The hunt continues for a developer to take charge of a large, blighted property in Baldwin Hills.
Yesterday, city officials announced a new request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop Marlton Square, a five-acre property bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Buckingham Place, and Marlton Avenue to the west of Crenshaw Boulevard.
"Marlton Square represents an opportunity to reimagine a historically significant former retail site, and redefine its future as a commercial center that will provide 21st century living wage jobs for the Crenshaw community," said Carolyn Hull, general manager of the City of Los Angeles' Economic and Workforce Development Department.
The Office of Council District 10 in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles’ Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) have announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a community-serving development at Marlton Square in Los Angeles that meets citywide economic needs, creates meaningful well-paying jobs for surrounding residents with a range of educational backgrounds, and contributes to the overall advancement of South Los Angeles.
Originally known as Santa Barbara Plaza (after Santa Barbara Avenue, the prior name of MLK Boulevard), the area was home to local businesses and department stories in the mid-20th century, but saw a gradual decline in the decades that followed. The City of Los Angeles has already managed to develop several portions of the site, bringing a Kaiser Permanent medical office building to the area and a 102-unit affordable housing complex built by Meta Housing Corp.
The proposed RFP seeks a "community-serving development" for Marlton Square, but remarks from a local elected official point to a project in the bioscience industry.
"Today's call for RFPs marks a critical step in our efforts to infuse the Crenshaw neighborhood with more resources and opportunities, including in the area of bioscience," said State Senator Sydney K. Kamlager in a statement. "Ultimately, the Marlton Square opportunity site will support current and future residents, all the while boosting the area's economic vitality. I look forward to hearing the progress being made in this space as we work together to chart a new course for the Crenshaw community."
When the site was under the stewardship of CRA/LA in November 2019, a nearly 800,000-square-foot project featuring a mix of offices, laboratories, business incubators, and limited retail has been under consideration for Marlton Square.
The Marlton Square site is among the largest development sites up for grabs in Baldwin Hills, perhaps second only to the adjacent Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall, which is slated to add housing, offices, a hotel, and other commercial uses under an approved redevelopment scheme. Both sites sit within walking distance of a new station slated to open next year as part of Metro's Crenshaw/LAX Line at the intersection of Crenshaw and MLK Boulevards.
The Marlton Square RFP is available at www.labavn.org, ID 200867. Proposals are to be assessed based on team experience and qualifications, development concept, financial strategy and capability, and community engagement and benefits, according to the city's announcement.
Proposals are due on January 24, 2022, and must be delivered by 2 pm.
The announcement regarding Marlton Square was issued by the Economic Workforce Development Department in tandem with the office of L.A. City Council District 10. It comes at an awkward time for the office, with current elected Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas suspended indefinitely from duty while charges federal conspiracy and bribery charges relating to his time as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. A non-voting caretaker has been appointed to take charge of the district, in the interim.
- Marlton Square (Urbanize LA)