West L.A. VA Seeking Developer

The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has announced it is searching for a developer to potentially build more than 1,000 units of housing at its medical center at its West Los Angeles campus between Brentwood and Westwood.

The agency said it is prepared to lease the land to the developer for 75 years at no cost, as part of its redevelopment master plan, according to KPCC.

Renovating the 51,000-square-foot Building 207 for housing homeless and at risk homeless veterans, would be the developer’s first order of business.

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While the DVA did not specifically state precisely how many units it would like to see built or exactly how many acres are to be leased, in 2015, when then DVA Secretary Bob McDonald signed the agreement, he promised to build around 1,200 units of supportive housing for veterans.

However, to date, only 54 veterans have moved into new housing since that agreement.

Speaking with KPCC, the medical center’s Heidi Marston said, “Generally, principal developers can get work done faster than the federal government could and also more efficiently.”

The DVA is slated to present its plans to the public at a meeting on April 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the VA West LA Medical Center.

According to the public hearing notice, the VA will select the principal developer through a “competitive procurement process. The principal developer would be required to finance, design, construct, renovate, operate, and maintain the permanent supportive housing units.”

Marston also told KPCC, “The goal is for our campus to really flow and feel like a community, and not like a campus that’s built one building at a time. It’s more than just roads. What are the things we need to make it thrive?”

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