For Immediate Release
Project Labor Agreement Signed for New Wyvernwood Redevelopment
LOS ANGELES (January 7, 2013) – The developer of The New Wyvernwood has reached a historic project labor agreement (PLA) with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, a major step forward for the $2 billion mixed-use redevelopment proposed for Boyle Heights.
The agreement between Fifteen Group and the Trades Council creates an important framework for the redevelopment effort, which will revitalize the aging Wyvernwood complex with modern new workforce housing, much-needed retail offerings and significant open space.
“This is a rock-solid commitment to support unionized construction workers at The New Wyvernwood,” said Mark Sanders, Fifteen Group principal and co-founder. “We have a bold and award-winning vision to transform an aging property into one of the great urban redevelopments in the country, and we’re proud to have the Los Angeles Construction Trades Council as our partner.”
One of the most significant redevelopment efforts ever proposed for the area, the $2 billion project will create more than 10,000 construction-related jobs paying approximately $923 million, while generating an estimated $25 million in annual tax revenue at completion. The project has won support from a large majority of residents along with numerous community leaders and city-wide advocacy organizations.
The PLA is only the latest milestone agreement to be reached in relation to The New Wyvernwood plan. Earlier, Fifteen Group unveiled an innovative, precedent-setting Resident Retention Plan designed to ease the transition into the new project for current residents. The Resident Retention Plan guarantees that rent levels for current tenants on the improved site will not rise beyond the level they would have paid for their existing unit, and guarantees that current tenants will be able to remain on the property during construction. Current tenants will also be able to apply the City’s relocation payment of $18,650 toward the purchase of a new condominium, among many other benefits.
Fifteen Group has also created the Boyle Heights Jobs Collaborative, another innovative program that will direct construction jobs to thousands of local community members. Working with a variety of local community groups, the Jobs Collaborative aims to provide 30 percent of all construction work to Wyvernwood and Boyle Heights residents, including at-risk residents. The program is modeled after the highly successful PVJOBS program that has been in place at the Playa Vista community for more than a decade.
“The pieces are really coming together to bring this bold and beautiful New Wyvernwood plan to life,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the Building Trades Council. “Fifteen Group deserves a great deal of praise for its ground-breaking commitments to union construction trades, existing Wyvernwood residents, and to people living throughout Boyle Heights who seek opportunities to improve their lives.”
“Wyvernwood needs a significant makeover,” said Esperanza Bahena, a long-time resident. “We aren’t able to have a lot of basic amenities that are standard in this day and age, like washer-dryers in our homes, and the very layout of our community – without enough streets, parking or access – is outdated. We’re excited to have a property owner that wants to improve the community and bring us amenities enjoyed in nearly every other part of the city.”
The City of Los Angeles will kick off the public hearing process for The New Wyvernwood plan later this month. The Planning Commission and City Council are expected to hear the proposal in the spring.
“Organized labor will be front and center to urge unanimous approval,” said LA County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo. “Fifteen Group has talked the talk and walked the walk, and now they are prepared to invest billions of dollars in Boyle Heights.”
Added resident Juan Bucio: “Fifteen Group’s plan for The New Wyvernwood is exactly what we need here – we can’t wait for it to be finished. The project protects residents, supports union labor, provides new job opportunities in Boyle Heights and offers significant affordable housing to low-income residents. A large majority of my neighbors fully support The New Wyvernwood.”
About The New Wyvernwood
The New Wyvernwood will transform the aging Wyvernwood Apartments in Boyle Heights into a modern community with attractive housing, convenient retail and office areas and beautiful open spaces. The $2 billion project developed by Fifteen Group will include up to 4,400 apartments and condominiums; 325,000 square feet of retail, office and civic space; and 10.5 acres of parks and other open space. Fifteen percent of all units – up to 660 in total – will be designated as affordable housing. The project is forecast to create more than 10,000 construction-related jobs, with many going to Boyle Heights residents through the Boyle Heights Jobs Collaborative, a dedicated local hire program.
For more information, please call (310) 974-6684.