Onni Group’s years-long bid to redevelop Times Mirror Square in Downtown Los Angeles has ended in victory.
The City Council on Tuesday voted 11-4 to certify an environmental report for the mixed-use project and to deny a nonprofit group’s appeal, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Council’s vote could still be appealed.
Onni’s proposal — at a combined 1.5 million square feet of construction — includes 1,130 residential units in two high-rise towers, along with retail and office space. The project has just 34 affordable units, an unusually low number given its size.
The project has been met with fierce opposition since it was announced in 2016. Onni paid $100 million for the Times Mirror Square property — the newspaper’s former home — and soon after revealed its development plans.
Preservationists fought the proposal because it would mean the demolition of a 1970s-era office building designed by William Pereira. That battle ended in late 2018 when the Council declined to landmark the building.
The city Planning Department had its own misgivings about the project. The agency took issue with the exclusion of affordable units and Onni’s plan to pay city allocation fees. Last spring, the Council told the developer to redesign the towers. Onni representative Dan Goldsmith warned that delays and the coronavirus could derail the project.
By summer, Onni agreed to set aside some affordable units, paving the way for its approval.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch