Kevin Chen’s TRJLA lists major Chinatown project

After notching entitlements, the developer is seeking investors to “commence construction”

TRJLA's Kevin Chen and rendering of major Chinatown project (Loopnet, Getty, Linkedin)
TRJLA's Kevin Chen and rendering of major Chinatown project (Loopnet, Getty, Linkedin)

Two years ago, a development firm led by the former fashion entrepreneur Kevin Chen filed plans for a major mixed-use project in Chinatown.

Now, weeks after securing entitlements, Chen’s TRJLA is courting investors.

The firm is “evaluating strategic alternatives to develop the project,” Joseph Chang, the company’s CFO, said in a statement.

He added that TRJLA is looking to begin construction next year and is “evaluating offers from potential parties to close a transaction before the year end.”

If it does get built, the project would rank among the most significant new developments in Chinatown, a part of Downtown L.A. that’s seen a recent influx of upscale projects, including large apartment complexes, and is also a hotspot for gentrification battles.

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The project site is a parking lot located in the 700 block of North Hill Street, in southern Chinatown just north of the 101.

TRJLA bought the roughly two-acre site, which includes four different parcels, for $19 million in early 2021. The seller was an entity affiliated with the Pacific Alliance Medical Center, a neighborhood hospital that closed in late 2017.

The firm’s plans, which received city approvals on October 11, include an eight-story, 370,000-square-foot mixed-use project with 411 apartments and 17,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space. A property listing includes a completion date of 2024.

Chen, who founded the fashion brand currency known as Frankie, also serves as the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles. As a commercial developer, he’s also leading a major mixed-use and creative space project in L.A.’s Arts District.

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