Mangrove Estates Site Mixed Use Development EIR

Client: City of Los Angeles

Downtown LA Metro resized 600Rincon Consultants completed an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on a mixed use development project located at the northeast corner of Alameda Street and 1st Street at the edge of the Little Tokyo community in downtown Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles owns the approximately 5.66-acre project site, which is occupied by a surface parking lot a vacant and a 19,500 square foot medical office building. The City is planning to sell the site to a private developer. The City issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a private developer to secure the right to develop the site. In response to the RFP, the City received several proposals from private developers for various development ideas. Each of the development ideas contained in the proposals differed in design, size, scale and mix of uses. The common theme in each of the proposals was that of a mixed-use development. In anticipation of the sale of the project site by the City to a private owner, the City hired Rincon to prepare an EIR. However, because the City had not yet selected a development proposal, no specific development was proposed. For the purpose of assessing environmental impacts of development on the project site, Rincon worked closely with City staff to develop a project based on the maximum amount of each specific use that was included in development proposals received by the City. It was determined that the project site could accommodate a maximum of 1.2 million square feet of floor space, comprised of retail, office, community space, creative live/work units and residential development.

The development is intended to take advantage of the site’s location adjacent to the new Little Tokyo Metro Gold Line station and numerous additional transit routes. Rincon and transportation engineering subconsultant KOA worked with City planning staff and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to develop a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program to reduce traffic impacts at intersections in the vicinity of the project site.  Through this analysis, Rincon was able to confirm that the project was consistent with City planning objectives for the area, which are oriented around the creation of transit oriented development (TOD).

Rincon staff examined a number of issues for this project that were important to City of Los Angeles standards: transportation and circulation, aesthetics (shadows), land use, air quality, noise, and public services.  A mitigation monitoring program was developed for the project to provide feasible mitigation measures for those issues that were found to be significant.  However air quality and transportation impacts were found to be unavoidably significant. Rincon prepared a Fact of Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations for the City and it was concluded that the benefits of a mixed use, TOD on the subject site would outweigh the unavoidable significant environmental impacts.