|Bird's eye view of the proposed development.|
The "Village," also includes a second anchor tenant in the form of a 275 key high rise hotel. The 247.5 foot tall hotel comes complete with a two story podium filled with even more retail and restaurant space (duh).
The final aspect of the Village is 285,000 square feet of office space set to fill either one or two towers rising as tall as 247.5 feet. Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this. Metro Los Angeles' overall office vacancy stands at 19% as of Q2, with the West San Fernando Valley at an anemic 36.9%. At the same time, Farmers Insurance recently relocated their corporate headquarters to Warner Center, signing a 274,000 square foot lease. Perhaps the fortunes of the Valley are turning?
Anyway, here we see the present condition of the site, mostly vacant land and underutilized surface parking:
And here is the master plan illustrated over roughly the same view:
|People never look this happy when they're at Costco.|
|Different view of the retail paseo. Who is this chick in the bottom left hand corner smiling at?|
Now back to the bird's eye view:
|Viewed from this angle, it looks more 3rd Street Promenade than Westfield Century City. The architecture is pretty generic, but not an eyesore. I'm sure artistic liberty also spruced it up a bit for this picture.|
|One last view from across the street. I see a lot of surface parking.|
So there we have it. While it's nice to see something besides low rise apartment buildings going up in the Valley, this is pretty disappointing from a urban design perspective (surface parking lots fronting the street?!).
Warner Center isn't really that accessible by transit (despite the Orange Line), nor is there much population density in the area to provide organic foot traffic. I can understand the 3,000+ parking spaces to some extent, but Westfield isn't even trying here. Putting surface parking in between the sidewalk and the stores makes this project look like a strip mall on steroids. Adding in a gas station station just furthers that comparison.