Although COVID-19 has put a damper office leasing in Los Angeles, there are signs of activity in some corners of the region.

This week, The Ratkovich Company announced that USC has renewed its lease at the 40-acre Alhambra complex at 1000 S. Fremont Avenue.  The university will occupy an additional 14,175 square feet of space, growing its total footprint on the campus to 87,852 square feet.

The Ratkovich Company, which has owned The Alhambra for more than 20 years, is planning to build more than 1,000 condominiums and apartments on the parking lots which surrounding the office complex.

In Century City, law firm Thompson Coburn LLP will relocate from its current home at 2029 Century Park East to a new 24,590-square-foot space at 10100 Santa Monica Boulevard.  The move, which was brokered by Newmark, is set to occur in June 2021.

Other news from the past week:

  • Metro Board Looks to Rein in 605 and 5 Freeway Widening Home Demolitions: "The motion directs Metro CEO Phil Washington to craft a final report with other alternatives, including one that minimizes right-of-way impacts and/or a Transportation System/Demand Management (TSM/TDM) alternative." (Streetsblog LA)
  • Residents fight plan to fence coastal railroad tracks in San Diego County: "The transit district and regional planning agency the San Diego Assn. of Governments hope to eventually move the tracks away from the beach in Del Mar to an inland route. Such a relocation would cost more than $3 billion. Obtaining funding, along with other preliminary work, is expected to take at least 10 years, and construction would take another 10." (LA Times)
  • City of Alhambra Hosting Community Feedback Meetings for Park Grant Applications: "Alhambra staff are looking to apply for grants to build one new pocket park, a community center, and other upgrades and renovations at five other parks" (Streetsblog LA)
  • Metro now accepting applications for Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee: "Metro is accepting applications beginning Monday, October 19, for members of the public who want to join a new Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). This is an excellent opportunity to help shape the policing of the Metro transit system to ensure that our security focuses on what you think is important — and that policing is done fairly and equitably toward all people." (The Source)
  • Bird Seeks to Unload Santa Monica HQ as Fund Marks Down Shares: " Bird became the fastest company in history to reach unicorn status in 2018. Shortly after that, it achieved a $2 billion valuation in less than a year. But in March, it abruptly laid off 406 employees via a Zoom call that former employees described as dystopian. Headquarters was particularly hard hit, with the layoffs reducing the staff by more than half." (dot LA)
  • Boyle Heights next historic landmark could be a Japanese diner: "Otomisan Japanese Restaurant, a small diner-like operation that serves up everything from chicken teriyaki to salmon sushi to salmon sashimi -- occupies one of three storefronts on 2506 1/2 E 1st St. It opened as Otemo Sushi Cafe in 1956, and is believed to one of the oldest continuously-operating Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles." (The Eastsider)
  • Alhambra approves inclusionary housing ordinance: "The City Council unanimously gave final approval to a long-debated inclusionary housing ordinance during itsSept. 28 meeting, designating a 15% affordable housing set-aside for developments of seven or more units and requiring 9% to be set aside for low-income households and 6% for moderate-income households." (Wave Newspapers)
  • California’s homeless students could fill Dodger Stadium 5 times, study finds: "There were at least 269,000 K-12 students in California experiencing homelessness at the end of the 2018-19 school year — enough children and teens to fill Dodgers Stadium five times over — and that number was likely a gross underestimate, a UCLA report said." (LA Times)
  • How the L.A. Times helped write segregation into California’s Constitution: "The Los Angeles Times editorial board threw its then-considerable weight behind the measure, endorsing Proposition 14 and lending the paper’s credibility to the sponsors’ disingenuous argument. According to The Times’ board, the ability to discriminate against home buyers or renters by race, color and creed was a 'basic property right.'" (LA Times)
  • Metro, County of L.A. and SEED Foundation hold groundbreaking for SEED School of L.A County in South Los Angeles: "After acquiring the property through eminent domain in 2018, LA County, Metro and their partners are kicking off the first phase of the development: the SEED School of Los Angeles County (SEED LA), the state’s first public boarding high school. The second phase will include building 180 affordable apartments, a Metro Job and Innovation Center and community-serving retail stores." (The Source)
  • Plans For 101 Freeway Wildlife Crossing In Agoura Hills Released: "A planned wildlife crossing across the 101 Freeway between Agoura Hills and Calabasas, which will eventually be the largest of its kind in the world, is scheduled to break ground in 2021, according to new plans released Wednesday." (CBS 2)
  • Landlords Challenge U.S. Eviction Ban and Continue to Oust Renters: "A lawsuit backed by the National Apartment Association and other challenges aim to undo the national eviction moratorium ordered by the CDC." (CityLab)
  • NextGen Plan to improve Metro Bus system is approved by agency’s Board of Directors: "NextGen has been in the works for nearly three years and is the most sweeping overhaul of the Metro bus system in 25 years. Under the new plan — to be implemented in stages, beginning in December (more on this below) — buses will arrive every five to 10 minutes for 83 percent of current riders compared to around 48 percent today." (The Source)
  • Uber and Lyft lose appeal, ordered again to classify drivers as employees: "But the ruling won’t go in effect until after the election, when voters are expected to weigh in on Prop 22" (The Verge)
  • Griffith Park gondola proposal sparks opposition from area residents and environmentalists: "Environmentalists have raised concern over anticipated effects on the park’s flora and fauna. Species such as the Blainville’s horned lizard and the whiptail lizard live on high ridgelines on the western side of the park. Towers in three of the proposed routes would disrupt this habitat, threatening the species’ chance of survival in the park, they say." (LA Times)