December 13, 2012
By LAWT News Service
Councilwoman Jan Perry received unanimous support from her colleagues for a comprehensive plan for major development in and around the University of Southern California (USC). The $5.2 billion dollar project will be the largest private development in South Los Angeles. The project includes an approximately $27 million dollar community benefits package negotiated thanks in large part, to the leadership of Councilwoman Perry.
“For many years, the University has been growing without a plan in place. With today’s vote, we have set forth a clear and inclusive plan for developing South Los Angeles,” said Perry, who initiated a negotiation process that moved the project forward and helped create consensus between the university and community advocates.
“I am proud that together we have developed a community benefits package that respects the entire community. This project will produce thousands of new jobs for city of Los Angeles residents and new revenue for the city’s general fund that will help pay for basic city services.”
The USC specific plan sets out a goal for development in and around the university over the next 20 years. The project includes 2,500,000 sq ft of academic and university uses, 350,000 sq ft of retail/commercial development (University Village)—that includes a full service grocery store, drug store, cinemas and sit-down restaurants, 2,135,000 sq ft of student and faculty housing providing up to 5,400 student beds, a 165,000 sq ft hotel, and 12.33 acres of public and private open space. The project will be built on land currently owned by USC.
The $27 million dollar community benefits package was negotiated to ensure that the project supported the needs of the surrounding community. The package includes local hire, apprenticeship programs for area residents, and will create an estimated 12,000 new jobs (8,000 permanent and 4,000 construction) over the 20 year life of the development. Job opportunities are ensured for community residents (construction and permanent) through a project labor agreement and commitment made in the development agreement.
“In a community with 18% unemployment, the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs will have a significant positive impact in South Los Angeles,” Perry said.
Additionally, the university has committed to developing substantial new student housing to alleviate pressure on the surrounding community and has committed $20 million for the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Open space that serves the University and community will be developed and will house farmers markets and include concerts and community festivals. USC will also improve pedestrian safety along Jefferson Boulevard for both students and community members.
The project represents a $1.1 billion construction-related economic impact to the Los Angeles County economy, $2.8 million in one-time revenue to the city from construction, and $1.7 million annually in revenue benefits to the city from operations. The project is estimated to contribute $3.8 million in Tax Increment Revenues through 2030.