Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Affordable Housing Project Takes Form in Pico Union

Vertical construction is largely complete for Vermont Manzanita, an affordable housing project located in the Pico Union neigborhood.  The five-story structure, which is being developed by the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC), will feature 40 one- and three-bedroom apartments units.  According to a document from the State Treasurer's office, rents in low-rise complex will range from $233 to $1,292 per month.

In developing Vermont Manzanita, one of WHCHC's primary motivations is ensuring the safety of at-risk children.  Fifteen of the building's residential units will be reserved for families with children under the age of five.  Additionally, the Children's Institute - a local nonprofit which combats child abuse - shall act as Vermont Manzanita's lead service provider.

Designs from architecture firm Hatch-Colasuonna Studio call for lush landscaping on all levels of the building.  Other private amenities will include a children's play area, a barbeque pit and tenant community garden.

The project, located at 1225 South Vermont Avenue, sits along the path of multiple bus lines.  The building will also accommodate a small amount of automobile parking, with garage space at ground level.

Construction of Vermont Manzanita is scheduled for completion in October 2015.  For housing applications and additional information, please visit WHCHC's website.

(Image: Dreyfuss Construction)

Monday, November 24, 2014

New Pomona College Science Building to Open in 2015

All images courtesy of Pomona College

Construction of Pomona College's new 75,000 square-foot Millikan Science Hall is ahead of schedule, with the building slated for completion in mid-2015.  The project, imagined as a new local landmark, was originally scheduled to open next Fall.  When complete, the low-rise structure will house the school's astronomy, mathematics and physics departments.

Copper panels are currently being added to the exterior of the building's planetarium dome, while ceramic tiles and windows are being installed on other parts of the facility.

Millikan Hall, designed by San Francisco-based architecture firm EHDD, will include: a domed digital planetarium; an outdoor physics lab; a two-story atrium; a remote observation room for Pomona's one-meter telescope at NASA's JPL Table Mountain facility; machine, wood and metal shops; a colloquium room with eating for 80 to 100 people; a 50-seat classroom and 16 physics teaching and research labs, in addition to classrooms and study spaces.  Matt Construction is the contractor for the project, which also entails a renovation of the adjacent Andrews Science Hall.

West Valley Doubles Down on Mixed-Use Developments

6912 Reseda Boulevard, looking north

Reseda Boulevard, long an auto-dominated corridor, has gradually come to the forefront of the push for walkable urbanity in the West San Fernando Valley.  The latest installment in this saga, a proposed residential-retail complex, would replace a brief stretch of automobile repair shops and drive-thru restaurants.

According to plans submitted to the city earlier this month, the proposed development at 6912 Reseda Boulevard calls for a six-story building, comprised of 170 residential units and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.  The project would span across an approximately 1.5-acre site, occupying the majority of a city block between Basset and Hart Streets.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shiny New Renderings for 3033 Wilshire Boulevard (UPDATED)

3033 Wilshire Boulevard (All images: Steinberg Architects)

New information has emerged regarding 3033 Wilshire Boulevard, a proposed high-rise apartment complex which would straddle the border between Westlake and Koreatown.

Los Angeles-based Steinberg Architects, design architect for the project, recently updated its website with a new a page for the proposed 18-story building.  The tower, as envisioned by developer UDR Incorporated, would consist of 190 apartments, 5,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and four levels of below-grade parking.  Residential units would range in size from studios to luxury penthouse spaces, each of which would contain two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Steinberg's design for the building would feature an exterior consisting primarily of glass.  A series of protruding decks would gradually change in shape and size while moving up the tower's mass, giving the facade a fluid texture.  The building would be capped by a rooftop pool and amenity deck, offering panoramic views of Downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills and the Pacific Ocean.

The project site - located at the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Virgil Avenue - was first slated for high-rise development nearly one decade ago.  According to the website of consulting firm PMA, the new apartment tower is scheduled for completion in February 2016.

UPDATE 11/22/14: Heavy equipment and construction materials are present at the development site.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Renderings Revealed for Martin Expo Town Center

A draft environmental impact report published by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning has revealed new details about Martin Expo Town Center (METC), a large mixed-use development proposed in West Los Angeles.  The project, designed by architecture firm Togawa Smith Martin, would create three low-rise and mid-rise structures with a combination of office, residential and retail uses.  Located at 1201 W. Olympic Boulevard, METC would rise from the current home of Martin Cadillac, just one block north of a future Expo Line Station at Bundy Drive.

Apartments Headed for Random Little Tokyo Parking Lot

During the course of Little Tokyo's mid-20th-century urban renewal, entire city blocks were leveled to make way for modern retail and office complexes, including the Japanese Village Plaza and Paker Center.  When the dust had finally settled in the 1980s, a small parking lot between Weller Court and the Kajima Building had somehow managed to escape the process almost completely untouched.  Now, after sitting idle for decades, the roughly half-acre property has been enveloped by Downtown's ongoing residential construction boom.

According to plans filed with the city in early November, the proposed development at 118 Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Street would consist of a six-story building, featuring 66 apartment units above ground-floor retail space.  The low-rise structure would also feature a subterranean parking garage, although city records do not currently specify the total number of vehicle stalls planned.

The proposed building joins several other residential-retail complexes that are currently remaking Little Tokyo's western perimeter.  A half block south, developers Avalon Bay and the Sares-Regis Group are building two low-rise projects which comprise more than 500 new residential units.  West across Los Angeles Street, a seven-story, 236-unit apartment building is planned adjacent to the historic Cathedral of St. Vibiana.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another Skyscraper Planned in the Historic Core

737 S. Spring Street

Yesterday, the Downtown News reported that Holland Partner Group had recently paid $12.5 million for a parking lot at the intersection of 8th and Spring Streets, with still unrefined plans to build apartments.  According to a recent case filling from the Department of City Planning, the Vancouver-based company intends to join the the burgeoning trend of high-rise development in Downtown's Historic Core.

Plans for the property at 737 South Spring Street call for a 24-story tower, containing 320 apartment units and ground-floor retail uses.  The proposed development would result in a larger building than the property currently allows for, and will thus require a transfer of floor area rights from a different site.

A set of promotional renderings, first seen on DTLA Rising, may offer hints about the project's future.  The conceptual design from Chris Dikeakos Architects featured a soaring 34-story tower above a retail and parking podium.  The actual project at 737 S. Spring Street calls for a slightly shorter building, albeit with a significantly higher level of residential density.

Although Holland Partner Group is no stranger to Downtown, or the Southern California region, the proposed tower will be their first project located east of the 110 Freeway.  The developer is currently building a large residential-retail complex at the corner of 6th and Bixel Streets in City West.  Their earlier work includes a 210-unit mixed-use development on Wilshire Boulevard.