Governor attempting to fast-track $2-billion L.A. development that would create 10,000 construction jobs

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California Construction News staff writer

Gov. Gavin Newsom will attempt to speed up construction of a $2-billion mixed use development expected to create 10,000 union construction jobs in downtown Los Angeles, his administration announced last week.

Fourth & Central, a 7.6-acre development includes 1,500 new homes, 410,000 sq. ft. of office space along with retail, restaurants and a 68-room hotel to what’s now a collection of cold storage facilities, parking lots and warehouses in Skid Row.

Newsom hopes to shave years off the construction timeline by fast-tracking a judicial decision in any litigation filed against the project under state environmental laws.

“For decades, we’ve let red tape stand in the way of these kinds of critical housing projects — and the consequences are in plain view all around us,” Newsom said in a statement. “Now we’re using California’s infrastructure law to build more housing, faster.”

Denver-based developers Continuum Partners unveiled the project in 2021. It includes  up of 10 buildings, including a 44-story residential skyscraper at Central Avenue and 4th Street. In total, the proposal calls for 572 condominiums and 949 apartments, with at least 214 units set aside as low-income housing.

Two buildings including the high-rise were designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, known for designing he National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington.

The Governor certified the Fourth and Central Project utilizing tools to build more faster that were extended in the historic infrastructure package passed last year with the support of the Legislature. The text of the certification is here.

This is the third project and the first housing project to be streamlined since the Governor signed the infrastructure package into law.

SB 7 (2021) allows the Governor to certify eligible clean energy and green housing projects for judicial streamlining under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This key tool to cut red tape was extended last year with the enactment of SB 149.

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