Judge presses pause on SoCal Flower Market redevelopment

323-unit project for DTLA will need further environmental review

Los Angeles /
Jul.July 02, 2021 12:57 PM
Renderings of the Southern California Flower Mart and AIDS Healthcare Foundation CEO Michael Weinstein (Getty, Brooks + Scarpa)
Renderings of the Southern California Flower Mart and AIDS Healthcare Foundation CEO Michael Weinstein (Getty, Brooks + Scarpa)

A judge halted plans for a large residential complex at the redevelopment of the Southern California Flower Market in Downtown.

The project must undergo a state environmental review, which will likely lead to some changes, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an organization that has fought several new developments across the city, sued. It argues the project’s environmental impacts were “flawed as to greenhouse gas emissions and noise impacts.”

The project was proposed by the Southern California Flower Growers, a group of families that own the sprawling market property.

In 2019, L.A. approved the development, whose plans call for a 12-story building with 291 high-end residential units and 32 moderate-income units. The complex at 7th Street and Maple Avenue would be constructed after an existing 185,000-square-foot building is razed.

As part of its lawsuit, AIDS Healthcare took issue with what it calls the proposal’s lack of low-income affordable units. The city is “fast-tracking luxury developments as well as cutting corners on environmental impact reports,” said AHF CEO Michael Weinstein.

Southern California Flower Growers’ Scott Yamabe said the organization would amend the project and present revisions in the next few months.

“It’s unfortunate that groups like the AHF, which has nothing to do with us whatsoever, are able to use [the California Environmental Quality Act] and the California courts to delay projects like ours,” he said, according to the report.

Reviews can take upwards of a year to complete and environmental reports are easily appealed. Developers have long criticized the use of CEQA appeals to slow or halt projects.

[LABJ] — Dennis Lynch





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