Student Housing Developers Go to Court; County Proposes Detention Center Improvements

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor All is fair in love and development, or at least this seems to be suggested by an open conflict between two student housing development companies active in the Los Angeles area. Conquest Student Housing stands as [...]

All is fair in love and development, or at least this seems to be suggested by an open conflict between two student housing development companies active in the Los Angeles area. Conquest Student Housing stands as one of the most active companies in its field, currently owning 17 buildings, all of which rent out to University of Southern California students. Enter Urban Partners, a development company that planned on building a new student housing complex, ready to host as many as 1,600 students.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Conquest Student Housing has sued Urban Partners citing California’s environmental law, the Environmental Quality Act. California is one of only three states in the union to ask developers’ compliance with its state environmental law. Conquest filed similar lawsuits against other Urban Partners projects around the county. The Times reported that Conquest only backed down when Urban Partners responded with a racketeering lawsuit in federal court.

Also making headlines is a proposed project that has proved to be polarizing for the general public and local officials alike. The L.A. Times recently ran a story about an initiative that would use as much as $1.4 billion in taxpayer money to renovate two jails situated within L.A. County limits. The first of the two is the old Men’s Central Jail, located in downtown Los Angeles. The facility is considered problematic because of its aging structure and complex layout, both of which represent security concerns; the plan would improve it generally while also increasing visibility and eliminating current blind spots. The second facility is the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. Proponents argue that given the economy, building costs would be far lower than normal, and the timing for the two overhauls is next to none.