Casden Properties continues to court approval from the local community to put an apartment and condominium complex on 3rd Street, across the street from Hancock Park Elementary School.
Last week, Casden held an informational meeting at the Pan Pacific Senior Center to discuss the affordable senior housing that would be part of the development.
Casden is still working on adjustments to the project, including a plan to help make improvements for Hancock Park Elementary. Jennifer Anderson, Casden’s community development associate in charge of the project, said the company was in discussions with the school to add a pick-up and drop-off area and improve lighting on the sidewalk and the playground.
Anderson said the improvements would cost Casden in excess of $500,000, in addition to $1.53 million in fees to the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“One of the public benefits we are looking at as part of the project is to try to help Hancock Park Elementary,” Anderson said. “They have a parking shortage, congestion, and traffic during drop-off and pick-up times, and we’ve been meeting with representatives from the school to talk about improvements.”
Casden needs approval to build on the current site of the Ross Dress for Less from the city council, because zoning codes for the site don’t currently allow for the type of project the company has proposed.
Teresa Feldman, a member of the Mid-City West Community Council, said she did not consider improvements for the school extra perks, but rather a necessary part of any project.
“The issues at the school are issues that exist because the Palazzo and the Villas at Park La Brea built up the neighborhood so much,” Feldman said.
On the other hand, George Epstein, a local resident and senior, said he thought the school’s problems with parking and drop-off were the city’s to deal with, not the developer’s.
“Frankly, I don’t think it’s Casden’s problem,” Epstein said. “I think it’s the city’s problem. They need to provide facilities to drop the kids off.”
Anderson said that there were other aspects of the public benefit package as well, and stressed that the company has not yet finalized its proposal.