How it’s going in South LA: developer eyes 23 units in place of duplex

Build is part of burgeoning development trend in working-class section of city

A rendering of the planned project at 1591 East Vernon Avenue in the South L.A. neighborhood of Central Alameda (Los Angeles City Planning/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
A rendering of the planned project at 1591 East Vernon Avenue in the South L.A. neighborhood of Central Alameda (Los Angeles City Planning/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

A developer plans to knock down a duplex and build a five-story apartment building in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Central Alameda.

The developer and property owner, Yoav Atzmon, filed the project application early this month through an LLC. The project team includes the Ketter Group, a Sherman Oaks-based development and design firm that’s built numerous multifamily projects in Southern California.

The property is located at 1591 East Vernon Avenue, a couple blocks west of the Alameda Swap Meet. It’s squarely amid the two-square mile neighborhood of Central Alameda, a densely populated, working-call and largely immigrant area of South L.A. located between Historic South Central and the city of Vernon.

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The site is currently home to a duplex that was built in 1987, according to property records. Within the past decade the property changed hands multiple times; the entity tied to Atzmon bought it for $585,000 in early 2019.

Plans for the new project, which is seeking Transit Oriented Communities incentives, include a 23-unit, 11,300-square-foot apartment building. Renderings submitted to the planning division show a conventional-looking design with a mostly “french vanilla”-colored stucco facade and walnut-accented entrance. Three of the units would be reserved for affordable housing with the rest at market rate.

While residents throughout the region continue to struggle with sky-high housing prices, developers have recently been turning to areas in and around South L.A., where land prices are relatively cheap and recent infrastructure improvements, including the introduction of the metro’s Expo Line, have spurred development. Last year CIM group unveiled a flurry of building plans for the area; in December a Westwood-based developer also filed plans to build a 48-unit building on West Slauson Avenue, a few miles west of Central Alameda.

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