Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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.

The proposed refurbishment comes at a time when Little Tokyo, like the rest of Downtown Los Angeles, is experiencing a boom in residential construction.  One block northwest of the Terraces, developer Avalon Bay recently completed work on a 280-unit mixed-use complex known as Ava Little Tokyo.  A similar project is also under construction on an adjoining property at the corner of 2nd and San Pedro Streets.

This trend will likely continue in the coming years, as Metro pushes towards completion on a new subway station at the corner of 1st Street and Central Avenue.  The relocated light rail station has prompted Little Tokyo leaders to envision a brighter future for the historic neighborhood, incorporating affordable housing, creative offices and cultural facilities into an environmentally-friendly setting.

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