuring a 298-room hotel, 200 units of student housing, 200 apartments, office, restaurants and retail space.

Ventus Group, led by Scott Gale and former USC quarterback John David Booty, is developing the Fig. As of January 2018, the firm was looking for a joint venture partner for the sprawling project.

Critics claim the project would increase unaffordability in the area, as it would displace 32 apartments that fall under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. A spokesperson for the developer countered that statement by saying that Ventus is building 82 units that will be set aside for low income housing.

Opponents also raised concerns about the hotel portion, which city commissioners say could be subsidized with taxpayers dollars. Last summer, City Council voted to hire consultants to analyze how subsidies, or other financial assistance, could help the project move forward in anticipation of the 2028 Olympic Games.

The project would largely complement USC Village, a $700 million mixed-use development to make its way to the area recently. USC Village, which spans 1.2 million square feet, opened its doors in 2017 after three years of construction. [LAT] — Natalie Hoberman 

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