Development to go up on lot left vacant since Los Angeles Riots

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the largest tracts of vacant land in South Los Angeles will soon be developed thanks to a recent court ruling.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said the intersection of Vermont and Manchester avenues was the second-most devastated area during the 1992 riots.

In December, Los Angeles County sued the land owner, Eli Sasson, after the undeveloped property received more than 35 notices of building code violations.

Last week a Los Angeles County judge approved the immediate use of eminent domain, allowing the county to acquire the 4-acres.

Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy wrote a statement with his ruling in favor of the county.

"The court finds that (The County's) needs override any hardship suffered by (Sasson)," it said. "(Sasson) will not lose rents and (Sasson has) sat idly on the project without development for years."

Ridley-Thomas said the community never gave up on developing in that area.

Plans include 180 affordable housing units, 50,000 square feet of retail space, a new metro transit plaza and an innovative training academy for students to graduate with skills needed for careers in the transportation industry.

"The head of the transportation agency says we need employees who are trained. It will happen right here at Vermont and Manchester," Ridley-Thomas said.

South L.A. resident Marcus Cole thinks the project is a good thing for his community.

"Nobody wants to walk out their front door and look at a burnt building all day long," Cole said.

Cole agrees the vacant property has been an eyesore to his community.

"We want look at something new being developed in the area," he said.

Under Murphy's ruling, L.A. County is poised to acquire the land on May 7. Ridley-Thomas said the lone-standing building on the land will be demolished by the end of May.
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