LACI is located in the city’s Cleantech Corridor in downtown LA. A four mile long strip between the Los Angeles River and Alameda in the eastern part of downtown, the Clean Tech Corridor is the cornerstone of the city’s green economy strategy. The city is offering a range of incentives for cleantech companies to locate in the corridor. The Corridor will be home to the cleantech ecosystem that Los Angeles is building to support the green economy.

The Cleantech Manufacturing Center

A home for full scale manufacturing of environmental technologies in Downtown Los Angeles

Background

CRA/LA purchased the land from the State of California and has since cleaned up the area, which was polluted by previous tenants that included a bus manufacturer and a rail yard operator. In 2011, after an extensive bidding process, CRA/LA sold the property to Genton Property Group to build a $90 million, 500,000-square-foot industrial complex. A key reason the firm was chosen was its commitment that the site would be occupied by cleantech tenants.

Cleantech Manufacturing Center tenants may qualify for a variety of local, state, and federal financial incentives, including tax credits and favorable lease terms. In addition, companies could also try to leverage one of the city’s many environmental programs including its Clean Air Action Plan, Green Building Program, and Measure R (a half cent sales tax to fund transportation projects).

Any Cleantech Manufacturing Center tenant must adhere to CRA/LA policies, which require that local workers are hired, all jobs pay a living wage for 10 years and all construction is energy efficient.

Cornfields Arroyo Seco Specific Plan

The Cornfields Arroyo Seco Specific Plan establishes new zoning requirements to develop a mixed use neighborhood in 660 acres northeast of Downtown Los Angeles.

Background

The site includes industrial and warehouse areas, residential neighborhoods and numerous City facilities. The Plan establishes four new zoning districts that will replace the currently segregated industrial and public facility zoning types. The new districts will create living, working, shopping, education, open space, and recreational activities.

The Plan’s promotion of public transit and eco-friendly transportation options will decrease the amount of local emissions, thereby improving public health in the area.

The Plan will also establish standards that will reduce the use of energy and potable water, capture stormwater, and improve the ecology of the Los Angeles River.

The open space requirements established in the Plan will provide places for people to socialize, including parks, sidewalks, courtyards and plazas that are combined with shops and services as well as provide adequate public recreational open space within walking distance of residents and employees.

The area has great transportation connections with the historic Arroyo Seco Parkway and Interstate 5 as well as the Metro Gold Line light rail.

LEED Certification

The Cornfields Plan applied to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-Neighborhood Designation pilot program. In November 2010, the application was awarded Pre-Review Approval at the certified level. This meant that the Plan complied with the LEED-ND rating system’s prerequisites and had qualified for the first of three stages of certification.

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Urban Land Institute Study

The 2010 Urban Land Institute Technical Advisory Panel was sponsored by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA / LA) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to provide recommendations and alternatives to guide the future of development in the CleanTech Corridor.

ULI has been conducting Advisory Panels since 1947 providing strategic advice on difficult local land use issues where an “outside point of view” is appropriate.

Summary

In the CleanTech Corridor study, the ULI Advisory Panel consisted of land use and real estate experts from within the membership of the Urban Land Institute. Prior to the panel dates, the ULI analysts received briefing materials summarizing the land use, economic, transportation, environmental and demographic profile of the corridor. The panel spent 5 days in Los Angeles (May 16-21, 2010) touring the study area as well as conducting nearly 100 interviews with private stakeholders. The information was used to support their final recommendations and draft report. Their findings were presented on May 21, 2010 at the Kyoto Grand Hotel.

Recommendations

The ULI panel recommended a stronger focus on smaller, greener companies and fabricators than large manufacturers. The panel also suggested rezoning and creating a sustainable overlay zone. In the transportation arena, streets in the area were recommended to be improved immediately and the rail lines consolidated– putting freight on the east side of the river and passenger rail (Amtrak and High-Speed) on the west. They also wanted to see the Red Line extended and three stops added, at Fourth, Seventh, and Olympic, which would allow the area to support new residential units. As a last recommendation they suggested changing the Cleantech Corridor name to the Industrial Arts District.

Conclusions from the Final ULI Report

The panel suggests that the initial focus area for the CleanTech Corridor should start within the area bordered by SCI-Arc and the Arts District and extend south just beyond the site of the Clean-Tech Manufacturing Center near Interstate 10… Market analysis by the panelists supports the Arts District as an area ripe for cleantech, and it already has many viable uses that could align with cleantech. The Arts District contains many industrial buildings that are well-equipped for adaptive use as flex space that the market will support. The area also has a special appeal to potential users and residents who seek out an authentic, mixed-use neighborhood. With its adjacency to the river and proximity to Union Station, the Arts District is well positioned to enjoy the benefits of the Los Angeles River revitalization and is an ideal location for possible extension of rail service… The panel recommends that the city institute a position with sole power and authority for making decisions regarding the CleanTech Corridor. By using the strategies suggested by the panel, Los Angeles can one day enjoy a dynamic and vibrant CleanTech Corridor that revolves around a delicate balance of uses, users, and innovation.