Central City Association (CCA) is an advocacy organization focusing on Central Los Angeles and Downtown. As the premiere adaptive reuse architects of Los Angeles, Omgivning partned with CCA to release a white paper on adaptive reuse's power to spur economic recovery from the pandemic and address the deep housing shortage, homelessness, and affordability crisis in the City of Los Angeles.
Adaptive reuse -- the repurposing of underutilized buildings to meet communities' present needs -- is a proven, successful practice that is especially key now as cities navigate changing demands to office, retail, hotel spaces and more.
CCA provides a set of recommendations, including allowing adaptive reuse citywide, that the City can implement now to convert obsolete buildings into housing and community-serving facilities.
Omgivning contributed heavily to the details in this report along with developer Tom Gilmore & Associates. Read the full white paper with a list of detailed recommendations at ccala.org/AdaptiveReuse.
CCA expects that if just five to 10 percent of the city's estimated total 155,000,000 square feet of office space was converted to housing, it could yield roughly 8,000 to 16,000 new housing units, plus thousands more could come online if hotels, retail spaces, outdated industrial buildings and parking structures also qualified for reuse. California is estimated to have a shortage of 3 million housing units, and the City of Los Angeles must plan for over 455,000 units to be built between now and 2029. This housing target far surpasses any level of production in the city's history. Adaptive reuse development in Los Angeles has historically delivered much-needed housing. Over 12,000 new housing units in Downtown LA were created through adaptive reuse in just two decades.
CCA's white paper recommends that the City Council update its policies on adaptive reuse to apply citywide and to a greater variety of buildings and future uses. A swift, holistic update would help communities respond to uncertainties raised by the pandemic and potential demand for new uses in commercial districts citywide. It also recommends that the City advocate for proposed State legislation to foster adaptive reuse projects across California. See pages 13 and 14 of the white paper for recommendations.
"The Adaptive Reuse Ordinance was one of the most critical components of the revitalization of DTLA," said Karin Liljegren, Principal & Founder of Omgivning. "If updated and expanded throughout the city it could be an important component for creating housing, maintaining our neighborhoods' culture and doing it all in the most sustainable form possible."
Read the comprehensive report. Download the full white paper