Council Approves New Multi-Use Building
January 29, 2013
‘Legado Crossing’ Gets Unanimous Vote
A multi-use building with landscaping and a public park will be built at the intersection of Washington and National Boulevards next to the Expo Line station, thanks to the City Council’s approval Monday night of a zoning map change and comprehensive plan.
Known as “Legado Crossing,” after the company involved in its development, the five-story project will feature approximately 31,240 square feet of commercial uses and 115 residential units, located at 8770 Washington Boulevard.
“Almost a decade ago, the City established a new plan for the area,” said Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld. He characterized the Legado project as creating “a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood that we integrate with the planned transit, tying together the Arts District, downtown, and the Hayden Tract.”
Susan Yun of the Community Development Department, described the project in detail: 344 parking spaces at ground level; two floors of subterranean parking; 294 square feet on the second level for commercial-retail space and outdoor dining; landscaping with trees, native California plants, public art, and a swimming pool. The residential units include three studio units, 56 one-bedroom units, 46 two-bedroom units, and ten three-bedroom units.
Heather Lee, project manager for Legado, gave more information to the Council and introduced members of the project team, including architect Jeff Mertzel, who described his design for the structure:
”We looked at the Hayden Tract and took from that the feel of the old industrial buildings to use as a starting point to create a more contemporary language.”
Lee mentioned the project’s goal of achieving LEED Gold status via such features as using LEDS in the garages, using low-flow toilets in the units, solar panels, low-emitting paints in construction, and a green cleaning program. Residential units will have double-paned windows to block sound from the nearby Expo trains.
Also, a unique experiment will be conducted by Metro in conjunction with the residents of Legado Crossing. All residents will be eligible to receive a one-year discount Metro Pass, good for rides on the Expo Line and all other Metro rapid transit and bus lines. This “B-Tap” program will have residents involved in a survey of their transit use. Commercial tenants will be informed of the B-Tap program but only employers will be allowed to participate.
The B-Tap program was created by Metro as a leasing incentive for the residential units.
Two artists spoke of their work creating the landscaping, with foliage that includes native plants, and the creation of a public art work.
Meghan Sahli-Wells asked the artists if residents would receive training in how to care for the plants. “The Management Group will take care of that,” replied the artists.
Sahli-Wells was also concerned about employee parking, pointing out that without adequate (and free) parking space, employees might park on residential streets outside the Legado project.
Wanting to see “free parking for employees,” Sahli-Wells insisted that the issue had to be resolved at Monday’s meeting “because otherwise we will be having this discussion again in two years.”
“The question of whether parking should be mandated for employees should be explored citywide,” said Mayor Andrew Weissman. “It’s not appropriate to change rules on this particular development—but it is an appropriate issue that we need to discuss.”
The project was otherwise enthusiastically endorsed by all five Council members and the vote for passage of the comprehensive plan and zoning map change was unanimous.
The discussion on Legado was held as a public hearing but no speakers other than the applicant signed up to speak. Sahli-Wells expressed disappointment that nobody from the public had anything to say about the project.