Metro Considering “Transit Oriented Development” for Sepulveda Orange Line Station

Metro staff is recommending developer JPI West to build a 560 unit residential complex with retail and work space adjacent to the Sepulveda Orange Line Station.  JPI West would pay a base rent of $1.5 million to $2.5 million per year.  JPI West’s bid needs to be approved by the Metro Board’s Planning and Progamming Committee next week before moving to a full vote by the rest of the Board at their June 26th meeting.

Of course, the big question is how “transit oriented” will the project really be.  Based on the early information, we can’t be sure.  According to Reconnecting America, a California based transportation and development think tank, the average amount of parking at a residential development considered TOD is 1.41 spaces per unit in California.

At first glance, it appears that this development would be well offer well less than 1.41 spaces per unit.  The total parking that JPI West has agreed to build is a 103 car lot adjacent to the property.  But as we look further at the proposal, more questions arrive.

The first, is what will happen to the nearly 1,000 spaces that are part of the Sepulveda Parking Lot that aren’t being used by transit riders.  Metro’s report states that:

Current transit parking demand is less than ten percent of the I,200-space park-and-ride. A highest and best use study of the site conducted by The Maxima Group for us in 2005 indicated the feasibilty (sic) of residential use as well as destination "big box" retail use.

While large retail may be out of the question, it could easily be converted into spaces for JPI West’s development to say nothing of other potential parking developments.  Metro Boardmembers and Staff should work diligently to make certain that total available parking for the structure remain lower than the 1.41 spaces that Reconnecting America suggests.  At the very least, it should be well less than the two spaces per unit that are planned for the Solair development at Koreatown.

If the developer JPI West sounds familiar, it should.  Back in November the city of Marina Del Rey lifted a ban on construction of their Jefferson at Marina Del Rey development after complaints that construction workers were working and parking on streets where they didn’t belong.

Photo: Sgroi/Flickr