Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More Apartments and Retail for Santa Monica Boulevard

11407 W. Santa Monica Boulevard

Santa Monica Boulevard's nascent construction boom is slowly pushing eastward.

According to a case filing from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, a new low-rise apartment complex is slated for a nearly half-acre property at 11407 West Santa Monica Boulevard.  The project calls for a five-story building, featuring 51 residential units above 1,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space.  An unspecified number of units would be reserved as either affordable or low-income housing.

11407 Santa Monica was once home to the Dolores Restaurant & Bakery, a longtime West Los Angeles landmark which closed in mid-2012 after more than six decades in business.  After a fire later that year spelled the end of a replacement tenant, the one-story building sat vacant until this past August, when it was finally sold to a developer.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another High-Rise for Hollywood

Yet another property near Hollywood's iconic Capitol Records Building is slated to give way for a tall mixed-use development.

Plans were filed with the City of Los Angeles earlier this month for a new residential-retail complex at 6220 West Yucca Street.  The approximately one-acre property, currently occupied by a series of low-rise residential structures, would be redeveloped with a 21-story tower.  The proposed building would include 277 residential units and 3,300 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Located at the southeast corner of Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue, the project is one of three high-rise developments planned for the same intersection.

Little Tokyo Office Tower to Receive Upgrades

A dated commercial building in Little Tokyo is about to receive a much-needed makeover.

The Terraces, a mid-rise office tower located at 420 E. 3rd Street, is poised to receive a series of improvements which will bring the aging building into the 21st century.  The 10-story structure, completed in 1988, is currently 76% occupied according to data from commercial real estate website City Feet.  It is home to a diverse mix of tenants, including dozens of medical offices and the corporate headquarters of Pacific Commerce Bank.

According to a permit application with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, proposed upgrades include the conversion of a fifth-floor parking deck and a seventh-floor roof into private open space for tenants and guests.  Further renovations are slated for the building's hallways and lobbies.

The Terraces' four-story parking podium will also be remodeled as part of the project.  Plans call for the addition of metal screens around the perimeter of the building, obscuring exposed garage levels from street view.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Long Beach's Newest Tower Peeks Above Ground

Construction is roaring ahead on the Current, Downtown Long Beach's first high-rise building to break ground since the Great Recession.  The $70 million development from Anderson Pacific, LLC had been delayed for roughly ten years prior to starting work in Fall.  As of this past weekend, rebar for the building's basement parking now protrudes above street level.

When finished in early 2016, the 17-story tower will offer 223 studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse apartments.  At ground level, the project will include for 6,750 square feet of stores, and restaurants.  According to designs by San Francisco-based BAR Architects, an adjacent section of Lime Avenue will be permanently closed to automobiles, creating a 25,000-square-foot public plaza with green space and outdoor seating at the foot of the building.

Following completion of the Current, Anderson Pacific intends to commence work on a second phase of the development: a 35-story condominium tower.  Phase two, which would create the tallest residential building in Long Beach, is slated for a neighboring surface parking lot at the northwest corner of Ocean Boulevard and Alamitos Avenue.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Work Ramping up on South Park Megaprojects

Image: Oceanwide Real Estate Group via the Los Angeles Times

In what amounts to an excellent Christmas for Downtown boosters, work will soon begin on multiple new high-rise buildings in the South Park neighborhood.

Earlier in December, Oceanwide Real Estate Group started clearing the large surface parking lot at 1101 Flower Street, future site of Fig Central.  Now, after much speculation, the Los Angeles Times reports that the long-stalled mixed-use complex is on track for an early 2015 groundbreaking date.

The $1-billion development will feature a trio of skyline-altering towers designed by architecture firm RTKL.  The largest of the buildings - a 49-story edifice at the corner of Flower and 11th Streets - will rise 677 feet above street level, making it slightly taller than the nearby Ritz Carlton Hotel & Residences.  In total, the three towers will comprise 504 condominiums and a five-star, 183-room hotel.

Fig Central was originally conceived as the retail complement to the nearby restaurants and entertainment venues of the LA Live complex.  The retooled proposal from the Oceanwide Group places a similar emphasis on shopping, with approximately 200,000 square feet of stores and restaurants planned for the development

The project as a whole is expected to cater to an affluent clientele, with plans calling for an array of luxurious amenities.  In addition to a variety of high-end stores, the proposed hotel will feature multiple event spaces and a "celebrity chef restaurant."  DTLA Rising reports that Fig Central may also include the first American outpost of the ultra posh Cavalli Club.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another Big Apartment Complex Proposed in Westchester

6733 S. Sepulveda Boulevard

As Playa Vista gradually booms into one of Southern California preeminent tech hubs, a new wave of multi-family residential development is flowing into the adjacent Westchester neighborhood.  According to a document from the Neighborhood Council of Westchester and Playa Del Rey, the latest example of this burgeoning trend is slated for an approximately two-acre parcel at 6733 South Sepulveda Boulevard.

Land owner 6733 So. Sepulveda Blvd. Associates recently presented plans to the council's Planning and Land Use Committee for a new five-story apartment complex on the property.  The proposed development, which has not been filed with the city, would feature 200 rental units, a residential amenity deck and a two-level underground parking garage.  6733 Sepulveda Boulevard is currently improved with a two-story Class-B office building and a surface parking lot.

The project would sit directly across the street from the Howard Hughes Center, a 70-acre mixed-use campus which consists of multiple office towers and a shopping mall.  The sprawling Hughes complex still features several vacant parcels of land, two of which are currently being developed into apartments by Chicago-based Equity Residential.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Redevelopment Plans Crystallize for Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

All images: Capri Capital Partners and RAW International

As construction continues on a new subway station at the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards, a bold development scheme is in the works for an adjacent shopping complex.

Capri Capital Partners, the Chicago-based owner of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, is planning to redevelop their 43-acre property with over 2 million square feet of new office space, housing, retail space and hotel rooms.  According to a master plan created by planning and design firm RAW International, the proposed development would replace a series of surface parking lots and low-rise commercial buildings which flank the mid-century shopping center.  The centerpiece mall, anchored by a Macy's department store, would be preserved and rehabilitated as part of the project.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mid-Rise Office Building Breaks Ground in Hollywood

With the end of 2014 fast approaching, construction has finally started on one of Hollywood's most controversial developments.

Earlier this month, the J.H. Snyder Company broke ground on 1601 Vine Street, an eight-story office tower slated for the former site of Molly's Burgers.  The $70 million project, designed by architecture firm Gensler, will consist of approximately 110,000 square feet of Class-A office space, a 2,000-square-foot ground-level retail stall, and 174 underground parking spaces.  The potentially LEED Gold-certified development is scheduled for delivery in 2016.

1601 Vine Street is the third major office complex to break ground near the Hollywood/Vine subway station since 2013, joining campus-style projects from Kilroy Realty and Hudson Pacific Properties.  Office development has thrived in Hollywood during the past several years, despite the overall sluggish performance of the Los Angeles market.  The neighborhood's most recent coup came in the form of media giant Viacom, which will consolidate its Southern California operations within 180,000 square feet of the Columbia Square complex.

Hollywood's office boom has been accompanied by equally impressive performances from the residential and hospitality sectors.  Houston-based Camden Property Trust is currently in the midst of construction on a mixed-use development directly across the intersection from Snyder's project.  West along Selma Avenue, local developer Five Chairs broke ground this past Spring on the 180-room Dream Hollywood.  Additional boutique hotels are slated for nearby properties along Cahuenga Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Big Infill Development Planned Near North Hollywood Station

Even as Metro's bold plan for a high-rise complex atop North Hollywood Station remains dormant, other nearby property owners are picking up the development slack.

Earlier this month, the Redondo Beach-based Urbanest Group filed plans with the city to construct a new residential-retail complex at 11120 West Chandler Boulevard.  The proposed development would rise from a currently vacant one-acre lot, creating two five-story buildings with a cumulative 329 dwelling units and 4,500 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.

The development site sits immediately east of the NoHo Commons, a large residential, retail and office development which was spearheaded by the defunct Community Redevelopment Agency.  The project, while controversial at the time, appears to have achieved its goal of spurring additional development throughout the North Hollywood community.

In addition to the proposed mixed-use complex at 11120 Chandler Bouelvard, a four-story hotel is planned three blocks east at the intersection of Tujunga Avenue and Weddington Street.  Several smaller multi-family residential developments are planned on block located north of Chandler Boulevard.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sawtelle Japantown Getting More Mixed-Use

More development is slated for the freshly rebranded Sawtelle Japantown.

According to an early December case filing from the Department of City Planning, a new residential-retail complex is proposed for the corner lot at 1854 South Sawtelle Boulevard.  Plans call for a five-story structure, consisting of 23 apartments, two ground-floor live-work units, four above-grade parking levels and two underground parking levels.  The new building would replace a century-old bungalow, one of the few remaining single-family dwellings along the bustling commercial corridor.

With a cumulative six floors of garage space, the proposed development is clearly informed by the parking crunch which frequently envelops the residential neighborhood to the west.  Customers of trendy restaurants located on Sawtelle Boulevard often inundate street parking on adjacent blocks, leading some homeowners to call for the creation of a preferential parking district.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Affordable Housing Planned for Crenshaw Boulevard

Crenshaw Villas Apartments (Image: American Communities, LLC)

As excavation for the $2-billion Crenshaw Line continues to frustrate business owners and motorists alike, two locally-based non-profit organizations are working to build affordable housing near the light rail line's forthcoming northern terminus.

Los Angeles-based American Communities, LLC has filed plans with the city to build a low-rise complex known as the Crenshaw Villas Apartments.  The project would replace an existing commercial building at 2631-2645 Crenshaw Boulevard.

Plans call for a five-story structure containing 50 one-and-two-bedroom apartments, 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 36 parking stalls in a partially underground garage.  Residential units would be reserved for low-income seniors who earn less than half of the city's median household income.

Monday, December 15, 2014

First Look at the Re-redesigned Park Fifth

Image: DLANC

Less than one year after unveiling substantially downsized plans for Downtown's erstwhile Park Fifth site, developer MacFarlane Partners has opted to rework the entire project.  The San Francisco-based investment management firm will give a first glimpse of the redesigned - and slightly upsized - development program to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council's Planning and Land Use Committe this Tuesday.

Like the previous Harley Ellis Devereaux-designed proposal, the retooled Park Fifth complex will consist of mid-rise and high-rise components.  However, the new design from Portland-based Ankrom Moisan Architects features minor changes to the overall specs of the project, including an increase in proposed residential density from 615 to 660 apartments and a decrease in cumulative commercial area from 17,000 square feet to slightly under 14,000 square feet.

Moisan's new design calls for several alterations to Park Fifth's 24-story tower, which is slated for the corner of Fifth and Olive Streets.  The proposed building's peak height has increased to 255 feet above-grade, as well as its width in a north-south direction.  Unlike in the earlier plan, the high-rise building will comprise the bulk of the Park Fifth's residential density, featuring 348 apartments and roughly 5,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses.  The tower will be "similar in feel," to other Moisan-designed projects, which include South Park's Luma and Elleven condominium complexes.

Hollywood Cherokee Apartments Get a Redesign

A draft environmental impact report recently published by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning has unveiled a new look for the proposed Hollywood Cherokee Apartments.  The mixed-use development from Los Angeles-based Champion Real Estate is slated for a 1.14-acre parking lot located just north of Hollywood Boulevard, between Las Palmas and Cherokee Avenues.

The Hollywood Cherokee complex entails a four-to-six-story building, featuring 224 studio, one-and-two-bedroom units above nearly 1,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space.  Twenty-four of the building's residential units would be reserved for very-low income individuals.

Plans call for a standard array of residential amenities, including a gym, a swimming pool, a rooftop deck and a community room.  The apartments would also offer parking accommodations for up to 305 vehicles and 252 bicycles, contained within a four-level, partially underground garage.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Work Quietly Starting on Downtown Condo Projects

In response to the resurgent Downtown Los Angeles condo market, a new wave of for-sale housing is quietly taking off in the South Park neighborhood.

On Thursday, workers installed protective fencing around the half-acre parking lot at 1050 South Grand Avenue, future home of a $100 million condominium tower from developer Trumark Urban.  The 24-story building, designed by local architecture firm HasonLA, will contain 151 residential units above a retail and parking podium.  One laborer at the development site stated that construction is scheduled to commence before the end of December.  However, previous coverage from the Downtown News points to an early 2015 start date.

The project, formerly known as the Glass Tower, originally received approvals in 2007.  However, like many other Downtown condominium developments, the tower found itself unable to move forward in the midst of the global recession.

Shiny New Rendering for Academy Square

A striking new look has emerged for Kilroy Realty's Academy Square development, courtesy of commercial real estate publication Bisnow.

The $300 million project, designed by local architect Joey Shimoda, would create a 3.5-acre mixed-use campus in the heart of Hollywood.  Plans call for a campus of low-rise and high-rise structures, offering a combination of apartments, offices, ground-floor retail and possibly hotel rooms.  The project's name is a nod to an abandoned plan by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to build a museum on the property.  Academy Square would also sit directly north of the Pickford Film Center, another facility owned by AMPAS.

Kilroy's development is highlighted by a 23-story high-rise tower, slated for the corner of Ivar and DeLongpre Avenues.  The mixed-use building could move forward with up to 250 apartments, or under an alternate development program, up to 100 hotel rooms and 50 fewer residential units.  Both options would include retail space on the tower's ground floor.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finishing Touches on Culver City Apartments

In Culver City, construction is wrapping up on the Oliver Apartments, a residential-retail complex from the Vancouver-based Bastion Development Corporation.  Standing three stories at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Marcasel Avenue, the building will include 30 one-and-two-bedroom apartments above 8,700 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.  The low-rise structure, clad mostly in smooth-finish stucco and wood paneling, features private balconies on three sides.

Bastion's project is slated for completion in March 2015.  It may be joined in the near future by a larger neighbor which would straddle the Los Angeles-Culver City border.  Plans filed with the city at 11925 Louise Avenue call for a five-story building, containing 97 apartments and 15,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Budokan of Los Angeles Gets a New Look

Budokan of Los Angeles (Image: Rafu Shimpo)

In October 2014, the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) proudly announced that it had crossed the 50% threshold in its $23 million fundraising campaign to build the Budokan of Los Angeles.  The proposed recreation center, a longtime goal of many community stakeholders, would replace a surface parking lot at 229-49 S. Los Angeles Street.  Now, in an article published by the Rafu Shimpo, LTSC has unveiled a new look for the project designed by local architecture firm Gruen Associates.

The proposed three-story edifice--named for Tokyo's famous Nippon Budokan--would feature two full-size basketball courts, meeting rooms, a kitchen and landscaped rooftop terraces.  A one-level garage would sit beneath the 44,000-square-foot building, offering parking accommodations for up to 64 vehicles.  LTSC expects multiple uses for the facility, including after-school programs, martial arts tournaments, basketball and volleyball.

Toy Manufacturer Planning Mixed-Use Campus in the West Valley

MGA Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based manufacturer of the popular Bratz doll line, is planning a 1.2-million square-foot mixed-use complex in the San Fernando Valley

The proposed development, located at 20000 West Prairie Street in Chatsworth, would rise upon a nearly 24-acre site which once served as a printing plant for the Los Angeles Times.  The project, which is being designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, calls for a campus-style setting that would include office space, rental apartments, and community-serving retail.

MGA Entertainment's new corporate headquarters would serve as the development's focal point.  The toy maker would relocate approximately 250 employees into an existing 250,000-square-foot facility.  The nondescript two-story structure would be substantially remodeled "with a theme reflective of MGA's products."  Proposed additions include a 7,500-square-foot employee cafeteria, a daycare center, outdoor patio space and significant water features and landscaping.  The building would also contain 43,000 square feet of leasable creative office space and limited assembly, production and showroom space.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Plans Emerge for Playa Vista's Remaining Office Parcels

12099 and 12126 W. Waterfront Drive

With Yahoo! on the cusp of signing a 130,000-square-foot lease in the under-construction Collective campus, Tishman Speyer Properties is now forging ahead with plans for their remaining Playa Vista real estate.

According to a November case filing from the Department of City Planning, the New York-based developer intends to construct two low-rise office buildings adjacent to Playa Vista Central Park.  The first, a six-story structure, would rise from a nearly four-acre site at 12126 West Waterfront Drive.  Directly across the street, plans call for a five-story building and associated surface parking on the six-acre property at 12099 West Waterfront Drive.

City records do not currently indicate the exact footprints of the proposed buildings.  However, a January article from the Los Angeles Times reported that Tishman Speyer had entitlements to build up to 400,000 square feet of office space on the two properties

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Wave of Residential Developments Hitting K-Town

Wilshire Professional Building, 1932 (Image: Water and Power Associates)

According to a series of recent case filings from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, a slew of new multi-family residential developments are planned throughout the hyper-dense Koreatown neighborhood.

Plans were submitted to the city in late November for a new 16-story, 220-unit residential tower at 3875 Wilshire Boulevard.  The one-acre property, listed amongst the portfolio of office landlord Jamison Services, is currently developed with the 12-story Wilshire Professional Building.  The Art Deco landmark has stood at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and St. Andrews Place since 1929.

It is currently unclear whether the proposed development entails the adaptive reuse of the historic building, or new construction on an adjacent surface parking lot.  Jamison Services had previously submitted plans to the city for a low-rise apartment building which would abut the historic office tower.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rainy Day Westlake Construction Update

As the supply of unclaimed parking lots decreases in Downtown Los Angeles, many developers have begun looking to the neighborhood's fringe for new infill opportunities.  During the past year, multiple projects have emerged in once unfathomable locations outside the Central City freeway ring, including proposed high-rise complexes in Chinatown and South Los Angeles.  However, the chief beneficiary of this shift is undoubtedly the long downtrodden Westlake neighborhood.  The predominantly immigrant community, once considered "Los Angeles' answer to the Champs-Élysées," is now experiencing a resurgence in commercial and market-rate residential development.

Arguably the most conspicuous addition to the neighborhood is Good Samaritan Hostpital's Medical Plaza and Outpatient Pavilion.  The seven-story structure, designed by architecture firm Ware Malcomb, will feature an exterior of shimmering blue-tinged glass.  Budgeted at $80 million, the Medical Plaza will eventually house a pharmacy, multiple clinics and a new ambulatory surgery center.  Additionally, the building will feature a ground-floor café and a window display focused on medical history.

The approximately 190,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2015.

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Look for Culver-City-Adjacent Mixed-User

Image: NMS Properties

Developer NMS Properties has unveiled a new rendering for the NMS Culver City, a residential-retail complex currently under construction along the border between Palms and Culver City.  The $63 million development, designed by Santa Monica-based Killefer Flammang Architects, will feature 131 apartments above 12,500 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.  The low-rise structure is located at the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Hughes Avenue, directly across the street from both Sony Picture Studios and the Kirk Douglas Theater.

Construction crews recently began applying exterior materials to the building's six-story wooden frame.  However, progress on the low-rise development has fallen significantly behind its previously announced schedule.  At the time of groundbreaking, the project was expected to reach completion in mid-2014.  According to the NMS Properties website, opening is now scheduled for sometime during 2015.