A Big Step Forward for Community Control of First Street North

picture of sunset on first street with the title text, a big step forward for community control of first street north

A Big Step Forward for Community Control of First Street North

Earlier this month, Councilmember Kevin de Leon introduced a motion to City Council to expand the footprint of the Go For Broke project (LTSC’s affordable housing project in partnership with Go For Broke National Education Center “GFBNEC”). Yesterday, March 23, 2021, City Council voted to approve the expanded ground lease – giving LTSC and GFBNEC site control of a large parcel of the First Street North block. 

The expansion covers the entire western part of the block along Judge John Aiso Street, as well as the northern section on Temple Street (over 2.5 acres). This allows our project to nearly triple its original 77 unit plan to include 220+ units of affordable and permanent supportive housing, including housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. The project also includes significant and much-needed ground floor commercial and community space for legacy businesses, arts, green space and more.

This expanded ground lease is a huge step forward in securing community control for the First Street North block in Little Tokyo – a campaign that’s been in the works for many years. As anti-Asian violence soars in our nation, this reclamation of land through self-determination is a victory in our fight to build a strong and sustainable Little Tokyo by and for the community and its stakeholders.

This emotional victory was years in the making and we’re grateful to all our community partners that helped make this happen – especially the Little Tokyo Community Council, Sustainable Little Tokyo, and the stakeholder businesses and cultural institutions on the First Street block.

“This is something the community and our partners have been fighting for across many years – we’re not fully there yet, but it is a huge step. I want to send a truly heartfelt thanks to Councilmember Kevin de Leon for his bold leadership in introducing this motion to City Council. From his days in the California Legislature, he has long been a champion for our community.” said Erich Nakano, Executive Director of LTSC.

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