In January 2014, Metro broke ground on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project , an 8.5-mile, eight-station light rail transit line running from the Metro Exposition Line at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards to the Metro Green Line at the Aviation/LAX Station. The Crenshaw/LAX Line will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo, and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County. In addition to providing significant regional environmental benefits and supporting economic and employment growth, the project presents new opportunities for Joint Development that merge transit and neighborhood development to promote Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) along the corridor.
In anticipation of the planned completion of the Crenshaw/LAX Line in 2020, Metro prepared a Joint Development Strategic Plan to guide implementation of TOC activities. The Strategic Plan sought to:
- Identify potential Opportunity and Exploratory Sites
- Identify strategic public sector partnerships
- Outline a robust community engagement process
- Define a timeline for implementation
Expo/Crenshaw Station Opportunity Site
Metro, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, is pursuing joint development of publicly-owned land at the Expo/Crenshaw Station along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit:
- Site Map
- Satellite Map
- Expo/Crenshaw Development Guidelines
Parcel 1 –
Southeast corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Exposition Blvd.
- Acres: 1.77
- Jurisdiction: City of Los Angeles
- Owner: Metro
- Current Use: Station Construction
– Southwest corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Exposition Blvd.
- Acres: 1.66
- Location: 3606 W. Exposition Blvd.
- Jurisdiction: City of Los Angeles
- Owner: County of Los Angeles
- Current Use: Los Angeles County Department of Probation
An additional Opportunity Site has been identified in close proximity to the under-construction Fairview Heights Station, located midway along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project. More information on the Fairview Heights Station Opportunity Site may be found on the project webpage .
Developer Selection and Project Proposal
Following a competitive solicitation process, the Metro Board of Directors and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved entering into a Short Term Exclusive Negotiation Agreement and Planning Document (ENA) in late 2017/early 2018 with Watt Companies for joint development of Metro and County-owned parcels at the Expo/Crenshaw Station. The Short Term ENA provided an interim period before executing a long term ENA so that the community could provide input on the proposed project and the Developer could identify a community-based organization to partner with on the development of the project. In the spring of 2018, Watt Companies entered into an agreement with West Angeles Community Development Corporation to partner in the execution and operation of the project, and also held community meetings to solicit input on the proposed project. The proposed project will include approximately 400 residential units (15% of which will be restricted to households earning 30% or less of area median income, and 5% of the total units restricted to households earning 30-80% of area median income) and 40,000 square feet of commercial and community space. Additional information on the proposed project can be found here .
At their September 2018 Board meetings, the Metro Board of Directors and County Board of Supervisors approved entering into a long term ENA with Watt Companies. Information on the Metro Board action can be found in the meeting recap here , and the County Board decision here . During the long term ENA, Watt Companies will advance project design, pursue project approvals from the City of Los Angeles, continue community engagement, and negotiate the financial terms of the project with both Metro and the County of Los Angeles.
Developer Applying for Project Approvals from the City of Los Angeles
Since executing a 14-month Exclusive Negotiation Agreement and Planning Document (ENA) in October 2018, Watt Companies has held several meetings with local residents, community organizations and government officials to provide updates and obtain feedback on the proposed project. An online survey aimed at gathering input on the project was circulated and over 200 responses were received. Metro and the County of Los Angeles extensively reviewed the Developer’s project plans and provided feedback on the design. In July 2019, Watt and project partner West Angeles Community Development Corporation held a community update event to unveil the revised conceptual plans based on Metro, County and community input. Over 200 stakeholders attended. Participants engaged with the Developer’s architectural/urban design team and expressed that they were generally pleased with the project’s progress.
Before the Metro Board can approve a joint development agreement and ground lease terms, the project must be environmentally cleared and entitled by the City of Los Angeles. In September 2019 Watt submitted for entitlements from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Given that review process will take approximately one year to complete and the current ENA was set to expire in December 2019, the Metro Board of Directors approved extended the ENA. Information on the Metro Board action can be found in the meeting recap . The entitlements process will include additional opportunities to provide input on the proposed project. Please visit Watt’s project website to stay up to date on upcoming events, and sign-up for project notifications from Metro and select “Expo/Crenshaw Station.”
Joint Development (JD) projects reflect the regional vision of shaping communities that are healthy, sustainable, and mobile. The expansion of LA County’s rail system presents an unprecedented opportunity to support the growth of communities along transit corridors in a way that promotes walkable and bikeable places, improves access to jobs and economic opportunities, and creates more opportunities for mobility and transit ridership. Through a community-driven process, JD projects can help shape a vibrant built environment for existing and future residents to live, work, play, and commute.
Metro is committed to a community-driven visioning process and keeping the community apprised throughout the JD process by thoroughly engaging community stakeholders, including: residents, community organizations, businesses and property owners, governmental agencies, and religious, educational and cultural institutions.
Metro welcomes project-specific feedback and encourages community members to visit our Past Meetings page and review the Expo/Crenshaw Station Development Guidelines , which were directly influenced by community input received through an intensive round of community outreach in spring of 2016.
Once a developer is selected for a Joint Development site, Metro’s Exclusive Negotiation Agreement requires the developer to lead ongoing community engagement as the individual project design evolves. We highly encourage community members to stay involved in this process as this allows the developer to continue to elicit, discuss and incorporate community comments and aspirations regarding specific projects.
Now that Watt has been selected as the developer for Expo/Crenshaw Station, they are advancing project design and submitting for entitlements from the City of Los Angeles. The project will include approximately 40,000 square feet of commercial and community space and 400 residential units, 20% of which will be affordable to households earning 30-80% of area median income. Please visit Watt’s project website to stay up to date on all news related to the project.
The project will include approximately 40,000 square feet of commercial and community space, and 400 residential units, 20% of which will be affordable to households earning 30-80% of area median income.
As the developer needs to complete a number of items before beginning construction (i.e., conduct outreach, finalize the project design, pursue entitlements and financing), lease-up of the units is still a few years away. Information on affordable housing in Los Angeles can be found at www.housing.lacity.org .
Construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project presented an unprecedented opportunity to create additional public benefits around future transit stations. In 2015, the Metro Board of Directors (Metro Board) directed staff to develop a strategic plan for JD efforts along the future line and to work with public sector partners to implement JD activities on publicly-owned land. The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Joint Development Strategic Plan , released in June 2015, identified the current Opportunity and Exploratory sites along the alignment based on their location and transit supportive and/or public benefit potential. More information on the Fairview Heights Station Opportunity Site may be found on the project webpage .
The Metro JD process consists of the following key milestones:
A cumulative result of a robust community-driven process with assistance of outside design consultants, the Development Guidelines can set the program use, massing, and architecture/urban design expectations for development proposals on Opportunity Sites. They also highlight key community priorities and goals for specific sites. View the
Development Guidelines for the Expo/Crenshaw Opportunity Site
After the Metro Board approves the Development Guidelines, solicitation for project proposals begins. The Guidelines are included in this Request for Proposals (RFP), which is offered to the development community on a competitive basis.
- Exclusive Negotiations Agreement (ENA): Once a developer is selected, an ENA is executed following approval of the Metro Board. The developer then progresses the architectural design while continuing to engage with and seek input from the community. During the course of the ENA, Metro and the developer negotiate financial terms for a long-term lease arrangement.
- JD Agreement and Ground Lease: When the developer has received entitlements from the local jurisdiction and environmentally cleared the project, and the financial terms have been negotiated, Metro staff will present the terms of the JD Agreement and Ground Lease to the Metro Board for consideration. If approved, the developer proceeds with securing building permits and constructing the project.
The project schedule for each site is subject to the developer selection and their timeframe. A typical JD process takes an estimated 5 years from inception to construction completion.
- Mailing List: Metro’s JD team keeps an updated stakeholder list and apprises interested parties/individuals of upcoming meetings about new developments. This includes public meetings, such as those held by the Metro Board and/or City Planning Commission, and outreach-specific meetings focused on project development. Sign up for our JD Mailing List and make sure to select “Expo/Crenshaw Station.”
- Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project and JD Program webpages: Information will be updated regularly as the projects develop.
- Metro staff: For questions regarding JD efforts along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project alignment, please contact Nicole V. Avitia at AvitiaN@metro.net .