marzo 11 2024

Mayer Brown plays critical role in $2 billion residential and commercial megadevelopment to be built in downtown Los Angeles


Mayer Brown partners Edgar Khalatian and Nedda Mahrou have been representing Denver-based Continuum Partners, developer of Fourth & Central, a 2-million-square-foot-plus, mixed-use neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The 10-building project is anticipated to add $2 billion to the California economy and create up to 10,000 union jobs.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Gavin Newsom certified the Fourth & Central Project under SB7 (2021), which allows him to certify certain projects for judicial streamlining under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This key tool to cut red tape was extended last year with the enactment of SB 149. Having worked on multiple complicated projects throughout California that the Governor has previously certified, Edgar is an expert on advising clients in various ways to streamline development and to minimize litigation risk.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Edgar said, “Fourth & Central is in line with the city’s recently approved blueprint for downtown development and will add to the area’s existing fabric.”

“We’re building a project that has multiple access points into the community, that’s built outwards toward the surrounding community and that’s near transit with significant affordable housing,” Edgar added.

“We strategically used important judicial streamlining legislation early in the entitlement process to deter would-be litigants from using CEQA as a tactic to delay project build-out,” said Nedda. “By ensuring that any CEQA challenges to the project are resolved within months, shovels will hit the ground much quicker than they would otherwise, which is a game-changer for developers.”

The developer is hoping for approval from the Los Angeles City Council by the end of 2024. Construction would follow next year and take five to seven years to complete.

Edgar Khalatian, who leads the firm’s Land Use practice group, advises investors and developers through all aspects of the real estate entitlement and development process throughout Southern California, focusing on land use entitlement matters. He helps developers navigate state and local regulations and authorities, government outreach, and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance.


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