Korean American National Museum scraps housing plan for new Koreatown building

The museum's board cited rising construction costs as the reason for pulling the housing component

Jun.June 04, 2019 09:00 AM
Council President Herb Wesson and a rendering of the KANM including its housing component
Council President Herb Wesson and a rendering of the KANM including its housing component

Plans for a housing component beside the development of the Korean American National Museum in Koreatown have been scrapped.

Citing high costs, museum officials pulled their proposal for the 103-unit housing addition to the proposed new building, according to Urbanize. The new museum will rise at a city-owned parking lot, at 601-617 S. Vermont Avenue, according to the report.

Los Angeles officials agreed to a 50-year lease with the museum at the site in 2013. The project was originally conceived as a three-story building without the housing element. Two years later, the museum board of directors decided to add the housing component, along with a 144-car garage.

Now, the change of plans will require the city and museum to amend their lease. City Council President Herb Wesson asked city staff to do so last week. The Korean American National Museum plans to open its new building sometime next year, according to its website.

Construction costs in L.A. have risen faster than in many other major cities in recent years. In the 12 months ending with the second quarter of 2018, the cost to build in L.A. rose just over 5 percent, the third most of any city in the country.

The project site is near the Metro’s Wilshire/Vermont Red Line station and near a 33-story tower planned by China-based Jai Long Beijing. The mixed-use tower includes 50,000 square feet of office space, around 28,500 square feet of retail and commercial space, and a 200-room hotel. [Urbanize]Dennis Lynch 

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