DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Grand Avenue project developer Related Companies has secured financing to build its planned $100 million apartment tower south of the Broad museum site.
The deal, which includes equity financing from the State Teachers Association of Ohio and a construction loan from Citibank, means there could be a groundbreaking as soon as November, said Bill Witte, president of Related California.
The timing is crucial because Related’s contract with the city and county joint powers authority that controls the land demands that the 271-unit apartment project start by October.
While that deadline comes one month before the expected groundbreaking, the securing of financing will likely give Related a few months grace period to start work.
The 19-story building was first proposed last year as a scaled-back version of the two 35-story towers that were originally approved for the site, which is known as parcel M. Currently used as a staging area for the Broad museum project, the plot south of Gen. Thaddeus Kociuscko Way is one of four parcels that comprise the Grand Avenue project.
The tower will be 20% affordable, with 54 units reserved for low-income residents. The affordable component will be funded in part by the $7.7 million that Eli Broad paid for the right to lease the land where he is building his $100 museum.
Miami-based Arquitectonica, which has a Los Angeles office, won a private bidding contest to design the building. Initial renderings feature a façade with a pre-cast concrete matrix that frames mostly square windows with loose, irregular lines. Some of the squares on the upper floors stretch off the top of the structure, leading to a visual effect of framing nothing but sky. It clearly references the Broad museum design by the New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Plans for the rest of the Grand Avenue project are uncertain. Related has a separate February deadline to break ground on what is known as parcel Q, the site across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall. That is where the firm originally dreamed up a $1 billion mixed-use complex with two Frank Gehry-designed towers, a luxury hotel and a massive shopping complex.
Witte said the firm will soon begin discussions with Grand Avenue project stakeholders about potential development alternatives for the site, though he declined to discuss concepts that Related may be considering.
“We don’t intend to show up in February and ask for an extension without spending time talking to people about what our thoughts are,” he said.
Completion of the parcel M tower, he said, is slated for late 2014.
Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.