The Vermont/Santa Monica Red Line Station opened in 1999 and connects patrons between North Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. The station site is about an acre in size and includes a public plaza, the station entrance, and vacant lots currently used for parking. The station’s close proximity to Los Angeles Community College, major commercial corridors along Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, and the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center make it a busy terminus, attracting over 4,000 riders a day.
Realizing the Vermont/Santa Monica Station properties are located in a highly desirable area for infill development, a study was conducted in December 2015 to determine the feasibility of development on the Metro-owned parcels at the station. The analysis concluded that, due to the constraints of the irregularly shaped parcels and location of the station’s portal and plaza, the only potentially feasible development scenario would be limited to a small single-story 20,000 square foot shopping center with 37 surface parking spaces.
While technically feasible, this scenario with solely the Metro-owned parcels was not deemed to be the highest and best use for this high traffic urban corridor and staff decided to not actively pursue joint development of the site at that time.
In January 2017, Metro received an Unsolicited Joint Development Proposal from Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) Community Development Corporation, which proposed development of the Metro-owned properties and adjacent privately-owned properties. After completing a two-phased review of the proposal in accordance with Metro’s Joint Development Unsolicited Proposal Policy , Metro decided to move forward with LTSC’s proposal.
In March 2018, the Metro Board of Directors approved entering into an 18-month Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with LTSC. Additional details on the process can be found in the Board Report .
LTSC’s proposal includes the Metro-owned properties at the Vermont/Santa Monica Station, as well as about half an acre of adjacent LTSC-owned properties. The addition of these properties creates a more regular street-to-street lot suitable for mixed-use development. LTSC’s current proposal contemplates approximately 190 affordable residential units for low-income households, with approximately half of those units reserved for families and individuals with special needs. The development proposal also includes approximately 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail and on-site supportive services for residents. Overall, the proposed development offers opportunities to make improvements to the Metro plaza, enhance the pedestrian experience and improve transit connectivity.
For more information on the Vermont/ Santa Monica Station Joint Development activities, please contact:
Nicole V. Avitia
Manager, Transportation Planning
Countywide Planning & Development