Friday, April 18, 2014

LA's First Dream Hotel Finally Starts Work

According to a March report from Gray Construction, LA-based developer Five Chairs has broken ground on their long stalled hotel project near the intersection of Selma Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard.  As a few keen observers have noticed, the shabby two-story parking structure which previously stood at 6417 Selma Avenue was quietly demolished earlier this year.  In its place will rise the Dream Hollywood Hotel, containing 182 guest rooms above street level commercial space.  Designed by Santa Monica's Killefer Flammang Architects, the 10-story Dream Hollywood will stand 125 feet tall, similar in height to many nearby historic structures.  The mid-rise building will feature a rooftop restaurant, banquet space, and a two-level parking garage.  An alley way on the eastern side of the project site will be transformed into a "lively outdoor dining and retail street."  The $45 million project will be the first West Coast location for the trendy Dream Hotel chain, a Wyndham brand based out of New York.  Last months' groundbreaking marks the end to six years of arrested development for Five Chairs, which first received approvals for a slightly smaller hotel project at the same location in 2008.  The report from Gray Construction indicates that work on the Dream Hollywood is expected to be complete in September 2015.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shiny New Renderings of the City Market Mega-Development

Take a look at the latest renderings for City Market, the Fashion District mega-development which proposes to transform a century-old produce market into a 10-acre mixed-use campus.  Comprised of 14 development sites roughly bounded by 9th, 12th, San Julian and San Pedro Streets, City Market would create more than 1.9 million square feet of programmed space.  Designed by HansonLA, plans call for 945 units of new housing, a 210-room business class hotel, and 225,000 square feet of ground level retail and restaurant space.  On the southern end of the project site, ground-up construction and the adaptive re-use of existing buildings would create nearly 300,000 square feet of office space.  Known as "City Market South," this segment of the development would be a "symbiotic mixture of creative office, unique food and beverage, and destination retail."  Renderings from HansonLA portray a cluster of re-purposed warehouse buildings centered around a pedestrian friendly central courtyard (see below).  The northern end of the project site would feature a mid-rise urban campus for one or more creative arts colleges, providing space for over 1,400 students.

Studio City Office Building Going Residential

Adaptive the Valley?  Apparently so.  According to an environmental notice published by LADCP last week, the mid-century office building at the southwest corner of Riverside Drive and Lankershim Boulevard is going condo.  Plans from the Sterling Real Estate Group call for converting the seven-story structure into 56 residential units and just over 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.  The condo development would provide parking for 163 vehicles in an existing surface lot.  Plans drawn up by Killefer Flammang Architects in 2007 dubbed the project "Riverside Village." Those designs featured windows shaded by solar panels, a 7th floor mezzanine, and an 8th floor penthouse.  However, last week's environmental notice indicates that some of those elements may no longer be part of the project.  Located at 10850 Riverside Drive, the project is situated midway between two Metro Red Line Stations and adjacent to the 134 freeway.  Perhaps walkable North Hollywood is starting to extend its footprint south.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

G12 Preparing to Start Work

It must be a nice time to own a business that rents temporary construction fencing.  Last week, a couple of Downtown parking lots were closed off, making way for new mixed-use projects on 9th Street and Olympic Boulevard.  We can now add a third surface lot to that tally, as the phase one site of South Park's G12 development is now fenced off in preparation for construction.  Designed by locally-based TCA Architects, phase one will rise seven stories at the southeast corner of 12th Street and Grand Avenue. The low-rise building is being developed by a partnership between the Wolff Company and Sonny Astani, and will contain 347 apartments above 18,500 square feet of ground floor retail space.  G12 will offer its residents 24-hour concierge and valet service, in addition to standard amenities such as a pool and a fitness room.  The project has gained some praise for its relative lack of automobile parking (at least by LA standards), as well as its ample bicycle accommodations.  Although the project's current surroundings are a mixture of parking lots and forgettable one-story buildings, this section of South Park is slated for explosive growth in the immediate future.  A second phase of G12 is planned for an adjacent parking lot, although a timeline for that half of the project has yet to be announced.  Developer Mack Urban also intends to construct multiple residential and hotel towers nearby, the first of which could break ground late this year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

LOHA-Designed Apartments to Rise Near Dominguez-Wilshire Building

One of the Miracle Mile's greatest architectural gems is about to get a contemporary next-door neighbor.  New York-based Carnegie Hill Properties, owner of the historic Dominguez-Wilshire Building, plans to construct an apartment community adjacent to the pre-war office structure. Located at 727 South Cloverdale Avenue, the new building will rise four stories and contain 42 residential units.  Designed by LA-based Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects, the project received rave reviews from members of the Miracle Mile Neighborhood Association.  As reported by the Park La Brea News, the building's cast stone facade will feature a "strong vertical element," that complements the architecture of its art deco neighbor.  The apartments will sit above a four-level underground garage, which would serve both residents and commercial tenants in the Dominguez-Wilshire Building.  An eerily similar development is currently underway one block west, where Associated Estates Realty Group is building 175 apartments on the former parking lot of Desmond's Tower.  Surface parking lots are somehow becoming an endangered species on the auto-dominated Miracle Mile.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Three Story Mixed-User Breaks Ground in Venice

At long last, Building Los Angeles' first foray into Venice.  According to an e-mail tipster, excavation recently commenced on the vacant parcel at the southeast corner of Rose and Rennie Avenues.  A quick perusal of LADCP records indicates that this lot, located at 542 E. Rose Avenue, is the future home of a (very) small mixed-use development.  According to a 2011 presentation given to the GRVNC, a group of three Venice residents are planning for a low-rise structure that would contain just two condominium units above a ground floor restaurants.  Designed by the Reed Architectural Group, the new building will rise three stories and feature exterior materials such as smooth trowel plaster, brick veneer, exposed concrete and metal paneling.  The firm previously designed a similarly petite mixed-user a few blocks east on Rose Avenue in 2010.  Their new project will rise across the street from "The Frank," a 70-unit apartment building opened by Gerdling Edlen in 2012.  All things considered, 542 Rose Avenue is an attractive project that fits in well with the scale and aesthetics of the Venice neighborhood.  It should make a positive contribution without ruffling any feathers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Miracle Mile Apartments Gradually Moving Forward

Last September, Ohio-based Associated Estates Realty Group broke ground on a 175-unit apartment building adjacent to Desmond's Tower on the Miracle Mile.  Now eight months later, construction crews are busy with excavation for the building's subterranean infrastructure.  Designed by Architects Orange, the Desmond on Wilshire will rise seven stories above three floors of underground parking.  The building will consist of one and two bedroom units, supplemented by residential amenities such as a pool, spa, fitness center and rooftop deck.  Last year, representatives of Associated Estates told the Park La Brea News that their $70 million project is expected to open in Summer 2015.  The Desmond on Wilshire is located just a few blocks west of BRE Properties' Wilshire La Brea, a 480-unit development whose architecture has engendered a great deal of humorous criticism from Skyscraperpage forumers and commenters onCurbed LA.  Of course, as the long-awaited Purple Line extension comes closer to reality, more residential developments like these are inevitable on the Miracle Mile.  Add in a new office tower and nearly $1 billion of proposed upgrades for LACMA and we're looking at a legitimate boom.

Construction progress as of this week.