One Hot Market
The 2.5 billion L.A. Live project is one of the biggest underway in Downtown. Its first phase opens next Fall. Photo by Gary Leonard.

While there may be a lot of speculation and uncertainty over the future of the housing market in Los Angeles, in Downtown developers are speeding ahead, doing whatever it takes to get buildings open and filled. Sure, some are hedging their bets - one prominent condominium project, the Axis at Union Station, transitioned to an apartment complex called Mozaic even before it opened - but overall Downtown continues to be a place for investment.

As proof, just consider the 10 new projects in Los Angeles Downtown News' quarterly update of Downtown development. There are major housing efforts from prominent players, such as the $700 million Figueroa Central in South Park and Sonny Astani's development at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue. They come as L.A. Live takes shape, the Ralphs supermarket moves forward in anticipation of a summer 2007 opening and restaurants such as the Industrial District's Royal Claytons debut.

In all Downtown News is tracking 158 projects, from Chinatown to Exposition Park, from City West to the Los Angeles River. It seems that no matter where one looks, construction crews are working in the shadows of cranes and empty lots are giving way to gleaming multi-million dollar (in a couple cases, multi-billion dollar) developments that are bringing thousands of new residents and visitors into the heart of the city.

Here is the latest on what's going on in Downtown. Each entry includes a grid reference to the project's placement on our new, full-color Downtown Development Map. (Some projects are beyond the map's boundary. They are denoted by NA.)


These projects were either announced or garnered public interest in the last four months.

808 S. OLIVE ST.

The New-York based Moinian Group recently acquired a site at 808 S. Olive St. The company, which is also developing the Figueroa Central project in South Park, has preliminary plans to build a residential complex and a boutique hotel. Harry Shahery is a partner in the project. The land is currently a parking lot. C7


Alexandria Housing Partners LLC secured ownership of the Alexandria Hotel at Fifth and Spring Streets in August. The developer, led by San Diego-based Amerland Group, will receive $35 million in tax-exempt bonds to buy and renovate the structure without displacing tenants. They plan to maintain the hotel's residential status and offer 130 units to residents who earn 30%-35% of the area median income - the building currently contains 463 rooms. The 1906 hotel is renowned for its 60-foot-high lobby with marble columns and staircase, and its history. Currently, the developer is in the cleaning stage and is gearing up to start work on the building's roof. Plans call for updating the units by putting in kitchens, modernizing elevators, replacing flooring, installing lights and increasing security in the building. C6


Beverly Hills-based Sonny Astani has announced plans to develop nearly 700 units and 7,200 square feet of retail on a lot at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue. The first stage of construction would deliver a pair of 15-story buildings with a total of 425 units wrapping around an elevated courtyard. The plans call for 245 one-bedroom condominiums, with the remainder being two-bedroom units. The structure would hold 1,115 parking spaces and have retail on the ground floor. The second stage would be a 22-story mid-rise that opens to Olive Street. The 180-unit edifice would feature 40 one-bedroom and 140 two-bedroom condos. It would also have ground-floor retail and three underground parking levels. The final phase would be a 38-story high-rise with 270 units. C7


The New York-based Moinian Group plans two towers for South Park, one 45 stories and the other 33 stories, that will rise near the Anschutz Entertainment Group's $2.5 billion L.A. Live project. The $700 million Figueroa Central will include about 700 lofts, condominiums, townhouses, live-works units and penthouses (among them approximately 150 affordable housing units). The project also calls for 250,000 square feet of retail space that Moinian hopes will attract large "lifestyle" stores as well as a gourmet grocery store and a 40,000-square-foot health club. A boutique hotel option is also on the table for the project at Figueroa and 11th streets (the land is currently a parking lot). Architecture firm RTKL Associates is designing the development, which will include park space and pedestrian paseos. It replaces a previous plan called Figueroa Central - that proposed development by KB Home and Lennar Corp. was taken off the table and AEG sold the land to Moinian Group for $80 million. KB Home is now a partner in the Convention Center hotel. B9


Developer Kim Benjamin is in the early planning stages on an as-yet-unnamed 150,000-square-foot project with more than 175 units on a hill rising over Chinatown and the 110 Freeway at Figueroa Terrace and College Street. No timeline or budget has been revealed. B3


The second Downtown location for Groundwork, the organic coffee and sandwich shop already boasting a popular Arts District space, has been held up at the Higgins Building at Second and Main streets. At 1,100 square feet, including an upstairs mezzanine, the shop will seat 20 to 30 patrons, and some outdoor seating may become available, Groundwork owner Richard Karno has said. The new location will differentiate itself from the Traction Avenue space by focusing less on lunch fare and more on coffee and tea. D5


.Construction is expected to begin in November on the adaptive reuse of Barn Lofts, LLP's 39,000-square-foot brick building at 940 E. Second St. in the Arts District. The company plans to create 40 market-rate condominiums, which they say will be renamed based on the historical use of the property. All the units will be three levels and will range from 1,200 to 2,300 square feet. Underground parking will provide access to the residences, while loading docks will be converted to exterior entrances with balconies. El Segundo-based Rockefeller Partners Architects is handling the designs. F5


Brothers Larry and Ralph Cimmarusti have announced plans for a 31-story condominium tower, named for their grandmother, at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Avenue, where a Burger King they own now stands. Although a construction cost has not yet been determined, they envision creating about 200 units, along with 16,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, potentially including a restaurant. An outdoor deck on the sixth floor would include a pool and possibly a putting green, while a garage would hold 524 parking spaces. The Cimmarustis have met with First District City Councilman Ed Reyes about the project. Although still in the early stages, plans call for the structure to break ground next summer, with an opening in 2009. Archeon Group is handling the designs. C4


Construction has begun on developer 449 South Broadway, LLC's adaptive reuse of the 10-story Metropolitan Building at 315 W. Fifth St. into 84 live-work apartments. El Segundo-based Rockefeller Partners Architects is designing the transformation of the Beaux Arts-style structure into 84 residences on floors three through nine, with three penthouse units on the 10th floor. Units in the Historic Core building will range from approximately 650 to 1,500 square feet. The ground floor will remain a Fallas Parades department store with the storefront being rehabilitated to reflect a more contemporary aesthetic. C6


Construction is underway on a four-story, 45,000-square-foot Italian-style office building at 3720 S. Flower St. near the USC University Park Campus. Frank R. Webb Architects designed the structure originally pegged at $10 million. The building will house a retail branch and a classroom-like financial literacy workshop facility on the ground floor, various USC departments on the second and third floors and the credit union's administrative offices on the fourth floor. The building's design will reflect that of USC, with brick veneer and accent bands, limestone panels and red clay roof tiles. Completion by Del Amo Construction is expected in March. F9



Plans for a 35-story tower that will feature a dramatic, glass curtain resembling a wall of water are still in the permitting stages. If it all goes according to the plan by developer Richard Meruelo of Meruelo Maddux Properties, construction on the two-thirds-of-an-acre site adjacent to the coming Ralphs supermarket will begin in the next few months. Plans calls for the tower to contain 214 units and a 6,800-square-foot ground-floor seafood eatery. Mambo Architecture is designing the $120 million project, and will incorporate a "kelp garden" sculpture, among other elements, in the effort to make the building an aquatic metaphor for the city. Completion is slated for May 2009. NA


Kor Group last year paid $9.2 million for a 150,000-square-foot building at 808 N. Spring St. in Chinatown. The company, which has been behind several major Downtown projects, including the transformation of the Eastern Columbia Building, has filed permits to turn the structure into as many as 123 lofts. The 10-story property is the tallest structure in Chinatown. C2


Developer National City Towers has begun demolition on the 12-story adaptive reuse development in the Historic Core. The 135,000-square-foot project, which has been estimated at $17 million, will include top floor penthouses with a rooftop deck and Jacuzzi. The 93 units will range from 650 to 1,700 square feet and have cement floors. Santa Monica-based architect David Gray is preserving many of the 1924 building's historical attributes, including its elaborate façade and lobby and the first-floor, gold-leaf embossed ceiling. Although construction is expected to finish in October 2007, National City has not yet decided if the units will be for rent or for sale. D7


Amir L., LLC is currently framing walls and starting mechanical and plumbing work in a 16-story building at 1010 Wilshire Blvd. Scheduled for completion in October 2007, the condominium tower - a former SBC office building - will have 227 units, including two levels of penthouses. The units will range from 800 to 1,200 square feet and the penthouses will average 2,000 square feet. Parking, a swimming pool and a recreation area are planned. The façade will be upgraded and the interior will be reworked. Killefer Flammang Architects is designing the project. A7


Construction delays have pushed back the opening of City West's most readily identifiable adaptive reuse project into October. Originally intended as office space when it was built in 1987, the 37-story building - 22 stories of glass-clad triangular tower atop 15 levels of all-but-windowless parking - has been largely vacant. Plans from collaborators Forest City Residential, TMG Partners and Hampton Development call for a combination of one- and two-story condominiums ranging from 660 to 1,980 square feet. The units will start in the mid-$400,000s and top out at $1.9 million. The development cost has been put at $40 million. A7


Crews have been working since January on a 118-unit condominium complex on an L-shaped lot at Second and Hewitt streets. Kim Paperin, managing director of the project for developer Trammell Crow Residential, said construction is proceeding apace and framing will soon begin. The sales center is already open for the loft, one- and two-bedroom units in the four-story Arts District complex that will range from 916 square feet to 1,770 square feet. Other amenities will include floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, a fitness center and spa. Units will start in the $500,000s. Construction should be complete by the end of 2007, Paperin said. E5


Developer Kor Group expects to open its first set of units in the $75 million Barker Block later this year. The plan involves the adaptive reuse of seven industrial structures on a block bounded by Hewitt, Fourth, Molino and Palmetto streets in the Arts District. Kor is working with architecture firm Nakada and Associates to create 279 units that will include large floor plans, mezzanines and gallery areas. The campus will feature an interior courtyard, retail space, a restaurant and a resident walkway. The buildings were originally constructed during different decades and made with varying styles and materials. Buyers will be able to choose from wood, cement or brick units. First floor lofts will open to a raised sidewalk patio. F6


Construction is slated to wrap by the end of the year on the conversion of the former National Biscuit Company factory at 673 S. Mateo St. Developer Linear City is turning the nine-story, 1925 structure into 105 live-work lofts averaging 1,327 square feet. The 160,000-square-foot project will include one- to four-level units and should be ready for occupancy by mid-January, according to Linear City partner Yuval Bar-Zemer. Other touches include hardwood floors, exposed brick, oversized windows and 13- to 30-foot-high ceilings. The project across from Linear City's Toy Factory Lofts will also contain a ground-floor restaurant. Aleks Istanbullu Architects and Don Barany Architects designed the project. NA


While still in the permit and fund-gathering stage, Mark Kreisel, owner of the late Arts District joint Al's Bar, said he hopes to start construction soon on the proposed Bridge Lofts at 120 N. Santa Fe Ave. The project would consist of eight luxury townhouses, ranging from 3,400 to 5,000 square feet. The units would have private entrances, driveways and garages. The one-story building with 27-foot ceilings would be marketed to working artists, Kreisel said. Units will start at $1.8 million. F4


Developers Urban Pacific Builders and West Millennium Homes continue to work on a $24 million conversion of the 12-story Beaux Arts former office building at 530 W. Seventh St. into an 80-unit condominium complex. Mark Tolley of Urban Pacific has said construction on the 1917 building could finish in the fall. Prices will start in the mid-$400,000s for 850-square-foot units, while 2,300-square-foot penthouses featuring private rooftop decks are expected to fetch more than $1 million. Santa Monica-based Donald Barany Architects is handling the redesign of the Jewelry District structure, which will include a fitness center, community rooms and barbecues. C7


With the transformation of the 94-year-old Chapman Building at Broadway and Eighth streets in the Jewelry District, developer Broadway and Eighth Investments is aiming at buyers priced out of the housing market, said company representative Fred Afari. The building's 168 lofts will have nine- or 10-foot ceilings instead of the 12- or 15-footers found in many other projects. It will also offer tiled bathrooms and veneered kitchen cabinets and soak-seekers will splash in a rooftop Jacuzzi. The exterior facelift will retain the building's original decorative façade and its columns, capitals and window trim. Architect Wade Killefer is designing a complete restoration of the building's two-story grand lobby and a lighting consultant will illuminate both street-side faces of the 13-story, 170,000-square-foot structure at night. Total cost of Chapman Lofts, including the 1995 purchase price, will come to $30 million, Afari said. Completion is scheduled for September 2007, and units will start in the low $300,000s and range from 630 to 1,165 square feet. The average top-end unit will go for around $550,000. C7


According to the most recent information, developer Chinatown, LLC, along with J.B. Allen Realty and Equity Residences, plan to build a 2.3-acre, mixed-use project at Broadway and Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard in Chinatown. Plans call for 280 residential units and 20,000 square feet of retail, as well as underground parking. The developers have said they hope to start construction next year. C3


In April the Community Redevelopment Agency approved the construction of condominiums atop an existing strip mall at 530 E. Washington Blvd. just south of the Fashion District. Developer Dennis Needleman plans to build three side-by-side, five-story buildings above the existing structure with 136 one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 880 to 1,800 square feet. The 200,000-square-foot building would also feature a barbecue area, fitness center, pool and an adjacent eight-level parking garage with 444 spots. Yung Kao of Alhambra-based Architech Group is handling the designs. Needleman previously said he hopes to finish the project by November 2007. NA


An 800,000-square-foot, two-tower, $500 million complex by Downtown-based architect Rodmark and developer Robertson Partners is planned for a parking lot at Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard in South Park. The 60-story City House will be classic in style and hold 180 units. Its lobby will feature 47-foot-high arches. The 49-story Olympic will have a more contemporary design and 150 units. Both towers will feature a limestone façade with elaborate architectural detailing, clay-tiled roofs with copper aspects and Beaux Arts elements. The units would start at 1,200 square feet and $700,000, and will have 12-foot ceilings and luxury amenities. C8


Construction is underway at the corner of Figueroa and Ninth streets in South Park, where developer Sonny Astani is building a three-tower, mixed-use project that will add 27,500 square feet of retail to South Park. Astani has said that the first phase of the Concerto will include a 30-story tower and a seven-story loft building with retail on the ground floor; plans call for a second 30-story tower to break ground in 2008. The buildings will wrap around a courtyard that will hold a 2,510-square-foot park. The complex will have market-rate units ranging from 750 to 2,325 square feet. Altogether, it will create 619 condominiums. B8


RTI Properties and Landmark Communities are awaiting entitlements to convert a two-story brick warehouse at 941 E. Second St. in the Arts District. The $13.4 million project will hold 23 for-purchase lofts, possibly including two retail spaces on the ground floor. The units, averaging 1,108 square feet and $700,000, would also include 15 top-level lofts with access to individual private gardens. Plans call for the 33,654-square-foot building to feature a common rooftop garden and barbecue area, exposed brick and a fitness center. The project will be marketed towards the Arts District community. Construction is expected to start this November and take about a year to complete. F5


The turquoise terra cotta landmark in the Historic Core is receiving a $30 million conversion from the Kor Group and will open in the fall with 147 luxury condominiums that are already almost completely sold out. Plans by Killefer Flammang Architects and Kelly Wearstler Interior Design call for open units ranging from 881 to 3,208 square feet, some with 14-foot ceilings and exposed pipes, ducts and thick columns. The building will include a rooftop fitness center, leisure terrace and a pool deck. Crews have spent the last two years gutting and converting the former department store and office building at 849 S. Broadway. Prices start in the low $300,000s, with penthouses, some four stories high, going for well over $1 million. C8


Downtown Properties plans to turn a former hotel at 416 S. Spring St. into 65 condominiums, a third of which have been pre-sold, said project manager Bill Stevenson. Units in the 12-story building will range from 850 to 1,700 square feet and start at $400,000. Each residence will feature a balcony, while penthouses will have private rooftop gardens. Built in 1913, the 12-story structure was originally named the Hotel Stowell. The establishment catered to wealthy businessmen in the early years but later became a low-income hotel. It has been vacant for several decades. The project should be complete by early 2008, Stevenson said. Downtown Properties previously developed the Douglas Building, also in the Historic Core. D6


Portland-based South Group plans to build two luxury condominium towers at 624 W. 12th St. and 1200 S. Figueroa St.; they are currently known as Figueroa South. The 648-condominium project is scheduled to break ground next summer and open in 2009. The design is expected to utilize large amounts of glass and will include energy-efficient elements. The 119,000-square-foot development will also focus on pedestrian life and have ground-floor retail, park space and wide sidewalks. B9


After a 10-month delay, the Kalantari Group is nearing the end of the design phase on a $65 million, 25-story, 192,000-square-foot condominium high-rise at the northeast corner of 11th Street and Grand Avenue in South Park. Plans call for 128 units starting on the sixth floor above 6,000 square feet of retail and four levels of parking, said owner and developer Amir Kalantari. Studio units will start at 850 square feet in the $400,000s, with penthouses topping out at 3,000 square feet and going for $3 million. After an expected early-2007 groundbreaking, the project should take up to two years to complete. Chicago- and Downtown-based DeStefano + Partners is the architect. C8


Los Angeles-based Venice Development recently received entitlements for a 25-story, 250-unit, 250,000-square-foot ground-up condominium tower on Hope Street between 11th Street and Olympic Boulevard in South Park. The project designed by architect Killefer Flammang will include 400 parking spots and 10,000 square feet of retail space, an increased figure pushed by the city, which is looking to reinforce Hope Street's pedestrian-friendly status, said Venice principal Joseph Emrani. Construction is still on track to begin by mid-2007, Emrani said. The project was previously called Hope Towers. B8


Units in the $20 million Library Court are set to open this month. The project, at 630 W. Sixth St. near the Richard J. Riordan Central Library, features 90 condominiums ranging from 570 to 1,185 square feet. With finished walls, granite countertops and checkered windows that vary in translucency, they are intended to provide a Manhattan feel in Downtown Los Angeles, said Walter Eeds, CEO of Newport Beach-based developer Greystone Group. Architect Brenda Levin took the original structure - a 1960s international-style office building - down to the studs and added a top floor, removed material for the interior courtyard and made room for 10,000 square feet of retail space. Six restaurants are currently located on the first floor, including Wolfgang Puck's Gourmet Express and Mitaki Sushi. Units start at $420,000. B7


A groundbreaking is expected in the first quarter of 2007 on developer Linear City's 16-story, 118-condominium project at 673 Mateo St. in the Industrial District. Units will start at 600 square feet and top out at 2,400 square feet. Pricing for the lofts has not yet been determined. The 132,000-square-foot project will include terraced roof gardens and a swimming pool. The development is expected to open by October 2008, said Linear City partner Yuval Bar-Zemer. Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner of Stuttgart, Germany, and Marina del Rey-based Cunningham Group are the architects. The project was previously known as Sky Lofts. NA


Construction is continuing on a five-story condominium complex at 629 Traction Ave. in the Arts District. Michigan-based Pulte Home Corp. has pre-sold 40% of the 190 one- to three-bedroom residences, including some two-story units with floor plans ranging from 662 to 1,801 square feet, said Pulte Vice President of Infill Development Miles Huber. The 235,000-square-foot project will include a fitness center, outdoor fireplace, pool and barbecue area. Togawa Smith Residential is handling the designs. The $80 million project is scheduled to open by spring 2007 with move-ins beginning in early April, Huber said. E5


A late August completion has been pushed back to the end of September for the 13-story property at Sixth Street and Grand Avenue in the Jewelry District. Developer Izek Shomof is spending $11 million to convert the 130,000-square-foot National Building at 609 S. Grand Ave. into 99 loft-style condominiums. Plans by architect Mueller Design call for units ranging from 800 to 1,600 square feet. The former office building was largely vacant, aside from three ground-floor restaurants. It marks Shomof's first Downtown project off Spring Street, where his properties include the 120-unit Premiere Towers and the 35-unit City Lofts. The 1926 structure was originally designed by Parkinson Architects and was known as the Edward, Widley & Dixon Building. C7


According to the most recent information available, the Olive Street Lofts were sold by the CIM Group and the Lee Group to an undisclosed buyer. Work has begun on refurbishing the tower at the southwest corner of 11th and Olive streets. Original plans called for the transformation of a 17-story building into 105 condos at a cost of $35 million. C9


Construction is slated to wrap in October on Long Beach-based Urban Pacific Builders' $18 million conversion of the five-story Irvine Byrne Building into 40 lofts at 249 S. Broadway. This Historic Core structure's brick exterior recently received a paint job. Santa Monica-based Donald Barany Architects is reworking the 1895 Beaux Arts edifice originally designed by Sumner Hunt. Plans call for 658- to 1,248-square-foot units starting in the mid $300,000s; the project will contain 10 penthouses. The renovation included seismic retrofitting. C5


The $80 million conversion of the 1925 Roosevelt Building at Flower and Seventh streets is slated to be complete by spring 2007. In developer Milbank Real Estate Services' project, Killefer Flammang Architects is keeping much of the 16-story building's original attributes, and is creating 223 condominiums ranging from 800 to 2,700 square feet, some with multi-level floor plans. Amenities will include 24-hour valet parking, a concierge, security, a rooftop pool with cabanas and an outdoor fireplace, gourmet kitchens from Bon Tempi in each unit, a fitness center, a business lounge and a wine cellar. Retail space on the ground floor will include an upscale restaurant. The sales center is scheduled to open this month. Units will range from $450,000 to more than $1 million. B7


The Rowan Building at 460 S. Spring St. has already sold out its $200,000 units. Developer Downtown Properties is converting the 1912 building in the heart of the Historic Core into 206 live/work units. The 280,000-square-foot, 13-story structure will offer 500- to 1,400-square-foot condos, including 12th floor and penthouse units with skylights. Some units on lower levels will feature private patios or balconies. Residences still available range from $300,000 to more than $800,000. The development team, which includes Killefer Flammang Architects, is restoring the Beaux Art structure's original terra cotta façade and marble-clad lobby, hallways and stairways. D6


Developer Barry Shy has nearly finished work on SB Grand at 312 W. Fifth St. The Historic Core building has 280 units that are currently for sale, with prices starting at $400,000. Crews are now putting in the roof and spa, and all the units are complete, said Shy. The 12-story structure was once an office building. C6


Barry Shy said that construction is nearly complete on a $26 million conversion of the 548 S. Spring St. building into 184 condominiums with commercial space on the ground floor. The units in the 14-story Historic Core property range from 600 to 1,200 square feet and feature raw concrete floors, exposed steel and high ceilings. Prices start at $400,000. The former office building and high-tech hub will include a pool, spa and gym. D7


After purchasing the 800,000-square-foot Spring Street Plaza site at 600 and 650 W. Spring St. and 111 W. Seventh Street for $75 million, developer Barry Shy said he plans a multi-pronged development that will include 220 units for the 111 W. Seventh St. lot, with prices starting at $300,000. The project will feature a pool, spa and gym. The building is scheduled to open in 10 months and will have ground floor retail. D7


Developer Barry Shy is turning a 122,000-square-foot office building at 215 W. Sixth St. into 198 condominiums. Units are slated to range from 600 to 1,200 square feet and have metallic lacquer cabinets, granite slab countertops and washer and dryers. The building will have a rooftop pool and spa, a fitness center, a screening room and a recreation room, along with about 20,000 square feet of retail. It is scheduled to open in three months, Shy said. C7


Formerly part of the Spring Street Plaza site that Barry Shy purchased for $75 million, SB Spring will turn a 12-story building at 650 S. Spring St. into a 195-condominium complex. Featuring a rooftop pool, a spa and a gym, the building will take about one year to complete and units will start at $400,000. D7


As part of developer Barry Shy's trio of adaptive reuse buildings around Spring and Sixth streets, the structure at 600 S. Spring St. will become the 200-condominium SB Tower. The 19-story project will open in about 18 months, Shy said. Units will start at $400,000. D7


Barry Shy said he plans to build a 35-story structure that will hold 400 for-purchase, live/work units. The building at 601 S. Main St. would rise on what is now a vacant lot. Shy said construction will start in eight months and should take two years. D7


The second phase of Portland-based South Group's South project (the Elleven condominium building is already open), Luma is scheduled for completion in spring 2007. The $80 million project at 11th and Hope streets will create 236 units in a 475,000-square-foot, 19-story tower. The building will offer penthouses, townhouse and one- and two-bedroom layouts, ranging from 750 to 3,500 square feet. The "soft lofts" contain open areas and floor-to-ceiling windows, with refined finishes. Units are still available; prices start in the $400,000s. B9


South Group broke ground on the $160 million, 23-story Evo in March; it is the developer's third building in the South project. The 720,000-square-foot complex at 12th Street and Grand Avenue will offer 311 condominiums averaging 1,100 square feet. The units' interiors are being designed by architect Craig Norman of GBD Architects and will feature modern design elements. The building will include two-story townhouses and five levels of subterranean parking. Completion is scheduled for 2008. Sales have already begun, with prices starting in the $500,000s. C9


Inspections and finishing touches are the only steps remaining and developer Thomas Wong expects the $41-million, 127-condominium senior living development at Third and San Pedro streets in Little Tokyo to be ready by the end of October. Units, which are all pre-sold, will range from 775 to 2,100 square feet, and the six-story, 150,000-square-foot development will have three ground-floor retail tenants to serve the community of seniors. The project will contain one level of underground parking as well as one above ground. Santa Monica-based architecture firm Van Tilburg, Banvard and Soderbergh designed the complex. D5


Developer Sonny Astani has turned the rental project formerly known as Villa Verona into a condominium complex called Vero. The $65 million development at 1234 Wilshire Blvd., across from Good Samaritan Hospital in City West, is set to open in December. Vero will consist of a main six-story building and two separate five-story structures, with a total of 197 units. Retail will line the Wilshire Boulevard side of the main building. Condos will range from one to three bedrooms, and will feature modern design with wood floors and barn-like doors separating the interior spaces. Between the buildings there will be a courtyard with a pool and a fitness center featuring steam rooms and a spa. Prices will start around $350,000. Sales begin Oct. 14. A7


The Kawada Company of America is still in the entitlements stage in the effort to build a 50-story condominium tower with ground-floor retail on a current parking lot at Third and Hill streets. Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill is working on designs, which would have an updated, Asian decor. The development would have a 60,000-square-foot fitness club and 330 for-purchase units averaging 1,040 square feet. Kawada hopes to fill the 8,000-square-foot retail space with an upscale mini-mart and a high-end sports cafe and lounge. The site would have 704 parking spaces. C5


308 E. NINTH ST.

Architect and developer David Lawrence Gray is appealing a Planning Department restriction on eight rooftop penthouses originally planned for the adaptive reuse of the five-story, 73,000-square-foot warehouse at Ninth and Santee streets in the Fashion District. The penthouses, which were to accompany a rooftop garden making a total of 38 apartments, will need to be resolved before construction can begin, said Gray, who also developed the six-unit Tomahawk Lofts at Spring and Main streets. D8


Crews broke ground last November on an apartment high-rise at Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in South Park. Plans by the Houston-based Hanover Company call for a 26-story tower with 156 one- and two-bedroom market-rate apartments averaging 1,061 square feet. RTKL Architects is designing the project that will contain about 7,000 square feet of retail space. Construction on the development, a short walk from the coming L.A. Live complex, is scheduled to finish in early 2008. B8


Bixel Courts, LLP and developer Brad Gluckstein have received zoning approval to build a five-story apartment complex with 82 units on a former parking lot at Fifth and Bixel streets in City West. The project had been called Bixel Street Lofts. Designed in a partnership with Santa Monica-based Aleks Istanbullu Architects, the 76,000-square-foot building would include two townhouses, 14 1,200-square-foot lofts, 13 studios and 28 one- and 25 two-bedroom units. Construction is expected to take between 15 and 18 months. A6


Construction workers are on site and Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Company is moving ahead on plans for Broadstone Los Angeles, a 204-unit, ground-up, luxury apartment complex on a former parking lot at First Street and Beaudry Avenue in City West. Units in the five-story structure will range from 500-square-foot studios to 1,500-square-foot, three-bedroom residences and will rent for $1,275 to $4,125. The project will also include 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and construction is expected to last 14 months. Thomas P. Cox is the architect. B5


The redevelopment of the former Blackstone department store at 901 S. Broadway into 82 loft-style apartments is going ahead after developer Vista Affordable Housing Corp. reached a settlement with contractor Fassberg Construction Co., said Wolfgang Kupka, president of Vista. The delay left the 89-year-old building roughly 55% complete. With additional funding, Vista is now on track to restart construction by the end of the year and aims to open the development as early as next June. The project, 20% of which will be affordable housing, will feature 400- to 1,300-square-foot units over 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. C8


Construction is well underway on a $7.5 million, ground-up, 100% affordable housing complex at 204 Lucas Ave., according to Meta Housing corporate marketing coordinator Nancy Morris. The 21 one-, two- and three-bedroom units in City West will range from 637 to 1,007 square feet. The four-story building with subterranean parking will include a central laundry room, a community room, a barbeque area, a courtyard and limited-access gates. The $7 million development should be complete by February of 2007, Morris said. NA


Developer George Peykar has changed his plans for the Coulter and Mandell Buildings at 500-518 W. Seventh St., and now intends to bring in a ground-floor mall open to Seventh and Olive streets, with shops and a food court. Live-work units in the building, including lofts and a handful of two-bedroom apartments, will range from 1,200 square feet to 2,500 square feet, making them among the largest average rentals in Downtown. Peykar expects construction on the 128,000-square-foot building, which he purchased in 2003 for $8 million, to be complete by the first of the year. He is still determining leasing rates. C7


Construction is proceeding on a $23 million, four-story complex at Lucas Avenue and Emerald Street in City West. The developers are Meta Housing and Century Housing of Culver City. The 98,000-square-foot project will feature 85 units - all of them priced as affordable housing - ranging from 700 to 1,000 square feet, said Meta corporate marketing coordinator Nancy Morris. The project is slated to finish by the end of the year. A5


Construction is scheduled to finish by the beginning of November on a 10-unit, market-rate apartment complex on Fourth Street between Bixel Street and Lucas Avenue in City West. The 10,000-square-foot building by Brentwood-based developer Thomas Safran Associates will feature one-bedroom units ranging from 800 to 1,150 square feet and renting for between $1,800 and $2,400. The project cost has been put at $13.8 million. A6


Construction marches ahead on the first, 201-unit phase of the ground-up City West apartment complex by Wilshire Court Development Partners. The initial phase, comprised of two five-story buildings connected via a pedestrian bridge over Ingraham Street (one building at Bixel and Ingraham streets and a second at Bixel Street and Wilshire Boulevard), will feature studios and one- and two-bedroom units averaging 1,010 square feet. It should be finished by March. A second phase of the complex formerly known as Wilshire Court is still in the planning phase, but may start construction next year, said Clyde Holland of developer Holland Partners. A7


Construction is slated to start by November on a $28 million affordable housing complex at 440 Hartford Ave. near San Lucas and Fourth streets in City West, said Dora Leong Gallo, CEO of nonprofit A Community of Friends. Designed by architect Killefer Flammang, the 54-apartment project will contain mostly three- and four-bedroom units, as well as a Boys & Girls Club. NA


The opening has been bumped back for the six-story, ground-up apartment complex at Second Street and Central Avenue in Little Tokyo. Now, said Gino Canori, project manager for developer the Related Cos., completion is expected in October. It's the second delay for the project, which most recently was scheduled to open in August. Construction costs will remain around $39 million for the project that will include five levels of housing above 12,500 square feet of ground-floor retail. Of the 128 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments slated for the project, 26 are planned as low-income housing. The 108,000-square-foot complex, a joint venture between Related and San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners, will include a fitness center, pool, spa and an illuminated public art installation by Venice-based Susan Narduli. E5


The adaptive reuse of this century-old office building at 424 S. Broadway is 35% complete, said architect and developer David Lawrence Gray. Plans call for 60 apartments averaging 880 square feet in the 10-story, 74,000-square-foot former office building. Gray also designed the Orpheum Lofts on Broadway atop the Orpheum Theatre. The 10-story structure, sometimes known as the Broadway Central Building, had been home to the Sierra Madre Club and held 150 offices and some ground-floor retail. Construction has previously been estimated at $11.5 million. C6


Designs for a 600-unit luxury apartment complex on Sixth Street between Bixel and St. Paul streets in City West are being reconfigured into a mixed-use, 350-unit apartment complex with street-level retail spaces, said Peter Novak, executive vice president for developer GH Palmer Associates. It will include a rooftop swimming pool and will be accessible from the existing Piero complex via a pedestrian bridge over St. Paul Avenue. Construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2007, with occupancies expected in the second quarter of 2008, Novak said. Recently the City Planning Commission ruled that the project needs to include an affordable housing element. A7


Completion of the $20 million adaptive reuse conversion of the 1924 Arcade Building at 541 S. Spring St. has been delayed by problems with a new HVAC system; it should be installed by mid-October, said project and property manager Peterson Go of developer Fifth Street Funding. Leasing of the 140 market-rate apartments in the project - dual 12-story Beaux Arts towers connected by a three-story retail arcade - should follow a month later. With the ground-floor section of the arcade opening onto both Broadway and Spring Street, the building serves an important role as a pedestrian shortcut. The units will be finished with hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. C6


Standard Pacific Corp. announced earlier this month that it has backed out of the 272-unit condominium complex known as Axis. Instead, the development adjacent to Union Station has been taken over by Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. and turned into apartments; the project is now called Mozaic and leasing is underway, with move-ins expected within a month. The project involves two four-story buildings; apartments range from 644 to 1,460 square feet and have condo-like amenities, including granite countertops and washer and dryers. Mozaic has a rooftop pool and gym and rents are $1,400 to $3,000. Standard Pacific quit the project due to slow sales and a softening market in Downtown. More than 40 buyers who had put down deposits for condominiums have been offered refunds. D3


Construction has begun on a $55 million mixed-income housing complex on a former train yard at Second Street and Glendale Boulevard. A partnership between Meta Housing and Essex Property Trust, the project will include 276 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments between 527 and 1,820 square feet, said Meta corporate marketing coordinator Nancy Morris. The five-story building will also hold a computer lab, pool, spa, dog park, fitness center and two levels of underground parking. The property contains the Belmont Tunnel, which runs beneath Bunker Hill. Last year, the city's Cultural Heritage Commission designated the tunnel a Historic-Cultural Monument. Meta Housing said it will keep the tunnel intact, although it will not be open to the public. Completion is scheduled for early 2008. NA


.Crews have begun work on the foundation and a lower parking garage of a ground-up apartment complex at 550 N. Figueroa St. Developer GH Palmer Associates' plans call for 566 luxury apartments atop a podium deck with rents ranging from $1,250 for studios to $1,725 for two-bedroom units. The project is part of the three-phase Orsini at Sunset Boulevard and Figueroa Street. The project is on schedule for a May 2007 opening, said GH Palmer Executive Vice President Peter Novak. B4


Not much has changed in Delson Investment Co.'s plans for a City West project that would include both an adaptive reuse element and the construction of two new towers. If approved, the first part of the three-phase project would involve converting the 10-story Pacific Exchange Building at Third Street and Beaudry Avenue into housing. That would be followed by the construction of a pair of 30-story towers. If completed, the project would boast 850 condominiums and apartments. West Los Angeles-based Nadel Architects had been tapped to design the first phase of the project, but Delson's Michael Delijani said plans have changed; he would not reveal a replacement. The Pacific Exchange Building holds eight levels of parking. A5


Owners Rob and Joseph Frontiera are working on the 10th floor in the $12 million renovation of the 1913 Frontier Hotel at 111 W. Fifth St. in the Historic Core. This round of renovations will add 13 upgraded lofts to the previous 26 lofts on floors 11 and 12, which are already fully occupied. Rents run around $1.50 per square foot. The units feature polished concrete floors and original mahogany moldings. The Frontiera brothers are looking to renovate one floor at a time, market conditions permitting, while maintaining low-income hotel rooms on the levels below. D6


With no visible sign of construction activity, development is apparently on hold for a half-ground-up, half-adaptive reuse project at 1309-1333 E. Sixth St. near Mateo Street in the Industrial District. According to the latest information available, developer Howard Klein was planning to create 63 live-work units and at least two retail spaces by converting a row of abandoned, brick-clad warehouses and constructing three new buildings nearby. Units in the proposed complex were described as ranging from 600 to 1,580 square feet. Klein did not return calls for comment. NA


Construction is moving ahead and is on schedule on the $17 million conversion by Meruelo Maddux Properties of the building at 760 S. Hill St. in the Jewelry District, according to Meruelo Maddux spokesman Michael Bustamante. Designs by Santa Monica-based Killefer Flammang Architects to update the brick and terra cotta structure - once the headquarters of Union Bank and Trust Company - call for 91 loft-style apartments ranging from 700 to 1,900 square feet. Meruelo Maddux acquired the 12-story edifice for $12 million last year from Heisman Co. Construction is still scheduled to finish by early 2007, Bustamante said. C7


Developer Daniel Swartz said construction is halfway complete and the $27 million renovation of the 1930 building originally designed by John and David Parkinson should be ready to lease by January 2007. Crews have completed all the interior demolition and removal of hazardous materials, and are about halfway done with seismic improvements, said Swartz, who purchased the 12-story building which once housed the newspaper La Opinión. The 74 loft-style units will start at 900 square feet and will feature 10- to 14-foot exposed concrete ceilings. Move-ins will begin next March, said Swartz. Architecture firm Killefer Flammang is handling the redesign. C6


West Los Angeles-based developer Meta Housing plans to build a $7.5 million, ground-up, affordable housing complex at 420 Union Drive between Fourth and Sixth streets in City West. The five-story structure will house 21 two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 800 to 1,050 square feet, said corporate marketing coordinator Nancy Morris. It will include on-site laundry, a community room, a computer lab and a barbecue/picnic area. Plans call for construction to wrap by September 2007. NA


After getting the go-ahead from the Community Redevelopment Agency in July, Downtown-based developer Urban Partners hopes for a hearing this month before the Planning Commission for the $135 million, 421-unit project at Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard, according to spokesman Kerman Maddox. Geared toward students attending USC across the street, the massive development just east of the Shrine Auditorium will include 83,000 square feet of ground-floor retail (including a bookstore, coffee shop, fitness center and storage for more than 800 bicycles). Parking has been a contentious issue for the privately financed project, with 800 parking spaces on site and another 400 nearby. If given the green light from the Planning Commission, construction can begin later this year, with a scheduled completion date in fall 2008. F9


Construction has already finished on portions of a $45 million, 297-unit luxury apartment complex at Bixel and Third streets in City West. Peter Novak, executive vice president for developer GH Palmer Associates, said the first 100-unit phase of pre-leasing is already open, while the second phase is being prepared for imminent occupancy. Amenities include an outdoor pool, gourmet kitchens and Italian marble bath vanities. A6


Construction is on track to finish next August on the $20.5 million, 61-unit City West affordable housing project split in half by James M. Wood Boulevard, with buildings at 1322 and 1405, respectively. The 58,000-square-foot development will incorporate 40 two-bedroom units averaging 800 square feet and 21 three-bedroom units averaging 1,259 square feet. The complex will include 1,340 square feet of office and social service space, a 1,740-square-foot community room and a 3,000-square-foot childcare center for more than 30 preschool students. Pasadena-based Ken Kurose Architects is handling the design. NA


Construction is still slated to wrap next year on Advanced Development and Investment's 55-unit, low-income apartment complex at Yale Street between Ord and Alpine streets in Chinatown. Designs by Jubany Architecture and Edwin Mohabir and Partners call for 37 four-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom units surrounding an interior courtyard. Social service, educational and after-school programs will also be available on-site in 10,000 square feet of space. NA



Bridge Residential Advisors is awaiting entitlement approval to convert the four-story BC Plaza office building at 711 N. Broadway in Chinatown into 42 loft-style units. The ground floor will remain retail space. Residential units will range from 575 square feet to 1,400 square feet. The redesign of the $12 million project at the northwest corner of Ord Street and Broadway was being designed by Berry/Keller Architects, but Bridge Residential has opted to go with Canadian-headquartered firm Habitar instead, said Bridge representative Thomas Sullivan. The update will rehabilitate BC Plaza's outdated façade, ground-floor storefronts and central plaza. C3


Developer Related Cos. has completed the master plan for the Block 8 site in Little Tokyo and hopes to break ground on the $250 million project in the first quarter of 2007. The development will consist of four structures, including a high-rise with 240 units and 600 parking spaces for residents and the public; a six-story apartment building with 231 units; and two six-story condominium buildings, creating a total of 270 units. The project will also feature 50,000 square feet of retail with stores and restaurants. A focus of the project is its common areas, which will include two public plazas on Second Street - one at the Los Angeles Street corner and the other at the San Pedro Street corner. Additionally, the grounds will have a pocket park, and a pedestrian pathway and roadway will bisect the block. Thomas P. Cox Architects is designing the project. D5


A groundbreaking has still not been announced for Blossom Plaza, a project proposed for the Chinatown site of the former Little Joe's restaurant (it closed in 1998). The development would rise on six contiguous lots at 900-924 N. Broadway, 215-219 College St. and 901 N. Spring St. Developer Larry Bond, who heads Bond Companies, has said the housing element would be compatible with Chinatown's design; the plan is based on principles found both in historic Chinese city planning and the 1938 plan for New Chinatown of Los Angeles. Once it begins, construction is expected to last about two years, and the project could connect to another mixed-use development, the Capitol Milling Building. C2


According to the most recent information available, Steve Riboli of S&R Partners is planning a mixed-use development in the Capitol Milling Co. building, a 60,000-square-foot structure at 1231 N. Spring St. The project would include 40 apartments with 25,000 square feet of retail. Riboli is working with Larry Bond, who is trying to develop the nearby mixed-use Blossom Plaza, on creating a public space to fuse the two sites. The structure is a former grain mill and silo. The plans are part of the large-scale Riverview Project at the Cornfield, a development on a triangular piece of land stretching from College Street to the Los Angeles River. The four-phase development would use the Capitol Milling Co. building as a southern anchor and include up to 300 residential units in four four-story, ground-up structures. John Deenihan, a principal with Downtown-based Rothenberg Sawasy Architects, has been tapped to handle designs. The Riboli family also owns the San Antonio Winery north of Chinatown. C2


The $1.8 billion mixed-use project to revamp the strip of Grand Avenue atop Bunker Hill is proceeding through the Environmental Impact Report process. Meanwhile, plans for the Civic Center park component of the project are also moving forward. The proposed 16-acre park would flow from the Music Center to City Hall, alongside two county buildings. Public meetings regarding the project have shown strong community interest, with stakeholders asking for everything from a cafe to a dog run. The project, headed by Related Cos. with lead designs from architect Frank Gehry, will start with a $750 million first phase between Second and Olive streets that will include 1.2 million square feet of housing, retail, restaurants and a hotel. Gehry will design two towers, one 50 stories and the other 25 stories, for a site across from his Walt Disney Concert Hall. Two future phases could add 400,000 square feet of retail, 2,600 residential units and a 275-room hotel. Construction is scheduled to begin next year. B5


Crews have completed the removal of hazardous material from inside the old press building and construction is scheduled to start in December on developer Urban Partners' transformation of the former home of the Herald Examiner afternoon newspaper at 11th Street and Broadway in South Park, said Bruce McBride, a development executive with the firm. Plans call for 29,000 square feet of office space and 39,725 square feet of retail in two phases; phase one would send up a 24-story, 260-unit structure on the old press building's footprint. The property's historic elements would remain. The first tower is expected to take 30 months to complete. A 33-story, 330-unit tower would also rise at 120 W. 12th St., but no timetable has been established. Architect Brenda Levin is expected to oversee the rehab of the historic building while Thom Mayne's Morphosis Architects is penciled in to design the new towers. C9


Plans to build two 11-story towers at Fourth and Main streets have been scaled down to two six-story structures, said Saeed Farkhondehpour, president of Medallion. Original plans for the $125 million Medallion included 360 condominiums and 200,000 square feet of retail. Farkhondehpour said the project will now hold 200 rental units averaging 800 square feet, along with ground-level retail. M2A Architects are handling the designs. Farkhondehpour said the goal is to begin construction by the end of the year. The Community Redevelopment Agency and other city departments had previously approved the larger project. D6


Los Angeles-based IDS Real Estate Group bought the Metropolis project - its first development in Downtown - in January. Construction on the 6.3-acre site, currently a surface parking lot, was pushed back from this fall to the first quarter of next year for undisclosed reasons, but if the project moves forward, units could begin selling as soon as 2008. The development would occur in four phases and total 836 units. The first phase would be a 30-story tower on 1.83 acres and would feature high-end condos and ground floor retail. The site would include a seven-level parking structure. The property is bounded by the 110 Freeway, James M. Wood Boulevard and Eighth and Francisco streets in South Park. The $1 billion development, with designs by Gruen Associates and Arquitectonica, would also include a 46-story tower with 388 condominiums and 17,133 square feet of retail; a 55-story tower with 480 hotel rooms and condominiums; and a 42-story office tower with 11,000 square feet of retail. B8


The 780,000-square-foot development on the block between Los Angeles, Maple, Seventh and Eighth streets, which involves the conversion of nine former garment buildings, is in its second phase and has announced new retail tenants: Enerjuicer Café, Asian Café, Fresh Kabob Restaurant, Jerry's Mexican Grill and Subway. Scheduled to open early next year, the current phase includes a 12-story, 95-unit building called the Cornell; a seven-story, 48-unit structure called the Eckardt; and the Santee, an 11-story, 73-unit edifice. In March 2006, move-ins began for the Textile Building at 315 E. Eighth St., which includes 64 live-work units ranging from 650 to 1,575 square feet with prices starting in the low $300,000s. Altogether, the development by Santa Monica-based MJW Investments will include 455 units and a courtyard promenade, recreational facilities, a market and a pharmacy. The 165 apartments in the first phase of the development opened in May 2004. Phoenix Realty Group has joined MJW as a partner in the $92 million second phase of the project. D7


The developers of South Village plan to open the first elements of the new project on a block bounded by Eighth, Ninth, Hope and Flower streets in the middle of next year. CIM Group is overseeing the financing and development of the 50,000-square-foot Ralphs supermarket (now set to debut by August 2007 - it will hold a dry cleaner and a pharmacy) and 10,000 square feet of retail, which will include a Coffee Bean, Quiznos, UPS Store, Robeks and a Coldstone Creamery. Lee Homes is developing the Market Lofts: 267 one- and two-bedroom condominiums that will range from 754 to 1,400 square feet, starting at $400,000. They are expected to come on line in June. Residents will have access to a deck with pool and spa, a social room with a gourmet kitchen, a full gym and a theater. The development on a 7.2-acre plot is estimated at $220 million. The first phase of South Village, the 251-unit Gas Company Lofts, debuted in 2004. B8


Developers Tom Gilmore and Richard Weintraub are working on the retrofitting process to transform the rectory of the former Saint Vibiana's Cathedral into housing and a restaurant. Plans are also underway for a 300-unit, mixed-use project on a lot on the site, which would be a second phase of the development. In November, the $8 million conversion of the 129-year-old edifice was completed, and the venue is now used for shows, concerts and parties, including a recent reception for LACMA. The cathedral was once the headquarters for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, but was closed after suffering damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. D5



Construction is roughly 30% complete on the two-story fire and paramedic station at First and Alameda streets. Completion of the 40,000-square-foot station, which will include a handball court, two bays for firefighting vehicles and a hose tower, is expected by next July. It will replace an aging 11,000-square-foot facility at 800 N. Main St. and will be staffed by 14 firefighters serving Little Tokyo, Chinatown and Olvera Street. It will be connected to an emergency operations center at 500 E. Temple St., which is also under construction. That 82,000-square-foot structure will house police operations and fire dispatch centers, and will replace emergency communication facilities in City Hall East. The total cost of the project is expected to be just under $21 million. GKK Dommer and Fluor/HOK are the architects. E5


MTA officials are surveying the right-of-way along the median of Exposition Boulevard in preparation for a groundbreaking later this year of the $640 million light rail line that will connect the existing Metro Blue Line to Culver City. The line will share two stations with the Blue Line and will add another eight stops. The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority's board of directors recently approved a $420 million design/build contract - funded by the subsequent commitment of state transportation funds. The project is a joint venture of Vista-based FCI Construction, Inc., Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. and Pasadena-based Parsons Corp. Completion is expected by 2010, and a second phase may continue the line to Santa Monica. Last month the MTA board agreed to officially name it the Expo Line, but a color scheme remains on the table. NA


The first phase of construction has been awarded for the $90 million upgrade of the Federal Building at 300 N. Los Angeles St. in the Civic Center, said Mary Filippini, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration. The $16.3 million contract was awarded to Stronghold Engineers, Inc. for seismic work in the basement and first floor. The overall improvements, to be done in three phases, include new fire safety systems, ceilings, energy-efficient lighting, signage, security systems, elevators and the removal of hazardous materials. All of the work will be completed while the building is occupied, so the more than 8,000 employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Bankruptcy Court will not have to leave. Construction will take up to four years. D4


Bidding for the second phase of a 1 million-square-foot courthouse at First Street and Broadway in the Civic Center has been cancelled. Plans had called for the structure to hold 41 courtrooms, 40 judges' chambers and office space for federal agencies. The 3.6-acre site was purchased from the State of California for $2.5 million. The project next to City Hall was budgeted at $314 million. The project could eventually return, though changes are expected if it does. C5


The pair of boring machines tunneling the underground section of Metro's light rail connector to East Los Angeles have completed the first phase of work to the station at First and Soto streets, and will now continue on to First and Lorena streets. The six-mile, $899 million project will extend the Gold Line from Union Station in Chinatown across the 101 Freeway via a reinforced concrete bridge, the pouring of which should begin in coming weeks. Realignment of the First Street sidewalks between the future Alameda Street/First Street station and the First Street Bridge will also start soon. Officials hope for a completion date in late 2009, and they estimate the extension could eventually carry as many as 23,000 riders a day. D4


The County Board of Supervisors has approved plans to renovate the earthquake-damaged Hall of Justice at Temple and Spring streets in the Civic Center. Plans call for spending more than $125 million on fixes and safety upgrades, and Public Works crews have already begun mobilizing to gut the premises in order to make a new modern office building, said John Edmisten, a division chief in the county's Chief Administrative Office. Chutes will be constructed on the north side of the building to remove debris, Edmisten said. The Supervisors decided to break up the approval and construction process over a three-year period. Supervisors must approve each phase of construction separately. C4


The Department of Public Works' Bureau of Engineering is still trying to raise additional funds and negotiate on the single bid from contractor Tudor Saliba on the proposed 11-story, 500,000-square-foot police headquarters at First and Spring streets. Currently the budget for the project stands at $340 million. Negotiations should be finished in the next few months, with construction starting sometime after that, said Sam Tanaka, a Bureau of Engineering program manager. The proposed structure will include police administrative and investigative offices, a Compstat Command Center, a 450-seat auditorium and a 200-seat cafe. Community protests last year prompted the Police Commission to include a public park in the design; now a 130-by-200-foot park-like stretch of grass and trees is planned for Second Street, and there will be an expanded plaza on First Street. Downtown-based DMJM, a firm with experience in designing high-security public buildings, is the architect. Construction was originally scheduled to finish by June 2008. D5


A bill introduced in April by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer to fund restoration of the L.A. River is awaiting study in the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, while an identical bill introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard languishes in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. If the legislation makes it out of committee, out of Congress and off the president's desk untouched, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Act would channel $79 million into restoration of natural water flows, improved flood control and the creation of recreation for the river. NA


Three teams are competing to design the 32-acre lot just east of Chinatown. Long known as the Cornfield, the site was renamed the Los Angeles State Historic Park when the California Parks Department bought the land in 2001. In hopes of sparking public interest, the State Parks Department along with the non-profit State Parks Foundation initiated a competition and invited international designers to compete. Now the 30-plus teams have been whittled down to three: Mia Lehrer + Associates, featuring architect Michael Lehrer, Hargreaves Associates, with architect Michael Maltzan, and Field Operations, joined by architect Thom Mayne. The teams are meeting with community members and a park advisory committee will decide the winner in December, then look for funding. Currently, a 12-acre interim park is being prepared and is scheduled to open this month. NA


Crews are pouring the foundation and erecting basement walls for a 160,000-square-foot, 512-bed detention facility adjacent to Parker Center at Los Angeles and Temple streets, said Eric Long, senior project manager for San Fernando-based Bernards Construction. The $74 million project will include four aboveground levels and one level below, and the center will house female inmates for the first time. Crews have been working on the project for nine months and completion is expected in mid-2008. D4


Work to transform the former Union Pacific Rail Yard just north of Downtown into a state recreational park was delayed earlier this year when crews uncovered a significant amount of lead mixed into a concrete slurry and sequestered underground by rail yard workers. While the leaded concrete poses no health concerns at the site formerly known as Taylor Yard, it forced designers of the 240-acre Cypress Park project to move the foundation of one of the park's structures, said Sean Woods, a State Parks official. Designs remain largely the same, however, and stand to include a multipurpose field with artificial turf, a competition-size soccer field, three junior soccer fields, a baseball field, a softball field, basketball and tennis courts and even a splash pad - with jets of water shooting from the ground to entertain children on hot days. The park will also include administrative offices, an amphitheater, native habitat, green spaces and hiking trails. The park will stretch from San Fernando Road to the Los Angeles River, and could be open as early as the start of next year. The project price has been put at $34 million. NA



Pre-construction work and grading have started on the multi-school campus at the site of the former Ambassador Hotel west of Downtown. Plans call for building an 825-seat school for kindergarten through third-grade students; a 1,400-seat facility for fourth through eighth graders; and a 2,150-seat high school. The campus will include two gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a soccer field and extensive athletic facilities. The upper level of the former Cocoanut Grove nightclub will become a 522-seat auditorium, while the lower level will hold dining facilities and a cafeteria. The 24-acre Wilshire Boulevard site will also have a one-third-acre public park, which will include an art installation relating to the social justice ideals of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in the hotel. The $55 million elementary school is expected to break ground this fall. The $150 million middle and high schools are scheduled to begin construction in summer 2007 and finish two years later. NA


Cathedral High School has begun a $12.5 million expansion that will create a one-acre, 48,000-square-foot gym and science building for the campus' 630 students. Brother John Montgomery, the school's principal, said the project will wrap by June 2007. Long Beach-based Kluger Architects is designing the two-story structure, which will allow students of the all-boys Catholic school to participate in 11 sports. The facility will use split-face concrete blocks and a red tile roof to match the other structures on campus, and will feature several labs, including one for computer design, and a gym with weight facilities, team rooms, lockers and a film room. The school's 1940s gym was torn down to make way for the project. C1


The foundation work is underway and steel is being erected for New High School No. 9 at 450 N. Grand Ave. Although an official "groundbreaking" was held Sept. 9, construction of the 238,000-square-foot campus, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au and HMC, actually began in March. The 1,728-student arts-oriented high school will feature four academies: music, dance, visual arts and performing arts. The school will primarily serve students living in the Belmont High School attendance area, although 500 seats will be open for students from throughout the district, said LAUSD spokeswoman Binti Harvey. The project budget is $208 million and construction is expected to wrap in fall 2008. C4


A topping-off ceremony was held in July and construction is scheduled to wrap by next summer on the $120 million expansion of the Colburn School at 200 S. Grand Ave. Crews have completed the project's 12-story exterior, which will house up to 145 students, and drywall, plumbing fixtures, electrical and air conditioning systems are being installed throughout the project, said Colburn spokeswoman Barbara Vyden. The 326,000-square-foot expansion will hold Colburn's new college-level Conservatory of Music and the expanded community program, and will feature a 200-seat performance venue along with classrooms, a 7,000-square-foot rehearsal hall, 50 practice rooms, a cafeteria and offices. Downtown-based Pfeiffer Partners is the architect. The school is expected to open in fall 2007. C5


A $240 million renovation of the 29-acre community college campus at Washington Boulevard and Grand Avenue is currently focused on upgrading a parking lot and creating a new gymnasium. Construction will begin soon on a driving ramp along Flower Street that will lead to the rooftop lot with 800 spaces for students and staff. Project completion is scheduled for May 2007. The current ramp is being demolished to make way for the college's south campus project, which includes two new academic classroom buildings, an athletic field and subterranean parking. Plans for a new campus gymnasium are awaiting approvals. Additionally, construction on a new child development center is underway and is scheduled to finish next March. Trade-Tech College's current wave of construction is expected to be complete in 2009. NA


There are no current plans for the lot owned by developer Richard Meruelo adjacent to the Southern California Institute of Architecture in the Arts District. The land has been controversial, and though the school once used it as a parking lot, Meruelo later fenced it off when he and SCI-Arc became embroiled in a lawsuit. Earlier this year, the open lot was offered for lease; Magnum Properties, Inc. has the listing for the 25,000-square-foot site. F5


Construction is progressing on the 10-story, 172,000-square-foot Harlyne Norris Cancer Research Tower adjacent to the new Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, said USC spokesman John Weiner. Slated for completion in the middle of 2007, the structure will also be near the 200,000-square-foot Broad Institute for Integrative Biology and Stem Cell Research, which is in the design phase. Groundbreaking is expected in mid-2007 on the facility seeded by $25 million from philanthropist Eli Broad. Together, the three buildings will house more than 100 new researchers focusing on neuroscience, cancer, stem cell and regenerative medicine, as well as diabetes and other diseases. Construction also continues on the Inpatient Tower at USC University Hospital and at the LAC+USC Medical Replacement Facility, both of which should wrap sometime in early 2007. NA


Several major projects are underway on the USC campus near Downtown. Construction is expected to finish soon on the $23 million facelift of Webb Tower, which includes seismic and electrical upgrades. Additionally, work is expected to finish by June 2007 on the second phase of the $57 million Parkside Residential College, a 143,000-square-foot housing center that will hold 440 students. The school is also building 1,100- and 1,200-car parking garages. The Thornton School of Music, a $70 million structure, is scheduled to rise by 2010. Overall, USC has committed nearly $300 million to construction projects on its University Park campus. F9


Construction is 22% complete and on schedule for the 2,600-student campus formerly known as the Belmont Learning Center. The 24-acre plot at First and Beaudry streets in City West will have classrooms serving 2,100 students in three buildings, and a separate 500-seat academy will hold a cafeteria, library, student union and parents' center. The project includes both new construction and reworking buildings that were erected several years ago, before the Learning Complex was stalled by dangers from carcinogens and earthquake faults. The campus is scheduled to open in fall 2008. Construction on the site's second element, a park, is expected to begin later this month and take about one year. However, due to fiscal constraints, the park no longer will feature a lake, fishing pond or outdoor amphitheater, although the latter could be added if funds become available, said LAUSD spokeswoman Binti Harvey. With the earlier construction and delays, the school will cost around $350 million. A5



John Welborne, president of the nonprofit Angels Flight Railway Foundation, said railway officials are working with vendors to replace a modern drive system for the funicular that links Bunker Hill and the Historic Core. The cable railroad system is expected to return to service by the first half of 2007, he said. The two cars, Sinai and Olivet, have been repaired, and last year volunteers and workers cleaned and painted the two stations. The $3.3 million restoration has been funded by a successful campaign that began in 2003. The railway closed after a deadly 2001 accident. C6


A construction crew from Morley Builders is on site and working at the World of Ecology, the latest phase in the 170,000-square-foot expansion of the Exposition Park facility; it is slated to open in 2009. The World of Ecology will create 175 hands-on exhibits including immersive rain forest, kelp forest and desert habitats and ecological workshops; it will also house more than 150 animal species. Additionally, the second of three expansion projects for the Science Center will include an extension of the World of Life exhibit and the Weingart Special Exhibits Gallery. The first phase included the main building, the parking facility and the California Science Center school; the third will house the air and space collection and is expected to open in 2018. The estimated cost of the expansion is nearly $140 million. F10


A three-acre art park on the block bounded by First, Judge John Aiso, Temple and Alameda streets in Little Tokyo is still several years away. There is currently a parking lot on the site, and the project must wait until the new police headquarters parking facility near Vibiana Place is completed; a groundbreaking for that lot is expected next July, said city Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller. He added that formal designs for the art park will not be ready for at least a year. D4


A $4.8 million project at the Department of Recreation and Parks facility at 1410 Colton St. is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and the renovated pool should reopen next summer, said project manager Cathy Santo Domingo. When finished, the heated, indoor pool in City West will feature a new roof, electrical system, locker rooms, bathrooms and showers and be accessible to the disabled. The upgrades are being designed by West L.A.-based Frank R. Webb Architects. NA


Proponents of turning the 1923 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Exposition Park into a state-of-the-art professional football stadium continue to wait as the National Football League ponders its Southern California options. In May, NFL owners elected to spend $10 million to conduct architectural and engineering studies on both the Coliseum and land in Anaheim. A group of league owners visited each site in June, though much of the attention at recent NFL meetings was on selecting a new commissioner. Coliseum proponents have discussed an $800 million plan to turn the 90,000-occupancy venue into a 67,000-seat stadium with improved sight lines and about 180 revenue generating luxury suites, all while preserving the historic peristyle. Under the current plan, the NFL would pay for the entire renovation, and an owner and team would be named in the future. Area officials hope to have the first game in the stadium in 2010. NA


Completion of USC's new arena at Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard in the Figueroa Corridor is slated to finish this fall, just in time for the beginning of volleyball season, said Carol Dougherty, senior associate athletic director at the school. The $89 million, 225,000-square-foot structure on seven acres just west of the 110 Freeway will seat 10,258 for the 130 events it will host each year, including all men's and women's home volleyball and basketball games. The complex will include athletic department offices and three practice gymnasiums as part of its Athletic Pavilion. A garage will accommodate 1,200 parking spaces. The arena is being designed by the Downtown office of architecture firm HNTB. F9


The first phase of the $2.5 billion entertainment complex at Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street just north of Staples Center is set to open next fall, said Michael Roth, spokesman for developer Anschutz Entertainment Group. The project broke ground last year and work is progressing on the 7,100-seat Nokia Theater - the centerpiece of the first phase - and the plaza that will run through the complex. The first phase also includes the 2,400-seat Club Nokia, clubs including the Conga Room, a 15-screen Regal Cineplex, a Grammy museum, retail and other entertainment venues. Plans call for the Olympic East parking garage on the corner of Chick Hearn Court and Figueroa Street to open by the end of the year to accommodate parking for Clippers, Lakers and Kings games. A second phase, which will include the West Coast headquarters for ESPN, is expected to be complete in 2009 and the entire complex will be open by the end of 2010, Roth said. B8


Pre-construction activities are still underway for a $2.5 million renovation of the storied Linda Lea Theater at 251 S. Main St. The start of construction was delayed by Hurricane Katrina, said a spokeswoman for New York-based ImaginAsian Entertainment, which will provide content and management for the theater. Costa Mesa-based Cinema Properties Group is managing the renovation and Culver City-based Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture is handling the redesign. Completion is still expected for next year. D5


The Latino Theater Company hopes to begin a $4 million renovation of the Los Angeles Theatre Center this month, said LTC Interim Manager Lori Zimmerman. The company, which last year was awarded a 20-year contract by the city to operate the LATC, has hired the firm Pankow as the contractor and Cushman & Wakefield as the project manager. John Sergio Fisher is the architect. Plans call for transforming the structure at 514 S. Spring St. into a three-theater complex with new lighting and seats, and creating gallery space for the Latino Museum of History, Art & Culture in the lobby and basement levels. Additionally, a patio would be enclosed and include a cafe. Zimmerman said the company is also still working on a business plan for the complex. The opening may be pushed back from the previously scheduled date of February 2007, she said. Acclaimed local theater troupe Culture Clash will be a resident in the transformed building. Other coming tenants are the American Indian Dance Theater Company, Cedar Grove Productions and the Robey Theatre Company. D6


A plan to update the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park remains on hold, but museum staffers still intend to begin a fundraising campaign to raise the estimated $300 million needed for an expansion. Architect Stephen Holl completed a master plan several years ago. E10


Anschutz Entertainment Group is still in negotiations to redevelop the Variety Arts Center, a five-story 1924 Italian Renaissance-inspired complex at 940 S. Figueroa St., said AEG spokeswoman Cara Vanderhook. The building stands just a few blocks from AEG's $2.5 billion L.A. Live entertainment complex, which broke ground last September. The Variety Arts building - a registered Historic-Cultural Monument - contains a 1,000-seat theater, a smaller theater, a nightclub space, a lounge, a library and offices. It was built in the late 19th century as the headquarters for the Los Angeles Friday Morning Club. B8



ICO Development is close to securing a lease with nightclub developer 213 Ventures to revamp the 98-year-old belowground bar and buffet at 118 E. Sixth St., said Steve Reinstein, a senior vice president at the company. The building operator, PE Lofts, LLC, purchased the bar as part of ICO's $60 million renovation that transformed the defunct structure into the 314-apartment Pacific Electric Lofts; Reinstein said only some details remain to be worked out with Cedd Moses' 213 Ventures, creators of the Broadway Bar and Golden Gopher. If the deal doesn't go through, Reinstein said, other entities are waiting in the wings to take over Cole's, the city's oldest continuously operating bar and restaurant. D7


Hollywood-based Five Five Endeavors' continues work on its transformation of a basement portion of the Spring Arts Tower at 453 S. Spring St. into a bar and lounge. The speakeasy-themed nightspot (patrons will enter through a hidden door) will also make use of a basement vault. The 6,000-square-foot space will be a casual upscale bar and lounge with a 1920s feel and may serve as a private members club. It is named after a former tenant of the 1914 building, the Crocker Citizens National Bank. The club could open by mid-November. C6


Complete with a cigar bar and a smoking room, Dietrichs - named after film star Marlene Dietrich - will have a 1920s speakeasy decor and live music. Designed by architect George Kelly and headed by Hollywood-based Sweet Freedom Development, the 1,300-square-foot, $1.5 million bar at the base of the Hellman Building at Fourth and Main streets is set to open this December. D6


Andrew Meieran has hired designer Thomas Shoos to bring a bit of classic Hollywood nightlife to Downtown with the transformation of a former bank vault in the basement of the Los Angeles Trust and Savings Bank Building at 215 W. Sixth St. The retro bar is awaiting the completion of condo conversions in the building above. The 8,000-square-foot basement will feature white marble floors, walnut wood paneling, polished stainless steel walls and much of the original architecture, including the vault's 38-ton circular door. C7


Downtown-based 213 Ventures is set to open Seven Grand, which it claims will have the largest selection of whiskey this side of the Mississippi, in late October. At 515 W. Seventh St., the $1 million venture will be the biggest bar 213 and its president, Cedd Moses, has created to date (it previously opened the Golden Gopher and the Broadway Bar). The 4,500-square-foot space will offer 16 beers on tap plus a full bar and will feature two patios, two private rooms, live music and a dance floor. C7


The 14,000-square-foot space at 108 W. Second St. is under construction. Andrew Meieran, who is partnering on the venture with Marc Smith, plans to create a 1920s-themed cocktail lounge and music venue in the basement room that once powered the 1910 building. The new bar and lounge will occupy the old boiler room in the Higgins Building. Plans include a free-floating staircase to go along with the industrial accoutrements, which include original boilers with lounges inside, and rows of generators. The Edison name is an homage to the energy decor. The lounge will have a capacity of 400 and is expected to open by the end of October. D5



An updated lobby of the iconic South Park structure at 1150 S. Olive St. should be complete by the end of the year, said Chris Egger, a spokesman for Macy + Associates, Inc., the Venice-based public relations firm representing LBA Realty, which purchased the 32-story high-rise last year for $130 million. The first phase of exterior work - set to clad the dark tiles covering William Periera's original design with a metallic, off-white skin - should be complete by the close of the first quarter of next year. A second phase of the facelift, which architect Andy Gensler called a completion of the spirit of Periera's original intent, would include an enclosed glass crown and may start later in 2007, Egger said. C9


Earlier this year Anschutz Entertainment Group and KB Urban announced a new plan for the 54-story project set to rise as part of the $2.5 billion L.A. Live. The hotel/condo hybrid, whose cost has been estimated at up to $800 million, will feature an 876-room Marriott Marquis and a 124-room Ritz-Carlton (with its own entrance). It will also include 216 luxury condominiums on the upper levels. The Marriott's rooms will comprise the bulk of an L-shaped structure that will give way to the tower containing the higher-end Ritz Carlton rooms and the condos being designed by KB Urban. KB Urban, a division of Los Angeles-based KB Home, pulled out of plans to build a housing complex across the street from L.A. Live at Figueroa and 11th Streets in order to join the project. That site is now being developed by Moinian Group as Figueroa Central. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2010. B8


Work is proceeding on the conversion of the former Embassy Hotel and Theater at 851 S. Grand Ave. and an opening is scheduled for fall 2007, said Kristen Hammer, a spokeswoman for the project. WSA Management and Chetrit Group are turning the nine-story structure into a 175-room boutique hotel. Crews are also restoring the building's 1,800-seat theater. The 1914 edifice designed by Thornton Fitzhugh has served at various points as a church, hotel and a facility for USC, and in 1919 it was home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Stephen B. Jacobs Group is the architect of the conversion. New York-based WSA is behind the Hotel Gansevoort in Manhattan and is also developing a hotel in Miami. C8


Construction continues on the 560,000-square-foot garment industry center at 1444 S. San Pedro St. and an opening is slated for next spring. More than 85% of the 196 spaces and showrooms for wholesalers and manufacturers have been sold at an average price of $800,000, said Alex Chang, a spokesman for developer Los Angeles Fashion Center, LLP. The units average 1,200 square feet. FedEx and UPS facilities, a food court and a bank will round out the development, also known as LA FACE. NA


KI Group and Bridge Capital Development expect to complete the 100,000-square-foot project on the northeast corner of Maple Street and Olympic Boulevard by mid-September, said KI Group's Sina Kangavari. The $10 million Fashion District development will create 120 spaces for retail tenants in a two-building complex. Rents will range from $3,000 to $6,000 per month. The project will include an open portion designed to catch the pedestrian flow off Santee Alley, and Kangavari said it will also contain a food court. Pre-leasing has begun and Kangavari expects the building to be about 80% occupied by the opening. The project will also hold two levels of parking with 160 spaces. D8


Developer KI Group is working on getting entitlements and building permits for the $30 million project at 810 E. Pico Blvd., southeast of the Fashion District's center. Grading has begun and construction is expected to start by early October, said KI Group's Sina Kangavari. The 400,000-square-foot edifice will be the third large wholesale condominium complex in the area; the approximately 200 units, from 800 to 2,000 square feet, will sell for $650,000 to $750,000. Kangavari expects most of the buyers to be Korean businessmen. Architecture firm MAI is handling the designs and plans call for palm trees and landscaping around the project. Completion is expected by March 2008. NA


Phase one of a four-part, $40 million renovation of the hotel at 930 Wilshire Blvd. is complete, and the hotel's Grand Ballroom opened Sept. 2. Phase two, which includes refurbishments of the Los Angeles and Golden State ballrooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting space, is expected to open in 2007. The third phase will include updating the common areas and remodeling the guest rooms. The final phase, will begin in the fall. The four-year overhaul is being designed by Long Beach-based architect Concepts Four, and will also include some structural changes. The renovation was spurred by the development of the L.A. Live project. B7



Church leaders have launched a new plan in the effort to build a project on a 26,000-square-foot lot at Olympic Boulevard and Flower Street in South Park. Rev. Sandie Richards said the church is re-envisioning its space and intends to hold a series of meetings with neighbors and developers. The goal, she said, is to find a partner for the project, which may mean the creation of affordable or market-rate housing in addition to the church's sanctuary, some nonprofit space and a multipurpose room. Richards said church leaders hope to name a partner by next spring. In the meantime, the 151-year-old church continues to hold services on Sunday mornings in a building at 1020 S. Flower St. B8


The new Homeboy Industries headquarters at Alameda and Bruno streets in Chinatown is set for completion next February, a delay from original plans to open this fall. The 20,000-square-foot facility will hold Homeboy's bakery, the Homegirl Cafe and Homegirl Catering, as well as a retail shop for Homeboy gear. The first Homeboy Bakery burned down in 1999. The new cafe will seat 96 people and will have a separate kitchen for its catering component. The building will also include offices, a gang rehabilitation facility and space for the Homeboy silk-screening and maintenance programs, said Norma Gillette, executive assistant at Homeboy. The pioneering gang prevention program is led by Father Gregory Boyle and has long operated in Boyle Heights. C2


Construction on the $40 million expansion of the House Ear Institute began in late February and is slated to wrap by spring of 2007, said Christa Spieth Nuber, director of media relations. The project at Alvarado and Third streets will add a three-story, 30,000-square-foot structure to house offices and the institute's research and education divisions. Perkins + Will is the architect. The Annenberg Foundation donated $10 million for the project. NA


Plans call for a groundbreaking of non-profit Inner-City Arts' new Industrial District facility in early 2007. Architect Michael Maltzan's plans include space for a new theater, ceramics complex, library, resource center, children's community garden and administrative offices. The new theater will enable the facility to offer acting classes for children as well as host performances. Inner-City Arts is still raising funds for the project, and has thus far collected $3 million. Producer Phil Rosenthal and his wife, actress Monica Horan, recently donated $500,000 toward the project. E7


Plans are on hold for a $15 million expansion of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center at 244 S. San Pedro St. Officials said they are still looking for funding for the project, which would include a digital education and learning center, a lecture and reception hall and a 3,000-square-foot community gallery. D5


According to the most recent information available, completion is expected next spring on the $820 million hospital at Marengo and Chicago streets northeast of Downtown. The 750-bed Medical Center Replacement Facility will admit patients starting in fall 2007. The hospital will replace one that was damaged by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The project is being funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Office of Emergency Management and county bond money. NA


With dreams of hosting national karate tournaments in Downtown, Bill Watanabe, executive director of the Little Tokyo Service Center, said that the LTSC is still trying to secure a ground lease and raise funds for the project. The 60,000-square-foot development would sit atop a parking structure on the south side of the former St. Vibiana's Cathedral and would have 3,000 square feet of community space, including room for basketball, volleyball and martial arts. The four-court space would have bleacher seating for 1,500 people. D5


With completion set for spring 2008, the YWCA Job Corps Campus has raised an additional $4 million, including $500,000 from the California Endowment, and is launching a capital campaign. A groundbreaking was held in April for the $52 million, 154,000-square-foot project at Olympic Boulevard and Olive Street. The campus will have 400 dorms for students and an intake center, cafeteria, library, medical and dental centers that will serve 1,200 students annually. Onyx Architects are designing the seven-story steel and glass structure. The development firm South Group has also contributed to the project. C8



Five live-work units are open in this converted four-story warehouse that debuted earlier this year at 726 S. Santa Fe Ave. in the Arts District. Downtown-based Western Imperial 2000 transformed the 1904 building into 22 lofts and six commercial spaces ranging from 700 to 1,700 square feet. Rents begin at $1,200 and run up to $2,900. NA


A staff of 174 has moved into the $80 million headquarters of this nonprofit healthcare foundation since its grand opening in April. The four-story, 201,140-square-foot building stands on a 6.5-acre campus at Main and Alameda streets near Union Station; it also houses the Center for Nonprofit Management and Community Partners on the building's second floor. The development, which includes research facilities, meeting spaces and a courtyard, was designed by architecture firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios. The California Endowment had been based in the western San Fernando Valley. D3


The 150,000-square-foot campus at 3500 S. Hill St. near Exposition Park opened its doors to 1,500 students earlier this month. The school includes 65,000 square feet of parking and landscaping, as well as a library and lecture space. The school, designed by Culver City-based Steven Ehrlich Architects, cost $94 million and has 64 classrooms. NA


A few units remain in the $15 million adaptive reuse of the building at 330 W. 11th St. into 66 condominiums. The conversion, which was completed earlier this year and was designed by Santa Monica-based architecture firm Killefer Flammang, added three floors to the 82-year-old former warehouse and home of the UCLA extension program. Units range from 1,151 to 2,325 square feet. C9


The restaurant at 1037 S. Flower St. near Staples Center opened July 17 and is now serving lunch and dinner, said Bernadette Leiweke, one of the owners. She added that breakfast service could begin this month. The indoor/outdoor establishment serving American cuisine utilizes the front portion of a one-story, Mission-style building, behind which crews constructed an 8,000-square-foot addition that holds a 200-seat dining room. The other partners in the South Park project are Camacho's, a Downtown-based entity that owns several Mexican restaurants, and chef Fred Eric, who also recently opened Tiara Cafe in the Fashion District. Liberty Grill is now in the soft opening phase and a grand opening is being planned for early October. B8


In June developer Forest City held the grand opening for the Met Lofts, a 264-unit apartment complex at 1050 S. Flower St. in South Park. The $60 million development, in a U-shape over eight floors, includes three levels dedicated to pet owners. Johnson Fain designed the building. Rents in the loft-style units start at about $1,700 for a 687-square-foot studio and run up to $4,700 for a top-floor penthouse. There is a 20% affordable housing element, with prices starting at $582. The project holds a gym and an outdoor pool, while in-unit features include wood laminate floors and granite countertops. The building is 77% leased. B8


The Contreras Learning Complex opened Sept. 5 with an enrollment of close to 1,500 students. The $160 million, 258,000-square-foot facility on both sides of Third Street (they are connected by a pedestrian bridge) in City West will be able to accommodate 1,713 students. Construction is complete except for the athletic facilities, which will hold football, soccer, track and field events and baseball and softball fields; they are scheduled for completion later this year. The campus' 72 classrooms wrap around a courtyard that has been landscaped to complement the adjacent learning spaces. The project was designed by Chinatown-based firm Johnson Fain. The school is named after late union leader Miguel Contreras. A6


Developer Venice Investments received the certificate of occupancy two months ago on this $50 million adaptive reuse of the 1914 building at Hope Street and Olympic Boulevard, and the apartment complex is now 60% occupied, said Venice Investments principal Joseph Emrani. The 116 lofts and townhome-style penthouses in the 250,000-square-foot building - once Downtown's premiere Packard automobile dealership - range from 750 to 2,000 square feet. The project includes 25,000 square feet of retail space. B8


The complex that opened in March is now about 70% leased, said Sina Kangavari of developer KI Group. The two-story building at 732-744 E. Pico Blvd., southeast of the Fashion District's bustling core, contains 82 spaces that are being marketed to retailers and wholesalers. The newest tenants include Shinhan Bank, a Korean institution that took a unit on the second level. The project holds a courtyard that features a fountain and palm trees. NA


In April the first residents moved into the adaptive reuse of the former Federal Reserve Building at 409 W. Olympic Blvd. in South Park. The building's 78 loft-style apartments are now 50% occupied, said Andre Gerasimov, the building's property manager. Rents range from $1,550 to $6,695 a month, although everything under $2,295 is currently leased, Gerasimov said. Developed by Maz and Michael Gilardian of 409 LLC, the building's units range from 1,000-square-foot lofts to 5,000-square-foot penthouses. The Gilardians bought the historic 1930 property for $3 million in 1994, and spent $13 million transforming the structure, which features underground parking in a space once dedicated to armored cars. C8


Royal Claytons restaurant and bar, on the ground floor of the Toy Factory Lofts at 1855 E. Industrial St., celebrated its grand opening in August. The 2,916-square-foot restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and transforms into a bar and lounge at night. The space, designed by architect George Kelly, has an English tavern theme (it also has a pool table). Outdoor dining is expected to open in the next month. Sweet Freedom Development headed the project. NA


The 303-condominium, ground-up development Savoy is now almost fully occupied, according to a spokesperson for owner Intracorp Los Angeles. Intracorp purchased the project at First and Alameda streets at the edge of the Arts District - then called the Alexan Savoy - from Trammell Crow Residential early this year for $114 million before completing the finishing touches. The structure is the first major development to open in a slew of Arts District ground-up residential complexes. Amenities include a sports cafe, library, screening room, fitness center and business center. Prices started in the $400,000s and two-level units began in the $500,000s. E5


Residents of the 132-condominium project at 801 S. Grand Ave. in South Park began moving into the units in May. Lee Homes and CIM Group transformed floors 12 through 22 in the Class A office building into one- and two-bedroom live-work units averaging 1,400 square feet. A new residential entrance has been added to the building's west side. The development features a fitness center and theater, and a collection of architectural photographs by Julius Shulman; the lower floors continue to house office space. Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderburg was the architect. C7


Elleven, the first building in the South Group's development of the South Park area, opened this year and residents have already moved in. The 13-story, 400,000-square-foot condominium tower at 11th Street and Grand Avenue has 176 units that range from 850 to 2,800 square feet. The $65 million building is one of the first ground-up structures to open in South Park. A Starbucks coffee house is scheduled to open soon on the ground floor. South Group has four other South Park towers in the pipeline. C9


Work finished in August on the $40 million, five-story, 330,000-square-foot student residential center at 3670 S. Figueroa St. near USC. The complex is already housing more than 500 USC students in 120 one- to four-bedroom apartments averaging 1,066 square feet and renting for $600 per student per month. It boasts 15,000 square feet of retail space split among five tenants: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Coldstone Creamery, Robeks fruit smoothies and a Quiznos sandwich shop. The amenities include a swimming pool, two spas, a fitness room and a roof deck. The complex also holds the corporate offices of owner/operator Conquest Student Housing. Clark & Hedrick Architects designed the project, whose opening was delayed by a month due to heavy rains. F9


The eight-story, $134 million, 167-bed Patient Care Tower that was finished in April is only the first stage of redevelopment for this Boyle Heights facility. By 2008, retrofitting and remodeling should be complete on an adjacent cancer center and pediatric intensive care units. The updated complex now has 365 beds, 10 labor and delivery rooms, upgraded patient care rooms and specialized surgical suites. The hospital handles some 104,000 inpatient and 61,000 outpatient cases per year. NA

page 15, 9/18/2006

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