The vacant Marlton Square parcels are bounded by Kaiser Permanente on the south and King Blvd. on the north. (Google Earth)
Council District 10 and the city of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) on November 29 for a community-serving development at Marlton Square.
According to the announcement from CD 10, the RFP should meet citywide economic needs, create meaningful well-paying jobs for surrounding residents with a range of educational backgrounds and contribute to the overall advancement of South Los Angeles.
Approximately 5 acres in size, the publicly-owned parcels available for development in Marlton Square are conveniently located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Buckingham Place and Marlton Avenue, a block away from the soon-to-open Crenshaw/LAX Line.
“Marlton Square represents an opportunity to reimagine a historically significant former retail site, and redefine its future as a commercial center that will provide 21st century living wage jobs for the Crenshaw community,” said EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull.
The city of L.A. issued a request for proposals to develop the empty lots at Marlton Square. (Google Earth)
Formerly known as the Santa Barbara Plaza, the area was home to over 200 locally owned businesses and major department stores in the 1950s. Over time, investment in the area declined and the properties deteriorated, resulting in severe blight by the 1990s.
In recent years, there have been successful efforts to invest in Marlton Square, including the development of a medical office building by Kaiser Permanente and over 102 units of affordable housing, constructed and operated by Meta Housing. The city of L.A. seeks to build on this progress by creating community-serving development inspired by its original purpose as an economic anchor serving South Los Angeles.
“We are excited about the efforts to revitalize the long-dormant Marlton Square in the heart of our community and hope it will bring more commerce and job opportunities,” said Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Development Council (ECWANDC) Chairperson, Gina M. Fields.
For many years, the empty lots at Marlton Square have been a blight in the community – the effects of which are far reaching. The 10th Council District is committed to ensuring that this publicly-owned property finally uplifts the surrounding community with a meaningful commitment to local job creation and features that truly serve the surrounding community” said Yordanos Gebretatios, deputy for Bioscience, Economic and Workforce Development for Council District 10.
State Senator Sydney K. Kamlager, representing the 30th Senate District expressed her support for the RFP stating:  “I am excited to see tangible progress being made to revitalize Marlton Square. Today’s call for RFPs marks a critical step in our efforts to infuse the Crenshaw neighborhood with more resources and opportunities, including in the area of bioscience.
“Ultimately, the Marlton Square opportunity site will support current and future residents, all the while boosting the area’s economic vitality. I look forward to hearing the progress being made in this space as we work together to chart a new course for the Crenshaw community.”
The RFP is available online at, ID 200867. Proposals will be assessed based on team experience and qualifications, development concept, financial strategy and capability, and community engagement and benefits.
Proposals are due on January 24, 2022, and must be delivered to EWDD by 2 p.m. PDT.
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