Public Housing, Private Condo Deal Gains

TIMES STAFF WRITER

In an unusual public-private partnership, the Los Angeles Housing Authority is negotiating with developers who want to raze the Normont Terrace housing project in Harbor City and replace it with a mix of privately owned condominiums and city-owned public housing units.

Los Angeles officials say that, if the deal works and the condos are built, the new Normont Terrace could pave the way for similar redevelopments elsewhere in the city's 21-project public housing system.

"This is a new and exciting development for Los Angeles," said Carl D. Covitz, chairman of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. "It's an opportunity for the tenants there to be able to live in an environment that will be far better than it is today. . . ."

The 400-unit Normont Terrace project, on a 37-acre tract that runs along Pacific Coast Highway not far from the Harbor Freeway, was built in 1942 as temporary military housing. Tenants say the old World War II barracks are outdated and in need of major repairs.

Two weeks ago, housing commissioners selected the bid of a consortium, which calls itself Normont Community Housing Partners.

The group now has the exclusive right to negotiate with the city for 150 days. It has proposed a 1,200-unit complex on the Normont Terrace land, with 800 condominiums that would be sold by the developers to private owners and 400 apartments that would be given to the Housing Authority when construction is completed.

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