Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blighted Hollywood Property to Make Way for Apartments

Yesterday, the Department of City Planning published an environmental report for 5750 Hollywood Boulevard, a mixed-use development which would rise from a forlorn one-acre property located just east of the 101 Freeway.

Plans call for a seven-story structure, featuring 161 dwelling units, 5,700 square feet of ground-level retail space, and parking accommodations for 271 vehicles and 96 bicycles.  The project would incorporate numerous residential amenities, including a media room, fitness center, outdoor pool and spa deck, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Hollywood.

The low-rise building would provide a mixture of studio apartments, one-and-two-bedroom dwellings and live-work lofts.  Developer 5750 Hollywood Boulevard, LLC also intends to set aside 14 residential units for very low income households in exchange for an SB-818 density bonus.  Proposed incentives include increases to the property's allowable height and floor area ratio.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Another Stalled South Park Tower Comes Back to Life

Rumors began circulating late last year, but a new case filing from the Department of City Planning makes it official: phase two of Apex has been resurrected.

Documents on file with the City of Los Angeles indicate that the revived development would feature a 28-story residential tower at the southwest corner of 9th and Flower Streets.  Earlier plans for the building had called for approximately 280 dwelling units and ground-floor retail space.  An adjacent triangular site at the southeast corner of 9th and Figueroa Streets would give way for a two-story standalone retail structure.

The existing Apex tower was originally developed as part of a three-phase condominium complex known as Concerto.  The project, which was built by Sonny Astani, experienced a litany of setbacks due to the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.  Following the bankruptcy of his lender, Astani was forced to sell the nearly-finished building in 2011.  Apex and its adjacent development site eventually came into the possession of ST Residential, which opened the tower as luxury apartments in 2012.

An exact timeline and design for the project is currently unclear.  When initially proposed one decade ago, plans for the Concerto complex called for a twin-tower design from architecture firm HansonLA.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Union Station Bus Platform to Begin Construction in April

The relocated Silver Line bus station (All Images: Metro)

According to a memo from an upcoming meeting of Metro's Service Councils, construction will begin in April on a new center-median bus platform linking the El Monte Busway to Union Station's Patsaouras Transit Plaza.

The $31 million project, funded in part by a discretionary grant from the Federal Transit Administration, will improve vertical and horizontal pedestrian circulation within the historic transportation hub.  Currently, passengers on Metro's Silver Line buses must disembark on Alameda Street, before crossing a freeway on-ramp and walking a quarter-mile to access trains and buses at Union Station.  The relocated bus platform, situated directly above Vignes Street, will shorten transfer times by providing a dedicated passageway to Union Station's East Portal.

Besides its obvious benefits for transit passengers on the El Monte Busway, the project also includes a stunning "Wind Bridge," designed by California artist Ned Kahn.  The 500-foot long structure will be adorned with perforated aluminum panels, arranged to "move with the wind, resulting in complex rippling patterns of light and shade created by sunlight penetrating in between the two layers of perforated metal."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Latest La Brea Mixed-User Unveiled

904 La Brea Avenue (All images: Shubin + Donaldson Architects)

A recently published environmental report from the Department of City Planning has revealed new details about the 904 La Brea Project, a mixed-use development planned near the border between Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

The seven-story development, slated for a roughly one-acre site at the corner of La Brea and Willoughby Avenues, would feature 169 apartments and approximately 37,000 square feet of of ground-floor retail space.  Proposed dwellings would include studio, one-and-two-bedroom units, with approximately 14 apartments set aside for very low income households.  Residential amenities would include a pool, gymnasium and a communal outdoor deck.

A partially-underground garage would be included with the project, providing parking accommodations for up to 303 vehicles and more than 200 bicycles.  Residents would be afforded 192 total parking spaces, situated on two above-grade levels.  111 basement parking spaces would be available for use by retail tenants and their customers.

Lots of Progress on Expo-Adjacent TOD

Amidst the rumble of passing Expo Line trains, construction pushes ahead for the highly anticipated development known as Access Culver City.

The mixed-use complex from Greystar Real Estate Partners broke ground just over one year ago at the intersection of Washington and National Boulevards, directly across the street from Metro's Culver City Station.  When completed in July, the five-story structure will offer 115 apartment units above 30,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a subterranean parking garage.  Proposed amenities include a swimming pool and an on-site recreation center.

The building, designed by architecture firm Togawa Smith Martin, will feature a stucco exterior accented by metal siding and steel canopies.  Access, which is seeking LEED Silver certification, will also feature lush landscaping, a private courtyard and a street-fronting plaza.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Arcadia Property Making Way for Townhomes

Artist's rendering of Griffin (Image: Brandywine Homes)

Brandywine Homes has closed on a .82-acre site at 136 Las Tunas Drive in Arcadia, with plans to build 178 three-story contemporary townhomes.  Groundbreaking for the community, dubbed Griffin, is scheduled to break ground in April 2015, with delivery expected by December 2015.

"The increased demand for housing in Arcadia has pushed pricing for single-family detached homes into ranges many people cannot afford," said David Barisic, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Brandywine.  "These townhomes will certainly be more affordable than the majority of what is on the market now."

Brandywine plans to build 17 three-story, two-, three-and-four-bedroom townhomes ranging from 1,265 to 2,205 square feet in size.  Most of the units will offer full side-by-side garages, and all will feature contemporary architecture, stainless steel appliances and solid-surface counters.

Residents of the new community, located between El Monte Avenue and South Santa Anita Avenue, will have access to the Arcadia school system.  The development is located just over 3 miles away from the 210 Freeway, with proximity to major destinations such as Santa Anita Park, Westfield Santa Ana, the Santa Anita Golf Course and downtown Pasadena.

Prices for the townhomes are expected to range from the high $600,000s to the high $900,000s.

Renderings Revealed for Pico Union Hotel Development

Planning documents presented to the Los Angeles City Council have unveiled renderings for a new hotel development in Pico Union.

The low-rise Hotel Olympia would be built a one-acre property at 1700 West Olympic Boulevard, located within a half-mile of LA Live and approximately one mile from the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Plans from developer CK Hospitality call for a five-story structure containing 149 guest rooms above 8,600 square feet of street-level restaurant space.  The hotel would feature a standard array of guest amenities, including a banquet room, outdoor pool deck and a 113-car underground garage.

Designs from architecture firm PKA & Associates orient the tallest portion of the building towards Olympic Boulevard, so as to maintain better harmony with adjacent residential buildings to the south.  Hotel Olympia would feature a variety of exterior finishes, including tile, tinted glass and corrugated metal.

The project, which first began meandering through the City Planning process in 2013, requires multiple discretionary approvals to begin construction.  Most notably, CK Hospitality has requested a General Plan Amendment from the highway-oriented commercial and medium residential land use designations to a community commercial land use designation throughout the entire site.