Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UCLA Medical School Expansion Takes Form

Photo credit: Daniel Castro

More than one year after breaking ground at Tiverton Drive and Le Conte Avenue, UCLA's new Teaching and Learning Center for Health Sciences is finally climbing upwards.  The $120 million facility, funded with a combination of cash reserves and philanthropic donations, constitutes a 110,000 square foot expansion of the David Geffen School of Medicine.

The low-rise structure, designed by architectural giant Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, will consolidate a significant portion of the medical school's classroom space, which is currently dispersed in eleven outdated buildings.  Renderings portray a six-story building, clad with glass and red brick, which shall serve as a new southern gateway to the UCLA campus.

When completed in 2016, the TLC will incorporate technology-enabled classrooms, a clinical skills training center, flexible teaching labs, administrative offices and student gathering space.  The university is seeking LEED-Gold certification for the facility.

Photo credit: SOM

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Low-Rise Residential Pops Up on Santa Monica Boulevard


According to a set of pictures sent in by e-mail tipster Daniel, construction is nearing completion on a the Century Park Apartments, a new multi-family complex on the southern fringe of Westwood.  The five-story building, located at 10475 Santa Monica Boulevard, will contain a total of 24 rental units above a two-level, partially underground parking garage.  Future residents will live in close proximity to a variety of major employment nodes and entertainment districts.  Century City's skyline looms just a few blocks east, while the commercial hub of Wilshire Boulevard lies approximately one mile north.

The low-rise development was designed by West Los Angeles-based Plus Architecture, and features an exterior consisting mostly of plaster and glass, accented by yellow-colored elements on upper levels.  The firm's previous work includes the 2900, a 48-unit mixed-use development on Sepulveda Boulevard, and the Palms, an Art Deco-inspired apartment complex planned across the street from Sony Picture Studios.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Big Century City/Beverly Hills Developments Get Moving


Your eyes do not deceive you: construction cranes have returned to Century City.  10000 Santa Monica Boulevard, a $300 million residential tower by developer Crescent Heights, is about to begin the two-year climb to its 40-story apex.

When completed in 2016, the project will offer 283 luxury apartments along the border between West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.  Units will range in size from one-to-three-bedrooms, and are being built to condo specifications in the event of an uptick in the local for-sale market.

Designs from New York-based Handel Architects call for the building to have a shimmering glass exterior.  Jagged angles and a sloping roofline will give the tower a unique presence within Century City's otherwise staid, modernist skyline.  With a 483-foot height profile, 10000 Santa Monica is currently the second tallest building under construction in Los Angeles, following the monumental Wilshire Grand hotel and office development.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Steel Sprouts for Hollywood's Dream Hotel


Six months after starting construction at 6417 Selma Avenue, rebar and steel beams now protrude above ground at the future site of Hollywood's Dream Hotel.  The approximately $50 million project from developer Five Chairs will offer 182 guest rooms, located within easy walking distance of major tourist destinations along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

Designs from Santa Monica-based Killefer Flammang Architects call for a 10-story structure, clad with glass and metal sidings.  The mid-rise building will feature several ancillary uses, including a banquet room, rooftop deck, and multiple food and beverage venues.  A vehicular alley way which abuts the hotel site is to be repurposed as patio dining for several of the hotel's restaurants.

The Dream Hollywood - scheduled for completion in late 2015 - is the first of several hospitality projects slated for the blocks located southwest of Hollywood/Vine Station.  Back in July, new hotel proposals emerged on both Hollywood and Cahuenga Boulevards.  Earlier this month, plans were filed for a 12-story inn on Wilcox Avenue.  Further down the pipeline, developer R.D. Olson may construct a fifth project on a Sunset Boulevard property currently occupied by a Jack in the Box restaurant.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Details Emerge for Coca-Cola Building's Mixed-Use Conversion


The rapid evolution of the Arts District continues to pick up steam, with yet another adaptive reuse project on the way.  Earlier this year, a subsidiary of the New York-based Atlas Capital Group purchased Coca-Cola's former West Coast headquarters, with the intention of converting it into a mixed-use development.  Now, an initial study published by the Department of City Planning has shed light on what's to come.

Per the new environmental document, the three-story edifice at 963 E. 4th Street will feature a combination of office, retail and restaurant uses.  Upper floors in the former warehouse will become approximately 78,000 square feet of creative office space.  This will give the Coca-Cola facility roughly the same footprint as South Park's Desmond Building, a similar adaptive reuse project which was recently leased by Convention Center overlord AEG.

At ground level, the Coca-Cola building will feature 25,000 square feet of  retail and 20,000 square feet of restaurant uses.  The restaurant space will be split between two different eateries, with total seating for slightly over 300 patrons and operations between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m.

These combined uses are anticipated to generate up to 1,000 daily car trips, thus spawning the final aspect of the project: a 306-vehicle garage.  The seven-story structure will rise from an existing surface parking lot, located immediately east of the Coca-Cola building.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Small Lot Subdivision Proposed in Hollywood

The Studio District Homes on Gordon Street (Image: Modative)

While a NIMBY attorney wages war against high-rise construction on Sunset Boulevard, density of a lesser variety flies under the radar just a few blocks south.  According to a presentation from the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council, a new small lot subdivision is in the works at 1238-1242 Gordon Street, an approximately quarter-acre property between Fountain and Lexington Avenues.

The project - known as the Studio District Homes on Gordon Street - is being designed by Mid-City-based architecture firm Modative.  Plans call for the construction of 10 single-family residences, located within matching three-story structures.  Each individual home would span approximately 1,500 square feet, containing three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.  Additionally, all units would feature a private outdoor roof deck and two dedicated parking spaces.

Construction of the Studio District Homes will first require the demolition of two existing structures, one of which is a century-old bungalow.  However, an exact timeline for the project is currently unclear.  At the time of publication, the Department of Building and Safety had yet to issue new permits of any sort for the properties at 1238-1242 Gordon Street.

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.