Friday, March 6, 2015

Introducing Urbanize LA

Building Los Angeles and Creative Pursuits Web Development are pleased to announce the launch Urbanize LA, a new website focused on real estate development and urban planning in Southern California.  Our new format will combine BLA's coverage of proposed and ongoing developments in the Greater Los Angeles Area with in-depth discussion of architecture and the region's planning policy.  Henceforth, all content from this blog will migrate to the new website.  Hope to see you there.

Please follow us on Twitter @UrbanizeLA and like us on Facebook here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vibiana-Adjacent Residential Complex Breaks Ground

Image: Togawa Smith Martin, Inc. via the Downtown News

Yet another mixed-use development is now pushing dirt in Downtown Los Angeles.

Earlier this week, Holland Partner Group broke ground on a new residential-retail complex adjacent to the deconsecrated Cathedral of St. Vibiana.  The eight-story development, located at 222 South Main Street, will feature 238 apartments above 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail or restaurant space.  The low-rise edifice will feature numerous amenities, including a 247-car garage and a rooftop pool deck.

The project, slated to open in early 2017, is being designed by architecture firm Togawa Smith Martin.  Their plan for the apartment complex are is a minor revision of an earlier proposal from the Weintraub Real Estate Group, which had called for a nine-story steel-framed structure on the property.  The minor height reduction will allow Holland Partner Group to utilize less expensive wood-frame construction for the development.

The new apartment complex will continue to improve connectivity between Downtown's Historic Core and Little Tokyo, which was once separated by a six-acre expanse of surface parking lots known as "Block 8."  Recent years have seen that gap fill in, thanks to new mixed-use complexes from developers Avalon Bay at the Sares-Regis Group.  A variety of new eateries, including the popular Redbird, have also improved foot traffic through the neighborhood.

Holland Partner Group is also an active player in other parts of the greater Downtown community.  In addition to their project on Main Street, the company is currently building a $200 million low-rise complex on the Westlake-City West border.  The Washington-based developer is also in the planning stages for a 24-story apartment tower at the intersection of Spring and Eighth Streets.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LA County Looks to Facilitate Crenshaw Line TODs

3606 West Exposition Boulevard

In an effort to stimulate economic growth in South Los Angeles, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is pushing for the redevelopment of government-owned land near the upcoming Crenshaw light-rail line.

According to a motion submitted by the 2nd District Supervisor, the Los Angeles County Probation Department intends to relocate the operations of its current Crenshaw Area Office at 3606 West Exposition Boulevard.  The dated one-story structure is situated next to to a future transfer station between the Expo and Crenshaw Lines, and thus occupies a critical juncture in the Metro Rail network.

Under plans detailed in the motion, the County intends to partner with Metro in redeveloping the one-and-a-half-acre property as a mixed-use complex with possible residential and commercial components.  The Probation Department's operations would be moved to another county-owned building near the University of Southern California.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Luxury Apartments to Rise in Brentwood

A pair of vacant mid-century residential buildings in Brentwood will soon meet with the wrecking ball, to be replaced by a modern rental development.

Later this month, Elite Real Estate will begin work on a luxury apartment complex at 11965 Montana Avenue.  The five-story development, designed by an in-house architect, would comprise 49 residential units and amenities including a pool and a rooftop deck.  The proposed building would occupy an approximately half-acre site, located mid-block between Bundy Drive and San Vicente Boulevard.

Plans call for a mixture of two- and three-bedroom dwellings, each averaging approximately 1,600 square feet in size.  Rents in the low-rise complex will average $4,750 per month, excluding four units reserved for low-income households.

Demolition of the existing structures at 11965 Montana Avenue is scheduled to begin in one week, with all materials expected to be harvested and reused.  Construction of the new building is expected to occur over one-and-a-half years, with delivery currently scheduled for the third quarter of 2016.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Updated Look for Proposed Arts District Development

1800 E 7th (All images: HansonLA)

Architecture firm HansonLA has revealed an updated look for 1800 East Seventh Street, a proposed mixed-use development in the southern Arts District.

The seven-story complex, which is planned by a limited liability corporation known as Elm Tree Investments, would feature 125 live-work apartments and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.  Proposed amenities include 500 square feet of artist's production space, outdoor gardens on the building's second and roof levels, and two floors of underground parking.

Located at the intersection of Seventh and Decatur Streets, the project is strongly influenced by the Arts District Live/Work Zone, a proposed zoning overlay which seeks to guide the neighborhood's future development.  While the proposed overlay declines to strictly address building aesthetics, it does encourage the construction of live-work units in new most new residential complexes.  Consequently, plans for 1800 East Seventh Street call for a minimum of 150 square feet of work space in each apartment.

An exact timeline for the low-rise complex is currently unclear.  It is one of several developments currently planned along Seventh Street, including the revived AMP Lofts and the adaptive reuse of a factory which once served as the Southern California headquarters of the Ford Motor Company.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shabby Section of Palms Getting Mixed-Use Development

The Roy @ Overland

According to a mitigated negative declaration published by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, an approximately half-acre site in Palms may birth to a new mixed-use development

Plans were filed with the city last December for the Roy @ Overland, a six-story residential-retail complex at 3644-3658 South Overland Avenue.  The project, slated to replace a series of one-story commercial structures, would include 92 residential units, roughly 1,600 square feet of ground-floor restaurant space, and an underground garage with parking accommodations for 105 vehicles and 109 bicycles.

The proposed low-rise building would offer a mixture of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, including eight units reserved for very low income households.  These uses would be supplemented by amenities such as a fitness center and an open-air roof deck.  Additional open space would be created by private balconies in over half of the the apartments.

Designs for the project from Killefer Flammang Architects (KFA) call for strong vertical and horizontal elements.  Like a similar KFA-designed project on Motor Avenue, the Roy's street-fronting facade would open to a central courtyard.  The private gathering space would be situated on the building's second level, offering greenery, outdoor seating and water features.

Construction of the mixed-use development is expected to occur over approximately 18 months, with full occupancy anticipated in 2017.  A groundbreaking for the project is contingent on multiple discretionary approvals from the City of Los Angeles, including two on-menu density bonus incentives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Luxury Apartments Opening in Hancock Park

Last week, Alliance Residential announced the opening of Broadstone Candara, a 103-unit luxury apartment complex in Hancock Park.  The project, located at 738 Wilcox Avenue, is situated close to Larchmont Village, the Wilshire Country Club, Melrose Avenue and Paramount Studios.

Designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style by Santa Monica's DFH Architects, Broadstone Candara is reminiscent of the distinguished residences of Hancock Park.  The complex's Moorish-inspired interior design complements the Spanish-themed exterior architecture with amenities like that of a boutique hotel.

The luxury development includes an wide array of creative-themed common areas, including a residential lounge, outdoor garden and a rooftop terrace.  Design work by H. Hendy Associates features detailed oversized furniture, intricate tile work and dramatic lighting. 

Residential interiors were designed by Ariel Fox, with high-quality finishes such as granite counters, hotel-style fixtures and grained wood floors.  Each unit also offers high-speed internet, electric mesh shades and private storage space.

Broadstone Candara includes a variety of eco-friendly design features, allowing the project to seek LEED Silver Certification.  The development includes studio, one- and two-bedroom dwellings with rents ranging from $2,325 to $5,920 per month.