LOS ANGELES (CNS) —The Board of Supervisors have preliminarily approved a $135 million private mixed-use development in downtown’s historic core.

The project, by developer Trammell Crow Company and the Cesar Chavez Foundation, is intended to transform two parking lots into a vibrant residential and retail area near Olvera Street and Union Station. Pedestrian walkways and bike-friendly elements will better link it to other downtown sites, according to Supervisor Gloria Molina, a champion of the project.

Called LA Plaza Cultura Village, it is designed for 341 residential units — 20 percent of which will be affordable housing — 50,501 square feet of retail space and 692 parking spaces on a site south of West Cesar E. Chavez Avenue between Hill and Spring streets. A pocket park, water features and other outdoor spaces are also planned.

The paseo, a pedestrian trail linking Union Station, Olvera Street and El Pueblo to the Fort Moore Pioneer Monument, will be developed with educational installations about the history of Los Angeles.

The trail will “showcase the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the building and rebuilding of Los Angeles,” Molina said.

Two existing parking lots currently generate roughly $565,000 in annual county revenue. In addition to losing that revenue, the county will pay about $150,000 to acquire some adjacent parcels of land from the city of Los Angeles and will then indirectly ground lease the entire site to the developer.

The project is expected to generate an estimated $400,000 to support the nonprofit operations of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, which runs a Mexican American museum and cultural center supported by county funds.

In response to questions by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Kreimann said taxpayers would not be responsible for any ongoing operating costs related to the development.

“The project has always been intended to a be a private development,” Kreimann said.

The board’s unanimous vote approved schematic design drawings for the project, subject to final approval of the site plan by the Department of Regional Planning, and certified the final Environmental Impact Report.

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