After four years of construction, tenants have started moving into a new residential high-rise at the base of Bunker Hill and a stone’s throw away from Pershing Square. Last week, Park Fifth officially opened, marking the completion of a major residential project that had been in planning for the past 12 years.
Developed by the San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners, which is also developing Angels Landing a block north, the 24-story building started accepting move-ins last week for its 347 apartments. Located at 427 W. Fifth St., the building sits immediately north of Pershing Square. As of press time, the building is 8.3% leased.
MacFarlane Partners has positioned the residential building as a luxury product, marketing it for that particular demographic.
“We feel this location, this building, is perfectly suited to take advantage of what Downtown Los Angeles offers,” Kevin Roberts, senior vice president for development at MacFarlane Partners, told Los Angeles Downtown News. “It’s at the nexus of Bunker Hill and the Historic Core, knitted together at Pershing Square. With what we’ve designed that’s going to appeal to the luxury market and the luxury renter.”
Roberts said the location is ideal for anyone working in business hubs such as Bunker Hill, the Financial District, or the Arts District. He pointed to the proximity of the Pershing Square Metropolitan Transportation Authority station, which he noted is only 80 feet away.
The project has been in the works for more than a decade. The Park Fifth project was initially broached in 2007 by developer David Houk, with plans for a 76-story high rise. The Los Angeles City Council approved the project in 2008, but the financial crisis and recession halted the development. MacFarlane Partners took over the site in 2014, revamping plans for the smaller, two-building plan that eventually broke ground in 2016 and wrapped this year.
In addition to its proximity to the Metro station, it is also caddy corner to the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Park Fifth is the second phase of the block-encompassing development from MacFarlane Partners. The first, the seven-story Trademark, opened in October. Together, the two buildings offer a combined 660 apartments. The property management firm Greystar operates both buildings. The budget was initially reported as $300 million during construction, although the developer declined to give a final cost.
The apartments at Park Fifth reflect the luxury aspect. They sport floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit washer and dryers, quartz countertops and wood flooring. Studios start at $2,440 for 491 square feet, and $2,995 for a 618-square-foot one-bedroom unit. Prices range, on average, $4.50-$4.90 per square foot.
Architecturally, the building reflects modern design aspects with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and steel walls. Roberts said that the design from Ankrom Moisan Architects reflected consumer demands, and that it would be a mistake to try to replicate the Art Deco aesthetics of nearby structures such as the Title Guarantee Building and Pershing Square Building nearby.
Alex LiMandri, a broker with DTLA Life and an expert on the Downtown residential market, said that Park Fifth’s location is its greatest strength. While most of the new construction has been centered around South Park, there hasn’t been anything like this near Pershing Square, in the very center of Downtown.
LiMandri added that until the Grace and the Griffin apartment buildings opened at Eighth and Spring streets, the only offerings near the Historic Core were historic lofts. Park Fifth offers something new for prospective tenants.
MacFarlane Partners does not appear concerned about competition in the luxury market. Roberts pointed to relatively recent additions such as Circa near the Los Angeles Convention Center and 825 South Hill in South Park, but said in the immediate area around Bunker Hill, Park Fifth stands alone.
That was echoed by Stephen Basham, a managing analyst for the real estate analysis firm CoStar. He said that the project benefits from its location. He added that, on average, the $4.50 per square foot cost at Park Fifth puts the project into the luxury level cost-wise in the Downtown market, but it’s not the highest-priced building in the Central City.
LiMandri said the prices are definitely on the high end, but rates will be coupled with specials and incentives that will likely bring it down to $4 per square foot.
The developer is also counting on its many amenities to attract tenants. The third floor sports a deck as well as a fitness center, lounge and business facility. Other features include a dog walk, courtyard and parking space for bikes. Also, the lobby and lounges feature artwork from Los Angeles-based artists, specifically commissioned by the developer for Park Fifth.
The most notable amenity is its rooftop deck, offering views of the Financial District and Pershing Square, as well as an infinity pool. The building also includes 5,300 square feet of ground floor commercial space. So far no tenants have been signed.
Roberts said that MacFarlane Partners expects it to take a year to lease up to a stabilized level. Basham pointed out that when comparative projects like Circa opened up, they came during a window when roughly 3,000 housing units in Downtown came online, offering more competition. He added that, aside from one tower at the Metropolis mega project near L.A. Live converting to apartments, Park Fifth has an advantage of being the only new project of its nature for some time, before the next wave of projects are completed.