Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another Glimpse of the Future Palladium Residences

Photo credit: Crescent Heights

Take another look at Sunset Boulevard's stylish Palladium Residences, the high-rise towers proposed for the parking lot abutting the Hollywood Palladium.  The mixed-use complex, unveiled last summer by developer Crescent Heights, would offer a blend of residential units and hotel rooms in a pair of sleek, 28-story buildings.  An official website for the project features a new set of high-resolution renderings, highlighting the Palladium Residences' street-level integration and prominent location within the Hollywood skyline.

The twin 350-foot towers, designed by Stanley Saitowitz of Natoma Architects, could move forward under two distinct development programs.  Under the first scenario, Crescent Heights would build a purely residential project with 731 dwelling units.  In an alternate program, the towers would feature a mixture of 538 residential units and 250 hotel rooms.  Both plans call for a total of 14,000 square feet of pedestrian-oriented commercial space, in addition an underground parking garage with accommodations for approximately 1,900 vehicles and 820 bicycles.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Quick Trip Through the Sunset Boulevard Boom


This past weekend, a broken water main spilled untold gallons of precious drinking water onto the Sunset Strip, dealing yet another blow to drought-stricken California.  On the other hand, flooding of a more figurative (and less dire) sort is also occurring further east along the iconic thoroughfare.  Let's for get about LADWP's woes for a moment as we check in on the deluge of mixed-use developments adding new office space and residential units between Vine Street and the Hollywood Freeway.

As reported in mid-September, Hudson Pacific Properties has quietly broken ground on the long planned expansion of Sunset Bronson Studios (see above).  The $150 million project will ultimately create over 400,000 square feet of Class-A office space, mostly contained within a 14-story, Gensler-designed tower.  The staggered massing of the stout, 200-foot building will create a unique presence within the mid-rise Hollywood skyline.  Currently, construction crews are removing asphalt from the southeast corner of the SBS campus, clearing the way for an immense 1,600-vehicle parking garage.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watch USC Build Its Mixed-Use Village in Real Time


Earlier this month, USC officially broke ground on its long-awaited Village development.  The first phase of the $650 million project will expand the existing campus north by 15 acres, adding a combination of student housing, academic facilities and community-serving retail space.  As has been the case with other recent capital investments, USC Facilities Management has set up a live-feed camera focused on project, allowing Trojans and all other interested parties to stay up-to-date on the Village's progress.  A battalion of dump trucks was recently seen streaming through the construction site, hauling away dirt in preparation for foundation work.

When completed in late 2017, the first phase of the Village will yield new academic facilities, housing for up to 2,700 students, and 115,000 square feet of street-level commercial stalls.  The low-rise buildings - designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux in the school's signature Collegiate Gothic style - will be oriented around an expansive central plaza.  Trader Joe's, the trendy grocer which consistently eludes nearby Downtown Los Angeles, was recently announced as a ground-floor tenant.

Later phases of the development would tackle two adjacent city blocks, encompassing an additional 15 acres between Vermont and McClintock Avenues.  A full build out of the Village will carry an approximately $1.1 billion price tag, creating more than two million square feet of programmed area.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lots of Activity at G.H. Palmer's Broadway/Olympic Site


Downtown stakeholders breathed a collective sigh of relief last February, when developer G.H. Palmer - he of freeway-adjacent, "fauxtalian," infamy - revealed more contextually appropriate plans for a mixed-use development near the Ace Hotel.  That historically-themed design will soon be put to the test, as the Beverly Hills-based developer has finally begun work on the the project known as Broadway Palace.  Crews are currently demolishing an existing building and surface parking lot at the southeast corner of of Broadway and Olympic Boulevard, clearing the way for the first of the complex's two buildings.

The low-rise and mid-rise project, designed by Nelson/Boivin Architecture & Planning, calls for a cumulative 686 apartment units and over 50,000 square feet of ground-level commercial stalls.  The buildings, which will be clad in brick veneer, are to rise on opposite sides of Olympic Boulevard.  Planning documents indicate that the project may be linked together by a pedestrian bridge, an amenity which became a controversial issue for a different Palmer development earlier this year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New York-Based Hotelier Setting Up Shop Near Staples

Staples Center and its surrounding environs.

Representatives of the Wilshire Grand development ended months of speculation earlier today, announcing that Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts will operate the 73-story tower's 900-room luxury inn.  Surprisingly, that's not the only hotel buzz emanating from Downtown Los Angeles at the moment.

According to an interview with HOTELS Magazine, New York-based Hampshire Hotels Management is planning to open a new location in close vicinity to Staples Center and LA Live.  CEO Eric Danziger states that the company is considering either the Time Hotel or another 3-star brand for their South Park outpost.  The as-of-yet undisclosed location would be their second in Los Angeles, following the upcoming Dream Hollywood Hotel.

One potential home could be the $1 billion Metropolis development, which will feature a 350-room hotel at the intersection of 9th and Francisco Streets.  Although city documents had previously pointed to IHG's Hotel Indigo as the likely operator of the 19-story tower, developer Greenland USA has yet to give official word.  Other proposed developments from Mack Urban and the Oceanwide Group also call for substantial hotel components, but have yet to announce operators.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Low-Rise Mixed-User to Sprout on Reseda Boulevard

The WaterMark (Images courtesy of the Albert Group Architects

One of the San Fernando Valley's countless auto repair shops is about to make way for a new mixed-use development.  The WaterMark, a residential-retail complex from the Los Angeles-based Metric Holdings Corporation, is slated for an approximately 2.5-acre site at the crossing of Reseda Boulevard and the Los Angeles River.  The low-rise project, designed by the Albert Group Architects, will contain 254 one, two and three-bedroom apartment units above slightly less than 7,700 square feet of ground-level commercial space.

Plans call for a six-story structure along Reseda Boulevard which would gradually step down in height as as it approaches the single-family zone to the west.  A glass clad tower highlights the WaterMark's design, inviting cyclists and joggers to enjoy the neighborhood-serving stores and eateries which will stretch north from Kittridge Street.  The low-rise project, which is to be located less than one mile from an Orange Line Station, will offer parking accommodations for up to 436 automobiles and 287 bicycles.

Like many new river-adjacent developments, Metric Holdings' project reverses the long-standing trend of shunning the maligned waterway.  Instead, the WaterMark will embrace an eventually revitalized LA river through common green space and bicycle parking on its southern edge.  The green space will wrap around to the eastern side of the property, where it shall provide additional landscaping as a buffer between the apartments and nearby single-family homes.  Further open space is provided via private balconies and upper-level terraces.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Ultimate Measure R2 Fantasy Map

Image Credit: Move LA

Transportation advocacy group Move LA, one of the driving forces behind the transformative Measure R, has cooked up a mouth watering fantasy map for a sequel ballot initiative in 2016.  Measure R2, as per its most recent draft proposal, could fund a slew of transportation improvements throughout Los Angeles County via a 45-year, half-cent sales tax.  As reported this past April by Streetsblog LA, the tentative plan allots revenue as follows:

  • 30% for new Metro Rail and BRT Capital
  • 20% for Transit Operations
  • 20% for Highways
  • 15% for Local Return
  • 6% for Clean Goods Movement
  • 5% for Metrolink Capital
  • 4% for Active Transportation