In Koreatown, residential project proposals keep piling up

Simon Kerendian's Koreatown development site
Simon Kerendian's Koreatown development site

There is no shortage of residential development in Koreatown, but developer Simon Kerendian wants to add to the list.

Kerendian filed plans for an 82-unit Transit-Oriented Communities project at the corner of South Alexandria Avenue and West 4th Street., records show. The six-story project would replace a pair of small apartment buildings with a total of 14 units.

Kerendian paid $2.1 million for the two properties in 2013, purchasing them through an entity called Alexandria Project LLC.

Koreatown is a top spot for development in Los Angeles, especially for small and mid-size residential projects. Last week, the City Planning Commission approved plans for a 209-unit project near the center of the neighborhood.

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A few blocks away from Kerendian’s property, Townline and Forme Development intend to build a 20-story tower with 256 units and ground-floor retail.

Many developers working in Koreatown have taken advantage of the area’s proximity to transit by filing Transit-Oriented Communities incentives. L.A.’s TOC program provides development incentives for projects built near transit that include affordable units.

Kerendian wants to set aside 10 units for “extremely low-income” tenants, the most affordable tier of housing offered in L.A., and is requesting a density bonus, parking reduction, and two additional incentives.

Kerendian is based on the Westside. In 2015 he joined developer Benhoor Elyashar on his 49-unit condo project in nearby Brentwood. That project was first planned in 2011 and had some delays, including appeals by local opponents of the development, but was completed after receiving city approval in 2017.