Exposition Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan
Earlier this summer, the Exposition Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan was approved by the Los Angeles City Council in a unanimous fashion. The purpose of this plan is to ultimately promote the use of the new Exposition Line by changing the zoning on the properties within a half a mile radius of the transit line, which therefore allow for new development opportunities to sprout in those areas. The plan will directly promote the expansion and growth of new multi-family, mixed used, commercial, and industrial development in the affected areas, which will in turn provide an estimated 4,400 to 6,000 new housing units, and 9,400 to 14,300 new jobs within the affected plan area by 2036. In a LA Dailey News article released in 2017, the Los Angeles County population is projected to grow by 1 million people by the time the extra jobs and housing units are fully completed and underway. In short, the LA City Council is planning ahead to accommodate for the extra population growth, while promoting the usage of the new and upcoming transit lines across the city.
As more and more metro systems get built in Los Angeles, we can expect to see similar plans come into play in the future. This plan provides a great opportunity for developers and investors alike to get a jump start on the emerging industrial sectors and increased housing capacity, while also benefiting residents who are looking towards a cheaper and more readily available mode of transportation. At the same time, we have to look at the other side of the aisle, and plan ahead to combat the potential negative effects of this new proposal. There has been a lot of mention that this new plan will only increase traffic density along the transit lines, which is a problem most residents of Los Angeles can collectively agree is not an issue that needs to get any worse. Yes, as soon as the new development and construction begins, there will certainly be an influx of traffic congestion. Just like any other city, it will take time for residents to become acquainted with public transportation. However, when we take a look into other major cities across the U.S., like Chicago and New York, metro lines are extremely popular and vital source of transportation across the city, and transport thousands of residents each and every day. As the Los Angeles metro line becomes more readily available and accommodates for the wide range of different transportation routes, it will begin to attract attention and users. By reducing the car traffic around the transit line, the plan will begin to fulfill one of its primary purposes of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging safe walking and biking routes. At the same time re-zoning 256 acres of predominantly industrial space with office, multifamily, and ground floor retail space will also allow for the promotion of “vibrant” street and neighborhood experiences.
All in all, the plan outlines a great opportunity for developers and residents alike. As Los Angeles begins to turn more and more of their focus towards public transportation, properties close to metro lines will receive the majority of attention. The higher density bonus and raised height restriction, combined with rise of mix use and new industrial zoning, makes these locations a prominent spot. It will be interesting to see who jumps the gun, and gets the ball rolling on the development in these areas.