In 2017, Los Angeles city officials joined with The Michaels Organization and Bridge Housing Corporation to launch the redevelopment of the Jordan Downs public housing complex in Watts. In the five years that have followed, blocks of 1940s apartment buildings have been demolished, making way for an "urban village" with more than 700 homes, nine acres of park space, and a shopping center known as Freedom Plaza.
Now, the Los Angeles Housing Authority and Bridge Housing are turning their attention to remainder of the Jordan Downs complex, tapping KTGY Architecture + Planning to draft a master plan for the redevelopment of the 14 acres bounded by Grape Street, Laurel Street, 97th Street, and 99th Place.
The third phase of the Jordan Downs project, which will itself be implemented in phases, calls for the construction of more than 500 affordable rental units, as well as 75 for-sale homes. Plans call for a series of low-rise apartment buildings toward the eastern side of the site, with smaller townhome-style buildings fronting Grape Street to the west.
"The recently approved Tract Map includes major infrastructure upgrades that will enhance the existing road network, connecting some of the surrounding blocks that had been largely cut off by the construction of the original housing development in the 1940s," writes Keith McCloskey, an associate principal with KTGY. "This new portion of the master plan will complete [an existing linear park at Croesus Avenue] and two stand-alone half-acre parks. In addition, a variety of connective paseos and courtyard spaces will be introduced that weave together to connect the new residential buildings to previous Jordan Downs phases and the neighboring residential to the north."
Construction on the phase three master plan is expected to begin with lots located on the eastern side of the site, accounting for 195 of the proposed apartments and one new park. The development team has launched community meetings with residents of the Jordan Downs complex in advance of an anticipated groundbreaking date in late 2021.
That schedule would overlap with work on other components of redevelopment project, including a 92-unit apartment building which is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
The redevelopment of Jordan Downs is part of a broader effort by the City of Los Angeles to expand the offerings at some of its public housing facilities.
One project has already been completed in Wilmington, where the city partnered with developers Mercy Housing of California and Abode Communities to redevelop the aging Dana Strand complex. The 15-year process was completed in 2018.
Another public housing complex near the Port of Los Angeles - Rancho San Pedro - is poised to nearly triple in size under a master plan led by the Richman Group, National CORE, and Century Housing.
Los Angeles officials have also partnered with Related California on a proposal which would nearly double the number of homes at the 1960s Rose Hill Courts complex in Montecito Heights.
- Jordan Downs (Urbanize LA)
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