The groundbreaking for San Pedro’s long-awaited plan to replace its shuttered courthouse with an 8-story, 300-unit apartment building, is tentatively expected late this year or early in 2022.
The project recently cleared some of the hurdles in the Los Angeles city’s building process, which included adding detail about the public open space landscape and design, according to William Cockrum, senior managing partner and president of the development firm, Genton Cockrum Partners.
The current goal, Cockrum said in an email, is to get started in the fourth quarter of this year, but he added that timeline “is aggressive with all that needs to be accomplished and approved.” Groundbreaking, he said, “could easily end up being in first half of 2022.”
Construction is expected to take about two years.
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, whose district includes San Pedro, touted the project in a statement Friday evening, Feb. 5.
“With the city’s sign-off, our plan to redevelop the San Pedro Courthouse site is moving forward,” Hahn said. “This project is a good fit for our downtown area. New apartments will bring new customers to local businesses, and the ground floor has room for a much-needed grocery store or food hall. It lives up to our town’s values and is both union-funded and union-built.”
The project will be built on a 1.8-acre parcel at 505 S. Centre St., where the county courthouse, built in 1969, closed about seven years ago.
The new development will include ground-floor retail space that will take up about 17,000 square feet. It will be able to accommodate a grocery store or food hall; both options are under consideration.
The development is one of several mixed-use buildings now under construction or in planning stages throughout San Pedro.
The courthouse property will offer studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, with 20% of units designated as affordable.
Planners have long felt that bringing residential units into the downtown is the best way to revitalize the district. And its location is significant; it is within the historic downtown shopping district, where San Pedro’s many popular restaurants still thrive, and it’s also within walking distance of the waterfront, currently under redevelopment.
The property is seen as potentially a linchpin to connect the two areas. It also, the developer has said in the past, is a way to activate the neighborhood by offering the ground-floor retail options.
“We have just been working diligently,” Cockrum said, “to move through the process.”