L.A. County Leaders Move to Seize Long-Empty South L.A. Parcel

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Los Angeles County supervisors voted on Dec. 5, 2017 to begin eminent domain proceedings to take control of long-vacant land at the corner of Vermont and Manchester avenues in South Los Angeles. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County supervisors voted on Dec. 5, 2017 to begin eminent domain proceedings to take control of long-vacant land at the corner of Vermont and Manchester avenues in South Los Angeles. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County leaders moved Tuesday to seize a large tract of land in South Los Angeles that has long sat vacant, defying protests from a company that had trumpeted plans to build restaurants, shops and a grocery store there.

The empty lots at the corner of Vermont and Manchester avenues have been a nagging reminder of the frustrated efforts to revive the neighborhood. The bulk of the land has long been owned by Eli Sasson, whose company held a groundbreaking ceremony two years ago for the Vermont Entertainment Village, a massive project touted as a destination to rival L.A. Live.

But little has happened since. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas complained that the vacant land had become a magnet for homeless encampments and other nuisances over the decades.

So the county said it had a plan of its own for the Vermont Avenue site: a new development that would include affordable housing, a charter school, a transit plaza and “community serving” retail.

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