Los Angeles Reveals New Citywide Adaptive Reuse Proposal

An adaptive reuse ordinance limited to the city’s downtown core helped create roughly 12,000 units of new housing.

1 minute read

May 25, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Blue Art Deco 13-story tiled Eastern Building in downtown Los Angeles

The Eastern Building, a 13-story Art Deco jewel in downtown Los Angeles, began its life as a department store before being converted to residential lofts. | JHVEPhoto / Eastern Building, downtown Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Department of City Planning has released details about its new Citywide Adaptive Reuse program, calling it “an innovative strategy that facilitates the conversion of existing underutilized or historically significant buildings into housing.”

The program would expand on an existing adaptive reuse initiative that has been in place in downtown Los Angeles since 1999 and is credited with creating over 12,000 housing units in former garment factories, warehouses, and other vacant downtown buildings.

According to the city’s press release, “Drafted with post-pandemic economic recovery in mind, the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance incentivizes the conversion of existing commercial buildings to housing, providing a faster review process for older buildings, allowing for flexible unit sizes, and allowing buildings to retain their building shell while the interior may be converted to housing.”

City officials say the ordinance will promote infill development, historic preservation, and mixed use, lowering carbon emissions and extending the life of existing buildings. The program is part of the Citywide Housing Incentive Program, a six-part plan for meeting the city’s state-mandated housing goals.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Los Angeles Department of City Planning

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