Agreement Lets Homes, School Use the Same Site

Times Staff Writer

Trying to make the best use of scarce land, city officials have brokered a deal between a nonprofit housing developer and the Los Angeles Unified School District to build new affordable housing units and a school on a single site just west of downtown.

"This is a great victory for children and families in the Westlake neighborhood," said Mayor James K. Hahn, who was joined by district Supt. Roy Romer at a Monday afternoon news conference.

"This agreement will pave the way for a much needed new school and more affordable housing in Los Angeles. The old way of doing business is no longer viable in neighborhoods where we have multiple needs and too little available land."

Officials hope to build the housing units and the school, which will serve students in kindergarten through third grade, on a patch of land at 4th Street and Hartford Avenue.

A local nonprofit housing developer, Community of Friends, previously purchased most of the land on the site to build a family housing project. After city officials learned that the school district also wanted the land for a new school, they brought the two sides together to come up with a joint agreement.

Financial details of the deal, which was signed Monday, are still being worked out. School officials say they are prepared to spend $23.6 million for completion of the school, including construction.

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