Monday, August 4, 2014

Suburbia Alive and Well on Fairfax Avenue


America's most prolific home builder is once again plying its trade in Mid-City Los Angeles.  As pointed out by a few keen observers, Forth Worth-based developer D.R. Horton recently broke ground on a 60-lot residential subdivision at the corner of Sawyer Street and Fairfax Avenue.  Each new homes will stand two-stories, offering three and four bedroom floor plans ranging from 2,590 to 2,900 square feet in size.  Renderings from Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banyard & Soderberg Architects portray a series of Spanish Revival style houses, inspiring one e-mail tipster to quip that it "looks like a piece of the Inland Empire has landed in Mid-City."  Asking prices will reportedly start at $1.2 million (ouch).

In previous years, the approximately ten-acre development site served as home for the classic KHJ AM Radio Towers.  Built in the mid-1930s, the towers were a well known landmark for commuters along the Santa Monica Freeway until their demolition last Spring.  For more on their history, check out this article from the Long Beach Report.



10 comments:

  1. I have no problem with this. There's a severe shortage of housing for large families within the city, which these 3/4BRs can help with. There aren't suburban-style yards, and considering that it's an R1-1 area, they couldn't build anything bigger than this without some serious variances and General Plan amendments. If LA isn't going to move away from SFRs completely, at least it should get some big 4BRs--not the family-unfriendly bungalows that cover too much of the city.

    Considering that, according to the latest City Planning filings, several 20+ unit multifamily buildings and a hotel are planned in nearby Pico-Robertson, this isn't the end of the world.

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  2. I have to agree with JMS, SFR seems like the best use for this site. The area is 90% SFR with a narrow strip of duplexes on Guthrie. They really should have added some affordable housing and maybe some multi family closer to Fairfax Ave. This is a great site for families with excellent access to DTLA, Hollywood and the Westside. It is also just a couple of blocks from LACES and Crescent Heights Elementary, which are two excellent public schools, which rarely said in the City of LA.

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    1. Also in agreement. Some low intensity multi-family would have been nice, but the surroundings dictated SFR for the Saywer/Fairfax site.

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    2. Again I have to strongly disagree. This kind of self-contained suburban subdevelopment which is closed to through traffic has absolutely zero place in the central city. This land is right nearby to rapidly developing Culver City. Even townhouses arranged on a grid would have been better! This is exactly the sort of short-sighted provincial thinking about land use that has kept LA from urbanizing properly. Total waste. And the actual home designs are hokey as all get-out.

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  3. I can see the case for single family homes on this site, but they should have been at least four and five bedrooms to meet the needs of larger families. And as for the architecture - please tell me there are no any design restrictions so they can be torn down or rebuilt by real architects in the near future by the larger families who will doubtless buy them with the intention of expanding them.

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    1. Five bedrooms?! Do people have that many kids anymore? Won't argue with you about the architecture, though.

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  4. Single Family Home is ok in this area but the ridiculously out of date faux spanish design is very out of sync with LA's metro area. Furthermore, as David mentioned already, the closed off nature of this development is in stark contrast to the existing neighborhoods so these homes will not blend in with the area. It would have been better had the developed went with a grid like street and choose a more contemporary design and varied elevation.

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    1. Agreed 100%. Zoning and politics dictate the scale of this project, but not the shortcomings in architecture and urban design.

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