Sunday, January 19, 2014

Emerson College Quietly Opens, Sunset Gordon Tops Out

After years of anticipation, Emerson College quietly opened its new Los Angeles campus to 130 students earlier this week.  The 10-story structure, designed by LA-based Morphosis Architects, contains classroom space, meeting rooms, outdoor performance space and living accommodations for up to 200 students.  A ground floor restaurant known as the Emerson Kitchen features a 40% vegetarian menu and greets Sunset Boulevard with patio dining space.  The outdoor seating was well patronized this past Saturday (see below), and will provide a nice shot in the arm for foot traffic along Sunset in years to come.  The LEED Gold certified building will hold its official grand opening ceremony on March 8th.

Just across the street, CIM Group's mixed-use Sunset Gordon Tower is now topped out.  The 23-story edifice, designed by Portland's GBD Architects, will contain 300 apartments, 40,000 square feet of office space, and 13,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.  Earlier plans also called for a public park to be built in conjunction with the project, but that space will instead give way for a parking garage (sigh).  Sunset Gordon has unfortunately fallen ill with a severe case of value engineering, as the building's facade bears little resemblance to what was portrayed in architectural renderings.  The project, which has long been a target of Hollywood NIMBYs, is currently facing an appeal from the notoriously litigious La Mirada Neighborhood Association.

Other projects currently under construction nearby include Kilroy Realty's redesigned Columbia Square development and the Camden Hollywood.  Plans are also in the works for a 17-story office building from Hudson Pacific Properties and a pair of 28-story towers from Crescent Heights.

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