South Park Development Study


Los Angeles, California

South Park, south of downtown Los Angeles, is an excellent example of an underutilized district that offers tremendous potential for development. Currently a mix of surface parking lots, low intensity commercial, light industrial and scattered residential buildings, it has the Metro Blue Line light rail passing through the site, and a Metro Red Line station nearby. HDR | | Calthorpe carried out an extensive site evaluation reviewing existing uses, access and traffic patterns. This formed the basis for a plan to develop South Park as a high-density residential neighborhood with good transit access; within walking distance of some of downtown Los Angeles’ prime assets such as Staples Center.

The study of existing conditions revealed a number of ‘Opportunity Sites’ such as parking lots and older office and warehouse buildings of extremely high quality that could be rehabilitated. The final plan includes calculation of probable yields based on the type of development proposed, and totals approximately 4,000 new dwelling units. A range of block and building prototypes were analyzed to determine appropriate housing types and ancillary uses that will attract a broad range of potential residents. Small parks, courtyards and local-serving retail provide the neighborhood with a distinct identity.

The South Park plan demonstrates how urban infill can be a potent tool in revitalizing rundown sites in prime locations and create new neighborhoods where they are needed most.

Project Summary



Forest City Enterprises (Los Angeles, California)


TOD Neighborhood Plan | Urban Infill


Master Plan and Development Prototypes for 140 ac (57 ha) underutilized site


Design completed 2003