Thursday, August 28, 2014

Redesigned Bixel & 6th Development Rendered

Bixel & 6th.  Image credit: LoopNet.

Take another look at Bixel & 6th, the fortress-like mixed-use development currently sprouting next to Good Samaritan Hospital.  Designed by Togawa Smith Martin, the six-story complex will offer 606 studio to three-bedroom apartment units, seated above 25,000 square feet of commercial space and a 762-vehicle parking garage.  The $200 million development also entails the adaptive reuse of an A.C. Martin-designed office building, located at the corner of 6th Street and Lucas Avenue.  The eight-story edifice, built in the 1920s, will contain a total of 42 apartments (including 27 affordable units).

Planned amenities will include rooftop decks, an outdoor pool, a fitness center and new landscaping.  Designs call for a pedestrian paseo to bisect the newly constructed buildings, running north to south from the project's 6th Street frontage.  The paseo would provide open space for residents and potentially outdoor seating for ground-floor commercial tenants.

The approximately 900,000 square foot complex is being developed by Holland Residential, a subsidiary of the Holland Partner Group.  The Vancouver-based organization is no stranger to City West, having previously developed a smaller residential-retail project immediately south of Bixel & 6th.  That project, known as 1111 Wilshire, has helped usher a new wave of development into Downtown's westernmost nabe.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More on Hollywood and La Brea's Upcoming High-Rise Complex

All images credit: Horizon Hollywood and GMPA Architects

With an official website up and running, we can now take a closer look at the latest tower project slated to realign Hollywood's low-slung skyline.  The $150 million Horizon Hollywood - to be developed in collaboration by Kennedy Wilson and the LeFrak Organization - would create 410  residential units and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space just a short walk from Hollywood/Highland Station.

Designed by Santa Monica-based GMPA Architects, Horizon would erect a trio of modern buildings on a two-acre property currently occupied by Mosaic Church.  A 26-story tower known as the La Brea Building would be the centerpiece of the development, rising 275 feet from the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and namesake La Brea Avenue.  Renderings portray a white color scheme for the high-rise, similar to that of many nearby historic structures.

Moving northwest from the busy intersection, Horizon's buildings would step down in height to match the scale of adjacent developments.  The eight-story Boulevard Building, to be located in-between the aforementioned tower and an existing residential mid-rise, would stand 88 feet above street level.  The six-story Courtyard Building, the smallest of the proposed structures, would rise 65 feet at the northernmost corner of the development site.  All three buildings would be served by a wide array of amenities, including roof decks, a fitness center, conference and media rooms, and an outdoor pool.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another Mixed-User Headed to Santa Monica Boulevard

11852 Santa Monica Boulevard

Just as one of West Los Angeles' abandoned car dealership prepares for a mixed-use conversion, a similar development plan is emerging at the same intersection.  According to a recent case filing from LADCP, a quarter-acre lot at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Westgate Avenue is slated for a new residential-retail development.  Plans call for a four-story building, consisting of 39 apartments and ground-level commercial space.  The apartments and retail stalls would be served by a three-level subterranean parking garage.

The low-rise complex would rise directly across the street from a larger mixed-use development, proposed by the Hollywood-based CIM Group.  Their plans, recently discussed with members of the West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, would create a four-story, 157-unit apartment building on the former site of Beurge Ford.

Adding to this momentum, other development schemes are percolating on properties further east.  CIM Group owns a second vacant car dealership nearby, although exact plans for the property have yet to crystallize.  Surprisingly, Curbed LA reports that development rumors have also surfaced at the former site of West Los Angeles' "Ghetto Vons."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Carmel Partners Revising Plans for South Park Tower

The now outdated design of 801 Olive Street, by GMP Architects

Nine months after revealing plans for a new residential tower in South Park, Carmel Partners is switching up the playbook.  According to a memo issued earlier this month by the Department of City Planning, the San Francisco-based developer's proposed high-rise building at 801 Olive Street has been redesigned by a new, unspecified architect.  Although the fundamentals of the project remain the same (363 apartments above 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a four-level parking podium), the retooled development plan calls for a tower that is both taller and slimmer than previously approved.  The now rectangular-shaped building is set to rise 33 stories (352 feet), representing a six-floor increase from the previous design by GMP Architects.

801 Olive Street is one of several skyline-altering developments planned for the northern section of South Park, including a 50-story condo project from the Onni Group and a 33-story apartment tower from CIM Group.  However, it is a more vertically challenged neighbor that has arguably generated the biggest news for the neighborhood.  Carmel Partners' seven-story G8 development is slated to bring 700 apartments to the Downtown market, a larger total than any of its sky-scraping neighbors.  More importantly, the low-rise building will feature a 42,000 square foot Whole Foods Market when it opens in 2015.  The high-end grocer has been listed amongst the most sought-after retailers for Downtown residents in recent years, perhaps second only to the elusive Trader Joe's.

Friday, August 22, 2014

More Residential Flooding into Koreatown's Western Fringe (UPDATED)

Per an LADCP case filing from last month, a sizeable multi-family residential development is headed to the western edge of Koreatown.  The apartment complex, pegged for an approximately one-acre property at 700 South Manhattan Place, would offer 162 residential units within a seven-story structure.  The project site, currently developed with surface parking and a nondescript two-story structure, spans slightly more than one acre near the intersection of Western Avenue and 7th Street.  Residents would be located just one block south of the Purple Line's current Wilshire/Western terminus, offering quick service to Downtown Los Angeles and connections to all other points on the Metro Rail network.

The new development is situated in a highly walkable section of Koreatown, with a slew of stores and eateries strewn about surrounding blocks.  Unsurprisingly, other multi-family projects area slated for the neighborhood.  The locally-based Hankey Group is in the planning stages for a similar low-rise residential development, intended for a long vacant property at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Hobart Avenue.  South along Western Avenue, a 79-unit mixed-use complex is proposed across the street from Koreatown Plaza.

(UPDATE) An e-mail tipster has noted the following about 700 S. Manhattan Place:
"The project requests three variances: (1) to allow an approximately 35% increase in density; (2) to average floor area ratios across residential and commercial zones; and (3) to permit vehicular access for a commercial zone from a residential zone.

Probably not coincidentally, these variances would be available to the project as Density Bonus incentives if the project provided affordable housing.  Density Bonus projects providing a certain amount of units covenanted for very-low or low income households are entitled to a 35% increase in density, FAR averaging and parking access from a less restrictive zone.  The variance filing appears to be a means of avoiding providing affordable units."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Details Emerge for Adaptive Reuse of Joseph Youngerman Building

Image credit: Bob Safai

Thanks to documents from the Mid City West Community Council's Planning and Land Use Committee, details have emerged for CIM Group's upcoming mixed-use conversion of the monolithic Joseph Youngerman Building. The nine-story office tower, currently vacant, is slated to become a 36-unit apartment complex featuring street-level commercial space.  The mid-rise building occupies a prominent location along the Third Street shopping corridor, situated one block east of the Beverly Center and Cedars-Sinai Hospital.  An above-grade, 107-stall parking garage will be maintained as part of the adaptive reuse project, nearly double what is required by code.

Built during the 1980s office boom, the Joseph Youngerman Building has stood head-and-shoulders above its low-rise surroundings for more than three decades.  The 38,000 square foot edifice was previously home to the Director's Guild of America's pension and health fund, and is named for the union's longtime executive secretary.  However, the DGA's decision to relocate to more expansive facilities along the Miracle Mile last year left the building without a primary tenant, opening the door for CIM Group to purchase the mostly vacant tower for $14 million.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Runyon Group's Platform Takes Shape in Culver City

The above image should be a very familiar to all passengers coming to and from the Expo Line's current Culver City terminus.  Nine months after breaking ground at the corner of Washington and National Boulevards, the Runyon Group is still roaring ahead with construction on their mixed-use development known as the Platform.  The Abramson Teiger-designed  project will feature an eclectic mixture of retail, restaurant and office space.

Steel framing is now in place for Boxcar, a four-story creative office building located at northeast corner of Washington Boulevard and Landmark Street.  Across the street, rebar and concrete is still rising for the Washington Arts Building, a five-story parking that will be structure obscured by murals on upper floors and commercial stalls at ground level.  Out of frame to the left, other buildings that will contain additional retail and restaurant establishments now rise above the the elevated Expo Line tracks.

A significant portion of the complex's commercial stalls have already been leased, with announced tenants including Aesop skin care, Blue Bottle Coffee and a signature restaurant from renowned New York chef Michael White.  As the Platform quickly moves to become a major destination for for shopping and dining, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that this was still an abandoned car dealership less than one year ago.

Image credit: Abramson Teiger Architects