LOS ANGELES-In a rare win for the county’s development community, a Superior Court judge here has overruled LA officials and instead granted a builder permission to demolish an old low-income apartment complex and replace it with a project aimed at more upscale tenants.

For five years, privately held Los Angeles Lincoln Place Investors Ltd. has been trying to redevelop the aging Lincoln Place Apartments on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. The city has refused the group’s request, noting that the project’s hundreds of low-income tenants would likely be unable to find comparable housing for the same price somewhere else. The developer sued.

Judge Dzintra I. Janavs has now sided with the developer, saying LA officials broke state law by refusing to let the proposed project move forward. The judge is expected to soon order the city to grant the builder’s request so demolition can begin. The new project will include 795 market-rate apartments on 33 acres.

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