The 165-acre Vermont/Manchester Recovery Redevelopment Project—located approximately ten miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles, in City Council District 8—was adopted on May 14, 1996. Vermont/Manchester is one of several redevelopment projects created in response to the civil unrest of 1992. The Project Area generally includes Vermont Avenue between 79th and 89th streets, Western Avenue from 85th to 89th streets, and Manchester Avenue between Van Ness Avenue and the Harbor Freeway.
To create thriving commercial centers that provide community access to goods, services, and employment opportunities.
Conditions at Time of Adoption
At the time the Redevelopment Project was adopted, the physical and economic condition of the Project Area was severely distressed. Problems included:
- Widespread physical deterioration of buildings and properties—approximately 89 percent of the buildings in the area needed rehabilitation
- Damage to structures, including three blocks along Vermont Avenue, that was a direct result of the civil disturbance of April 1992
- Property values that had declined or were not increasing in value
- Storefronts with abnormally high vacancy rates, abnormally low lease rates, and late or skipped loan payments
- High crime rate
Our Key Accomplishments
Despite a legal challenge to the Redevelopment Plan that has taken years to resolve, CRA/LA has helped the area take major steps forward.
We provided financial assistance to Vermont Village Plaza—36 affordable homes built over shops—for both pre-development and rehabilitation activities. In 1999, this mixed-use project won the HUD Secretary’s Best in American Living Award. (HUD is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)
In 1999, Designs for Development Guidelines were adopted for the proposed 100,000-square-foot Vermont/Manchester Shopping Center. The guidelines deal with issues such as the amount of open space, how far the buildings are from the street (“setback”), and the type of signs that are permitted. While attempts have been made to develop the shopping center, a development agreement has not been signed.
CRA/LA provided technical assistance for public improvements—including streets, medians, and sewers - along Manchester Avenue between the Harbor Freeway and Vermont Avenue. They were completed by the City in 2007.
The County Administration Building, which houses more than 1,000 employees and provides services for four County offices, was completed in 2007. The building also has a child-care facility and a restaurant at ground level. To make this development possible, CRA/LA assisted with design and technical plans and provided two parking lots owned by the Agency.
Between 2009 and 2014, CRA/LA plans to further improve the Vermont/Manchester neighborhood by:
- Rehabilitating existing businesses and encourage new development along the commercial corridors of Manchester, Vermont, and Western avenues—including the Vermont/Manchester Shopping Center;
- Establishing a Commercial Facade and Signage Grant Program, to provide eligible property owners with up to $25,000 for improvements to their storefronts;
- Promoting and developing employment opportunities for the community by supporting existing employers and attracting new employers;
- Creating a welcoming atmosphere for economic opportunity and community prosperity through public funding, business development activities, and appropriate incentives to attract developers; and
- Continuing to work with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works on other planning and infrastructure projects in the area.