Construction is set to begin on $140-million La Plaza mixed-use project near Olvera Street

Almost two years after county officials approved it, construction is set to begin on a $140-million, mixed-use project that will be built on a pair of former county parking lots near Olvera Street — a project that will also funnel upward of $250,000 a year to a local nonprofit.

The La Plaza Village project, on the corner of Spring Street and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, will include stores and restaurants and 355 housing units, 71 of which are required to be affordable to low- and moderate-income tenants. 

A landscaped walkway with signage about the area’s history will join the project with the nearby Olvera Street merchants district, the Plaza de Cultura y Artes center and Union Station.

The new project will also house a commercial kitchen that will hold culinary classes and broadcast demonstrations of Mexican cooking, and will be the site of the Los Angeles headquarters of the Cesar Chavez Foundation.  

The foundation is a co-developer of the project, along with a subsidiary of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. 

The project was set up in part to benefit La Plaza de Cultura y Artes Foundation, a nonprofit that runs a downtown center celebrating Mexican American culture in Southern California.

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