Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Affordable Housing Headed to Wilmington

Planning is underway for the fourth and final phase of the New Dana Strand Village, a 20-acre affordable housing project from nonprofit developers Mercy Housing California and Abode Communities.  The initial three phases of the development opened between 2006 and 2012, replacing a decaying residential complex in Wilmington with a mix of 336 townhouses, one-bedroom apartments and senior-reserved units.  Design work is being handled by Van Tilburg, Banyard & Soderbergh, in collaboration with in-house talent at Abode Communities.

The final build-out of the New Dana Strand Village focuses on eight vacant parcels, located along Wilmington Boulevard, Hawaiian Avenue and West C Street.  The project's case filing with the Department of City Planning calls for a total of 176 residential units, to be constructed in two sub-phases designated IV-A and IV-B.  Both sub-phases would consist of four distinct properties, divided by West D Street.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mixed-Use Upgrade for Venice Boulevard

Palms's shabby three-mile stretch of Venice Boulevard is flanked by an assortment of strip malls and drive-thru restaurants.  Perhaps a new mixed-use development will finally begin the process of converting the auto-centric corridor into a more liveable environment.

Earlier this month, plans were filed with LADCP for a residential-retail complex at 10300 Venice Boulevard.  City records indicate that the low-rise structure would vary from four to five stories in height, containing 34 residential units above 2,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space.  The proposed multi-family complex has requested a density bonus from the city, which implies the inclusion of affordable units within the building.

The approximately quarter-acre development site, located between Goldwyn Terrace and Vinton Avenue, is currently improved with a series of one-story duplexes.  It is one of several nearby properties in Palms which have recently been targeted for development.  Three blocks east, an 86-unit apartment building is planned on Dunn Drive.  Roughly four blocks west, a 126-unit mixed-use complex is in the works for Overland Avenue.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Miracle Mile Office Project Gets a Haircut

Museum Square Phase II, as designed by the Jerde Partnership (Image:

Plans for a new mid-rise office building are still forging ahead on the Miracle Mile, albeit now in slightly truncated form.  This coming Thursday, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission is scheduled to review phase two of Museum Square, a 7.5-acre office and retail complex located at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard.  The proposed expansion calls for the construction of a new 13-story tower, which would add 250,000 square feet of Class-A office space on a current parking lot at 620 S. Curson Avenue.

However, it appears that some minor changes have occurred since we last heard from the project.  According to an agenda for the upcoming meeting of the City Planning Commission, Snyder has scaled down the proposed building's height to approximately 173 feet.  Earlier designs from the Jerde Partnership featured a 207-foot tall structure, thanks to generous 14-foot ceilings.

Other aspects of the Museum Square expansion have also decreased in scale.  The original plan called for new levels atop an existing five-story parking structure, augmenting its total capacity to 2,040 vehicles.  Although the project will still entail the addition of two floors to the garage, total parking accommodations will expand to just 1,843 vehicle stalls.  The Museum Square complex will eventually be easily accessible via Metro Rail, with a location midway between future Purple Line stations at Fairfax and La Brea Avenues.

Although an exact timeline for the office tower has not been revealed, a report from this past March indicated that Snyder was in negotiations with two specialty tenants, both of whom wished to lease the entire building.  That prospective tenant would then commission its own architect to redesign the tower to best suit its needs.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shiny New Renderings for Fig South

Next week, the DLANC's Planning and Land Use Committee is scheduled to take a closer look at Fig South, the glassy high-rise project slated for the (other) parking lot across the street from Staples Center.  The twin 36-story towers are being designed by architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux; artistic renderings depict glassy, elliptical shaped buildings with swooping rooflines.  Both towers would rise 400 feet above street level, the maximum height allowed for the property at 1200 S. Figueroa street.  Altogether the project comprises 648 condominium units, situated above 48,000 square feet of sports-themed retail and restaurant space. 

Designs for Fig South feature a prominent 100-foot tall podium, containing 1,770 parking spaces on seven above-grade and two below-grade levels.  Renderings portray a landscaped outdoor deck atop the podium, offering amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness room, and barbeque pit.  Additional open space would be included within each tower, specifically in the form of two rooftop terraces.

First Look at the Redesigned Figueroa Central

Earlier this month, puzzling news emerged from Downtown Los Angeles.  Figueroa Central, the long awaited mixed-use companion to LA Live, was simultaneously upsized and downsized.  Revised plans from Oceanwide Real Estate Group added a third tower to the development, but also featured less than half of the 1,200 residential units permitted under the original project.  Now, a document from the DLANC's Planning and Land Use Committee is here to answer all of your burning questions.

Despite a significant reduction to Figueroa Central's proposed residential density, new designs from RTKL actually call for taller buildings than in the original proposal.  The largest of the three buildings - referred to as the North Tower - would rise 49 stories from the intersection of 11th and Flower Streets.  The 632-foot tall structure would contain 164 residential units, a 183-room hotel, and various ancillary uses.

Moving south through the project site, designs call for twin 40-story buildings, each with an architectural apex 530 feet above street level.  The Middle and South Towers would comprise the bulk of Figueroa Central's residential component, each containing 170 dwellings.  Units would average 1,620 square feet in size, ranging from 1,000 square foot one-bedroom units to 6,000 square foot penthouse units.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Proposed K-Town High-Rise Still Plodding Along

Long-standing plans for a 27-story residential tower in Koreatown continue to plod forward, with the release of a the project's initial study by the Department of City Planning.  The proposed Catalina Apartments would rise from a 1.5-acre site at the corner of 8th and Catalina Streets, replacing a small cluster of low-rise buildings.

Designs from Oakes Architects call for an approximately 300 foot tall structure, offering 269 apartments (studio, one and two-bedroom units) and 7,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.  Residential units would be served by a total of 562 parking spaces, contained within a podium garage.  Proposed amenities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, and rooftop deck.

The mixed-use development is planned by Colony Holdings, a Beverly Hills-based limited liability corporation.  At first glance, their project would seem to fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood.  The eastern stretch of Koreatown has recently seen the arrival of several large residential complexes, including the 476-unit K2LA apartments and the skyline-altering Vermont Towers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Woodland Hills Post Office May Go Bye-Bye

The slow death of snail mail may soon bring about the birth of a new multi-family housing development in the West Valley.  According to a document from the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council, AMCAL Multi Housing Company intends to demolish the Woodland Hills Post Office to make way for an apartment complex.  The proposed development would rise from an approximately 3.6-acre site at 22121 Clarendon Street, located immediately south of the 101 Freeway.  However, even the most basic details about the project not been revealed at this point in time.

Although AMCAL has not previously ventured into Woodland Hills, the Texas-based developer is no stranger to other parts of Southern California.  Their previous work includes the Gold Line-adjacent Avenue 26 TOD in Lincoln Heights and the Red Line-adjacent Argyle Apartments in East Hollywood.