Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Look for the Vibiana Lofts

The Vibiana Lofts, designed by Nadel Architects

Yesterday, the Weintraub Real Estate Group presented their revised plans for a mixed-use development adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Vibiana at a meeting of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council's Planning and Land Use Committee.  The new plans for the Vibiana Lofts call for a nine-story structure designed by Nadel Architects.  The building will stand a maximum of 123 feet tall, containing 238 apartment units and 3,600 square feet of ground level commercial space.  The apartments would sit above a three-level, 303 stall underground parking garage.  As previously mentioned by the project's former developer, Tom Gilmore, the Vibiana Lofts are intended to be a "unified development," with the Cathedral.  This means that the two projects will share architectural features and a joint plaza to encourage pedestrian activity between the buildings.

Profile of the Vibiana Lofts seen from the south and the west.

A shared courtyard would allow pedestrian circulation between the Cathedral, the Vibiana Lofts and the Little Tokyo Library.

The new iteration of the Vibiana Lofts represents a substantial downsizing from the 41-story tower approved for the site in 2007, which was set to contain 300 residential units above a massive five-floor underground garage.  However, I imagine that many locals will applaud this revision, since a nine-story structure is much closer in scale to the existing buildings within the Historic Core.  With an attractive design and a relatively sane ratio between parking spaces and residential units (1.27:1), there isn't much to complain about here.

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