Monday, January 28, 2008

Staples Center CBA












The success of the Hollywood and Highland CBA was followed in 2001 by the completion of the first full-fledged CBA. This CBA concerned L.A.Live, a sports and entertainment complex located adjacent to the Staples Center sports arena (home to the Los Angeles Lakers). Community residents had suffered a blow when the developer failed to provide orally promised benefits after the completion of the project’s first phase. The community hoped that a CBA would ensure that the developer would follow through with promises made in relation to the project’s second phase—the construction of an entertainment complex complete with two hotels, a theater, a 250,000 square foot expansion of the convention center, two apartment buildings and a retail complex. Negotiations were held between the developer and the Figueroa Corridor Coalition for Economic Justice, which represented more than thirty community organizations, including environmental groups, religious groups, health organizations and immigrants’ and tenants’ rights supporters. Strategic Action for a Just Economy (SAJE) and LAANE were also involved in the negotiating process, which lasted over nine months, providing organizational and political support to the coalition and community members.

The spectre of broad community opposition to the project, which required significant land use variances and city subsidies, provided the community with the necessary leverage to negotiate one of the most comprehensive CBAs made to date. The completed agreement states that its purposes are to “provide publicly accessible park space, open space, and recreational facilities; target employment opportunities to residents in the vicinity of the Figueroa Corridor; provide permanent affordable housing; provide basic services needed by the Figueroa Corridor community; and address issues of traffic, parking, and public safety.” The CBA included reporting requirements and established a committee to monitor and enforce the agreement and to maintain a dialogue between the developer and the coalition. The CBA was also incorporated into the development agreement between the developer and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, making it enforceable by the city as well as by the contracting community groups. Several aspects of the CBA were implemented shortly after its completion, including the establishment of a residential parking permit program and the distribution of seed money for the construction of affordable housing.

Some of the provisions included in the Staples Center CBA:

·       $1,000,000 for the creation or improvement of parks and recreational facilities

·       $25,000 per year for a term of five years for the creation of a residential parking permit program

·       an agreement to comply with the city’s living wage ordinance and to make all reasonable efforts to reach the goal of ensuring that 70% of the jobs created by the project pay a living wage;

·       an agreement to give priority hiring to persons displaced by the project and to low income individuals residing within three miles of the project

·       job training programs to be coordinated with community groups

·       $100,000 in seed money for a first source (i.e. local) hiring program

·       a requirement that 20% of the residential units in the project be affordable

·       $650,000 in interest-free loans to non-profit housing developers for the creation of additional affordable housing

·       an agreement to cooperate with the coalition to establish an advisory committee to assist with the implementation and enforcement of the agreement.

Since 2001, a number of provisions of the Staples Center CBA have been implemented. Funds were distributed for parks and open space, the parking permit program was put into place and the revolving loan fund has revolved several times. SAJE has monitored the implementation of the CBA, and they have worked to set up a community land trust for affordable housing. 

 For text of the Staples Center agreement, click here.