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CARSON, CA-LNR Property Corp.’s Newport Beach-based Commercial Property Group and Hopkins Real Estate Group of Irvine have kicked off work on the Avalon at South Bay, an $850-million mixed-use project on 168 acres that will include more than one million sf of retail, 1,300 housing units and 300 hotel rooms on one of the largest undeveloped sites in L.A. The developers have named Pasadena-based Tetra Tech Inc. to perform remedial work on the property, which is located along the 405 freeway between Avalon and Del Amo boulevards.

The Hopkins/LNR project site is extremely rare in terms of its size and location, fitting the classic definition of a site that is “supply-constrained with high barriers to entry.” It is one of the largest development sites that can be found in such a densely populated area of Los Angeles, where developers are usually lucky to find a few acres for a project. The project site is also unusual in that it is in the midst of a host of South Bay communities with annual household incomes among the highest in the region.

As Hopkins chief operating officer Dennis Reyling told GlobeSt.com when the two firms first began planning the project in 2006, the reason the acreage is vacant is that it once was a landfill and any development there has to wait for remediation. With the kickoff of work by Tetra Tech, LNR exec R. Lang Cottrell comments that the Avalon at South Bay “will be a model for redevelopment and reuse of brownfield properties in California.” Cottrell, who is president of LNR’s Commercial Property Group, West Region-South, points out that the developers have worked closely with CalEPA and the City of Carson to create a project that will return a former landfill site to the community for beneficial use.

The Avalon at South Bay will create a new retail, residential and hospitality venue on a site that has remained fallow for decades, where developers and city officials have proposed a number of uses for the former landfill site over the years. One plan called for a two-million-sf mall under one roof. At one time, the land was on the National Football League’s short list of possible stadium sites. But city officials withdrew their NFL bid and instead chose to work toward the mixed-use development.

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