We’re one month into construction on the $2 billion Crenshaw/LAX Line, and the view from Exposition Boulevard has already changed significantly. With Earlez Grille safely relocated two blocks south, the low-rise commercial structures which previously stood next to Expo/Crenshaw Station are no more. By 2020, this now vacant lot will sit above the northern terminus of Metro’s newest light rail line. Set to add 8.5 miles of track and seven new stations to the Metro Rail network, long term plans call for extensions of the Crenshaw Line to Wilshire Boulevard and even as far north as Hollywood.
As excavation for the $2-billion Crenshaw Line continues to frustrate business owners and motorists alike, two locally-based non-profit organizations are working to build affordable housing near the light rail line’s forthcoming northern terminus. Los Angeles-based American Communities, LLC has filed plans with the city to build a low-rise complex known as the Crenshaw Villas Apartments. The project would replace an existing commercial building at 2631-2645 Crenshaw Boulevard. Plans call for a five-story structure containing 50 one-and-two-bedroom apartments, 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 36 parking stalls in a partially underground garage.
As construction continues on a new subway station at the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards, a bold development scheme is in the works for an adjacent shopping complex. Capri Capital Partners, the Chicago-based owner of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, is planning to redevelop their 43-acre property with over 2 million square feet of new office space, housing, retail space and hotel rooms. According to a master plan created by planning and design firm RAW International, the proposed development would replace a series of surface parking lots and low-rise commercial buildings which flank the mid-century shopping center.
In an effort to stimulate economic growth in South Los Angeles, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is pushing for the redevelopment of government-owned land near the upcoming Crenshaw light-rail line. According to a motion submitted by the 2nd District Supervisor, the Los Angeles County Probation Department intends to relocate the operations of its current Crenshaw Area Office at 3606 West Exposition Boulevard. The dated one-story structure is situated next to to a future transfer station between the Expo and Crenshaw Lines, and thus occupies a critical juncture in the Metro Rail network.