Property owner and developer Dr. Walter Jayasinghe is spearheading The Lake on Wilshire, the first major multi-use development to rise in Westlake. Since the project’s overall density exceeds the neighborhood’s current zoning regulations, Jayasinghe made a deal with the city’s Planning Commission to dedicate a portion of the building to affordable housing for very low-income individuals in exchange for building the structure. Part of the agreement also includes donating $2 million to NEW Economics for Women’s rehabilitation center in La Posada, which would offer transitional housing and support for women in need.

 The Lake on Wilshire, located next to MacArthur Park on Wilshire and Bonnie Brae, will transform an existing 14-story commercial building into a 220-room hotel, a multicultural and performing arts center, and a 41-story residential high-rise. Affordable housing will consist of 39 out of the 478 apartment units.

Per Curbed, the developer hopes the ground-floor of the structure will attract pedestrians and “activate” the area with retail spaces, restaurants, and a public plaza. The proposed plans also call for a large Buddha statue and colorful translucent mosaic-patterned glass to decorate the arts center.

 Although the commission-supported project still needs final approval from the neighborhood’s City Council, many residents are concerned that it will only drive up housing costs. Westlake, which is slightly south of the development-filled Downtown Los Angeles, has steadily been drawing more attention from developers.