Economic incentives could be offered to the developers of a proposed hotel in Exposition Park under a plan approved this week by a Los Angeles City Council committee.
The Economic Development Committee moved to have the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst hire consultants necessary to evaluate the project at 3900 Figueroa St. to make recommendations on economic development incentives that could help it move forward.
The action was opposed by about 10 guest speakers who said the city should not be looking to help hotel developers when it is in the middle of a housing and homeless crisis.
“We’re always challenged trying to balance the equity. We certainly do need more hotels rooms as we are moving forward, but we also need to provide more affordable housing,” said Councilman Curren Price, who chairs the committee and also represents the Exposition Park area near USC.
“This is an interesting project, on two parking lots, and lot of the discussion is on the hotel being proposed, but there’s also an affordable housing component and a student housing component,” Price said.
The mixed-use development called The Fig would include 104 market-rate multi-family residential units, 82 affordable units, a 298-room hotel, 222 student housing units and more than 75,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.
“This is absurd,” said Jed Parriott, an organizer with the group NOlympics in LA which opposed the city’s successful bid to host the 2028 Olympics. “It feels like this is an attempt to turn L.A. into an exclusive playground for wealthy tourists.”
Some speakers also complained that the project could result in the destruction of some historic buildings, but Price said the development plan was for the buildings to be relocated.
The motion noted that the City Council has provided assistance to similar projects in the past. On May 18, the council approved a plan to help a developer construct a 1,153-room hotel complex in the 1200 block of South Figueroa Street near the Convention Center by selling a city-owned parking lot for $9.6 million while offering millions of dollars in tax subsidies.