Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dissecting the Hollywood/Vine Construction Binge

Construction cranes, looking east from the intersection of Selma Avenue and Vine Street

Even on a sleepy weekend morning, construction activity was in full swing on the blocks surrounding Metro's Hollywood/Vine subway station.  Take a quick tour through five mixed-use developments that will soon add more than one thousand apartments, hotel rooms and over 300,000 square feet of office space to the rapidly evolving neighborhood.

6201 Hollywood Boulevard, recently renamed Eastown LA, is nearing completion at the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue.  The $200 million development from Clarett West began work in 2012, and consists of 535 studio, one and two bedroom apartment units above 75,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.  The four-building project was designed by VTBS Architects, and features a grey stucco finish on its upper floors, with brick veneer at street level.  A leasing website for Eastown's retail stalls indicates that the developer is targeting a wide range of potential tenants, including restaurants, markets, health clubs, clothing stores, barbershops and even a dry cleaner.  The development offers multiple transportation options, with a subway station located directly across the street and a 1000+ car parking garage located below.  Clarett's project, which calls for a second phase on the opposite side of the intersection, has been dragged into the ongoing controversy over the location of the Hollywood fault line.

One block south from Eastown LA, another mixed-use apartment complex is under construction from the Houston-based Camden Property Trust.  Located at 1540 North Vine Street, the low-rise Camden Hollywood finally broke ground in Fall 2013, following six years of delays.  Designed by Downtown-based TCA Architects, the seven-story structure will contain 287 market rate apartment units, a 40,000 square foot Equinox Fitness, and subterranean parking accommodations for 750 vehicles.  Set for completion in 2016, the Camden Hollywood represents a downsized version of an earlier proposal for the site, which called for an 11-story mid-rise building with a ground level Whole Foods Market.  The $140 million project is being developed in a partnership with Sam Nazarian, president of entertainment and hotel management company SBE.

Columbia Square, another perpetually delayed Hollywood development, is now making steady construction progress at 6121 Sunset Boulevard.  The $380 million project from Kilroy Realty calls for the adaptive reuse of CBS' former radio broadcast facilities, as well as the construction of a 200-unit luxury apartment tower, 300,000 square feet of creative office space and five levels of underground parking.  With shimmering designs from House & Robertson Architects and Rios Clementi Hale, the 675,000 square foot development replaces what was formerly a blighted, 4.7-acre parking lot.  The residential building, set to rise 20 stories, will feature a mixture of luxury furnished apartments and short term rental units that would tap into the extended stay hotel market.  Three office structures, each standing six stories, will abut the eastern and western sides of the property.  Columbia Square will also feature a central pedestrian paseo, flanked by retail and restaurant space near Sunset Boulevard.

Further west, piling beams were recently installed at 6417 Selma Avenue, future site of the West Coast's first Dream Hotel.  The $45 million project, developed by LA-based Five Chairs, will create 182 guest rooms, a ground level retail paseo, and a partially underground parking garage.  Designed by Santa Monica-based Killefer Flammang Architects, the 10-story building will stand approximately 125 feet tall, just shy of Hollywood's historic height limit.  Although construction only started this Spring, the hotel development is the product of more than six years of work from Five Chairs.  Planning for the Dream Hollywood began in 2008, when Five Chairs proposed the similar, but slightly smaller boutique Hotel Selma on the same property.  In stark contrast to most Southern California real estate developments, the years of delay actually managed to up the scale of project, which initially called for just 120 rooms in a nine-story structure.  According to earlier reports, the Dream Hollywood is scheduled for completion in September 2015.

Back on Sunset Boulevard, crews are currently putting the finishing touches on CIM Group's controversial Sunset Gordon development.  The 23-story tower, designed by Portland-based GBD Architects, will contain 300 apartments, 40,000 square feet of creative office space, and 13,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurant space.  Due to the project's location directly across the street from Morphosis' critically acclaimed Emerson Los Angeles, it's difficult not to notice the value engineering that has gone into Sunset Gordon's real life appearance.  While architectural drawings portrayed an articulated facade, reality has instead birthed a mostly unadorned curtain wall.  The tower's office podium is clad in white stucco, in lieu of the glassy exterior portrayed in GBD's earlier renderings.  On the bright side, the project still includes the construction a new public park, located immediately north of the tower's parking garage.  Known as Gordon Park, the much needed half-acre of green space is a welcome addition to notoriously park starved Hollywood.  However, even that aspect of the development has proven rife with controversy.

Future site of Gordon Park

Additionally, several proposed developments currently making their way through approval and permitting process will likely ensure that construction cranes remain on the Hollywood skyline for the foreseeable future.  Hudson Pacific Properties, owner of Sunset Bronson Studios, plans to start work on a 14-story office tower later this year.  The West LA-based landlord has also proposed a similar, 300,000 square foot structure adjacent to the Sunset Gordon tower.  A short walk west, developers Crescent Heights and Essex Properties have proposed two mixed-use developments next to theater complexes at Sunset Boulevard and Argyle Avenue.  Kilroy Realty, bullish on the future of the neighborhood, is planning a second office-residential-retail campus on Vine Street.  Catacorner from the Camden Hollywood, the J.H. Snyder Company will reportedly break ground on a long delayed eight-story office building later this year.  Finally, a series of controversial high-rise projects are planned near the historic Capitol Records building, including the Millennium Hollywood, 6230 Yucca and a Kimpton Hotel.

Several projects in Hollywood/Vine's development pipeline.  Clockwise from the top right corner: Icon at SBS (Hudson Pacific properties), the Palladium Residences (Crescent Heights), the Millennium Hollywood (Millennium Partners), 1601 Vine Street (J.H. Snyder Company), 6230 Sunset Boulevard (Essex Properties)

Overhead view of development parcels in the vicinity of Hollywood/Vine Station.  Current construction is highlighted in green, future construction is highlighted in red, and recently completed projects are marked with purple.

No comments:

Post a Comment