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.

Two blocks south, a joint venture between AECOM and Mack Urban is preparing to begin work on a low-rise development known as the Project at Pico.  The residential-retail complex, designed by AC Martin Partners, will rise upon two current parking lots bounded by Pico Boulevard, Olive and Hill Streets.  Plans call for a pair of seven-story structures, creating a cumulative 362 condominiums and 6,400 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.  The buildings will include a wide array of amenities, including a swimming pool, a fitness center and a 382-car underground parking garage.

The Project at Pico is merely the first stage of a larger development program from the AECOM-Mack Urban team, which paid $80 million for six acres of South Park real estate in late 2013.  Additional parking lots directly across the street from the AT&T Center are expected to give way for larger condominium towers by the third quarter of 2015.  Later phases would encompass two development sites located along Eleventh Street, bringing the project's overall valuation to $750 million.

Both developments seek to fill a void in the Downtown Los Angeles residential market, which features an abundance of rental units but a limited supply of for-sale housing.  Only 68 new condominiums came onto the market during the past calendar year, comprised entirely by the second phase of the Arts District's Barker Block development.  The only for-sale project currently under construction in Downtown is the first phase of Metropolis, which will feature more than 300 residential units in 38-story tower near the LA Live complex.


  1. Excellent! I wasn't expecting 1050 grand to start this year so it's a nice bonus! Now to get 1200 fig going!

    1. I still think sometime in January or February is more likely, given where they are with permits. That also falls in line with the most recent coverage from the Downtown News.

      Maybe they're going to have a groundbreaking ceremony in December, with actual work to start later.

  2. How much does it cost to build a building of the quality of the glass tower? Just doing quick math, a $100M building with 151 units works out to a unit price of about $600K per unit which allows me to guestimate that the building costs is in the $400-$500 range -- but Im not sure if that's right.

    1. Hard to say. Material costs can fluctuate quite a bit during the construction process, driving up the overall budget.