USC's $1.1 billion development project given the green light
New affordable housing, student housing, grocery store and more
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A $1.1 billion, 20-year development project near USC—the largest building project in South Los Angeles history—was approved by the City Council today.
The nearly 5 million-square-foot project adjacent to USC’s main campus was touted by proponents as a major facelift for the University Park neighborhood. The project, planned for completion in phases by 2030, includes new student housing, academic buildings, a grocery store, movie theater, bars and restaurants and eventually a hotel and conference center, as well as 12 acres of open space.
Officials from the three City Council districts immediately affected by the project, the mayor’s office and the Chief Legislative Analyst’s Office negotiated a $27 million community benefits package with USC that was also approved.
The agreement requires USC to contribute $20 million toward affordable housing in the area over 20 years and to provide at least 3,000 net new beds for students. The agreement bars USC from demolishing any student housing until all of the new units are built.
USC originally committed only $2 million for affordable housing, but a coalition of housing activists convinced city officials to push the university for more. The groups feared the development would reduce an already shrinking stock of affordable housing, which is threatened by a growing student
“For many years the university was growing and expanding, and there was no public plan in place. Now today that changes,” City Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes the university, said.
Hundreds of supporters, including University Park and South L.A. community and housing rights groups and construction labor unions, showed up at City Hall to support the project.
Only one person spoke against the plan. Ketan Sharma, owner of a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant on the site of the development, told the council he was concerned USC would not offer him a right of first refusal in the new development.
The university also committed to local and disadvantaged worker hiring quotas for the construction of the project and for permanent full-time workers.
University officials, construction union leaders and residents who support the project said it would create an estimated 12,000 jobs, including 4,000 construction jobs and 8,000 new permanent jobs. At least 30 percent of the workers must be local and at least 10 percent must come from backgrounds that put them at a hiring disadvantage.
USC officials also agreed to procure at least 15 percent of its materials from local vendors and to contract quotas for small-, minority- and women-owned contractors during the construction phase.
Under the community benefits package, USC will contribute $350,000 to the Los Angeles Parks Foundation and money for nearby streetscape improvements and bike lanes.
USC Senior Vice President for University Relations Thomas Sayles said the development will be “truly transformative.”
“At first we had somewhat differing points of view, but the beauty of this process is that we all came together,” Sayles said.
LOS ANGLES, Calif. — In a major case of academic poaching involving crosstown rivals, USC has lured away two prominent neuroscientists from UCLA with a promise to expand their internationally renowned lab, which uses brain imaging techniques to study Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, autism and other disorders, it was reported today.
More than 1,500 people—mostly students and community residents—attended a forum on the USC campus Tuesday night to voice concern about recent actions by law enforcement officials where African Americans feel they were racially profiled.
The forum followed a sit-in at the Tommy Trojan statue Monday by USC students upset about how police shut down two parties early Sunday, and arrested six students.
Another team will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a conference tournament victory Wednesday.
Bucknell and Lafayette were scheduled to meet in the Patriot League final at 7:30 p.m. EST.
The winner will join the teams that have already automatically qualified for the NCAA field:
• Belmont (Ohio Valley Conference)
• Creighton (Missouri Valley)
• Davidson (Southern)
• Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun)
• Gonzaga (West Coast)
• Harvard (Ivy League)
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A former USC defensive end can move forward with most of the allegations in his lawsuit against the school that claims team doctors gave him painkillers that caused a heart attack and damaged his future potential as an NFL player, a judge ruled today.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos said there were enough details in Armond Armstead’s complaint to support for now his allegations of fraud and negligence.
After we savor the feeling of sweet success that comes from President Barack Obama’s re-election, there is work to do. Most of us got the outcome that we both worked and hoped for, but we have to resist the temptation to exhale and get on with our work. Before the president takes the oath of office for a second time, African Americans should mobilize around these issues: