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USC's new housing and retail plan passes early city review

May 27, 2010 |  1:03 pm

USC’s massive redevelopment plan to replace a current shopping center and some dormitories north of Jefferson Boulevard with new housing, a hotel, shops and a public plaza, has gotten past an important hurdle. A Los Angeles city planning department’s draft environmental impact statement declared Thursday that any significant effects on traffic, noise, population and other issues are expected to be successfully mitigated.

The plan, called USC Village, calls for about 5,400 dorm beds and 250 faculty housing units, along with 350,000 square feet in commercial and retail space and a hotel with up to 150 rooms in the area north of the main campus and west of Hoover Street.

Some nearby residents have expressed concerns that it might hasten gentrification and displacement in adjacent neighborhoods near downtown Los Angeles. But USC contends the new housing will ease demographic pressures on the wider rental market and that the shops and a cinema will serve the community as well as students and teachers.

The city has scheduled a public forum on the environmental review for June 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Expo Center, 3980 S. Menlo Ave.

-- Larry Gordon