Development Watch: the Latest Downtown Real Estate Action

Developer Palisades Capital Partners plans to turn the former Metropolitan Water District site at 1111 Sunset Blvd. into a mixed-use complex with a hotel and two residential towers.

DTLA - Figueroa Hotel Project Approved: A massive project near the Los Angeles Convention Center is one step closer to breaking ground. On May 18, the City Council approved developer Lightstone’s proposed Fig+Pico. The project at 1300 S. Figueroa St. would create two towers holding a total of 1,130 hotel rooms split among three brands. A 42-story building would house a 410-room AC Hotel and a 410-room Moxy Hotel. The second structure, rising 25 stories, would have a Hilton Garden Inn Hotel with 310 rooms. Downtown-based Gensler is designing the project, which would have 16,500 square feet of digital signage wrapped around the base. Last year the City Council approved a deal that allows the developer to keep $64.7 million in transient occupancy tax over the course of 25 years. Lightstone previously indicated it intends to break ground by the end of this year and open in 2020. 

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South Park High-Life, Part One: Developer City Century has revealed new information for a South Park project. Documents filed with the Department of City Planning detail plans for a development dubbed Arris, at 1201 S. Olive St., that would rise up to 40 stories and hold 312 residential units, more than the 250 originally announced. It would also have 7,100 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. It is City Century’s third proposed Downtown project, following the Vara and Olympia. The company is a subsidiary of the Chinese firm Shenglong Group. The news was first reported by the website

South Park High-Life, Part Two: Another high-rise could go up near the City Century project, at 12th and Hill streets. Last month, plans were filed with the Department of City Planning for a 52-story condominium tower at 1111 S. Hill St. The applicant is listed as developer Lapchih Fan. Details are slim, but the tower would hold 528 condominiums and an unspecified amount of ground-floor retail. The site houses a two-story industrial building that would be demolished. No budget or timeline have been disclosed. 

Sunset Vision: Early this year, Palisades Capital Partners made headlines with plans to redevelop the former Metropolitan Water District headquarters at 1111 Sunset Blvd. New information in an initial environmental study filed with the Department of City Planning reveals more details about plans for the complex that was originally designed by architect William Pereira. The documents details Palisades’ intent to raze currently empty MWD buildings and construct four new buildings. The project would create up to 778 residential units (with up to 76 set aside as affordable housing), mostly in 49- and 31-story towers. Residential units would also be in a series of low-rise buildings. Additionally, the project would have 48,000 square feet of office space and 95,000 square feet of commercial space. A fourth building would hold 98 hotel rooms. The 1111 Sunset development would have a total of 1,631 parking spaces in a seven-level podium. Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is designing the project, working with Natoma Architects. Kengo Kuma is handling designs for the hotel. Palisades acquired the property in 2015. Another structure on the site, the Elysian apartment building, would not be affected. The developer intends to finish construction in 2028.

Arts District Overhaul: Another initial study is out, this one for the Onni Group’s planned Arts District project. The prolific Vancouver-based developer plans to transform a site at Violet Street and Seventh Place into a mixed-use complex. Onni wants to create 347 live/work units, 188,000 square feet of office space and 22,000 square feet of commercial space at 2143 Violet St. The new elements would be in a 15-story building. Designs by Arno Matis Architecture show a structure with staggered levels, allowing for large balconies. Two of the seven buildings on the site would be removed. The remaining five buildings would have 57,000 square feet of space for retail, office, live/work and restaurant purposes. According to the study, Onni intends to start construction in 2020 and wrap in two years. No budget has been announced.

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2018