Downtown Los Angeles is moving towards a historic renovation!
Over the next 12 months, Downtown Los Angeles will be the center for building openings, groundbreakings to buildings construction and development milestones. In every district, from South Park to the Historic Core to the Arts District and others, area stakeholders will be celebrating the added value to their downtown properties.
Just 10 years ago lofts were islands of sophisticated living surrounded by urban decay, this year it is about to change forever.
New condominiums and New Lofts have been a rare thing in recent years in Downtown, as developers have tended to open their buildings as rentals. However, plans to begin selling New Loft units begin at end of January. Many in Downtown are watching the new projects closely, and if the prices go high enough, other under-construction rental buildings could flip to for-sale status.
Below is a list of the most important projects of 2014 that will change Downtown Los Angeles into a great city that it once was, permanently restoring the Downtown to a center that will rival New York, San Francisco, Chicago and other great cities of North America.
The Broad: Philanthropist Eli Broad’s $140 million art museum may be the most anticipated and important Downtown cultural project since the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. Rising directly across from Disney Hall, opens in late 2014, though no specific date has been revealed. The striking structure, which will have free admission and 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, and is expected to create a new tourist boom, drawing thousands of local, national and international visitors to Grand Avenue.
Ace Hotel: Everyone in Downtown is looking forward to Jan. 6, as that is the day that the uber-hip Ace Hotel will open and expected to instantly be a new anchor for the southern end of Broadway. The Ace Hotel will join with the recently opened retail arrivals Urban Outfitters and Acne Studios, and provide customers for area restaurants Les Noces du Figaro and Umami Burger. This project will give new life to the 1927 theater; it will include a 1,600-capacity performance space that will be christened on Valentine’s Day with a show by the English band Spiritualized.
One Santa Fe: The Arts District will forever be changed, and will be much more crowded, on the late summer or fall day that the $160 million One Sante Fe opens. One Santa Fe is a 438-unit project with nearly 80,000 square feet of retail and commercial space to market. The development, just east of SCI-Arc, will also have a 47,0000-square-foot plaza and more than 800 underground parking stalls. This retail area is set to draw people and create a lively shopping center that will bring national attention.
Wilshire Grand Replacement: The replacement for the hotel on the northwest corner of Seventh and Figueroa streets won’t open for years, but on Feb. 15-16 it will be the site of what its developers claim will be the biggest cement pour in history. For more than 20 hours, 2,100 trucks will pour 21,600 cubic yards of cement into the pit, completing an 18-foot thick foundation. The development team for the $1.1 billion project spent 13 months razing the old edifice and excavating the site in preparation for the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The 900-room, 73-story hotel/office tower being developed by Korean Air, a subsidiary of Hanjin International, is scheduled to be complete in 2016. Local firm AC Martin is Korean Air’s partner on the project.
Grand Avenue Plan: Grand Avenue project is developed by Related Cos. and designed by architect Frank Gehry, containing two towers and a plaza across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Early plans call for an approximately 300-room hotel (Related is in talks with boutique chain SLS) and a 380-450 unit residential tower. Meanwhile, Related’s 19-story apartment tower south of The Broad art museum topped out in December; the building will offer 271 apartments and is slated for a late 2014 opening.
Los Angeles State Historic Park: The Downtown Los Angeles State Historic Park will close in mid-February for renovations that will last a full year. The shutdown is necessary because the approximately $20 million plan calls for simultaneous excavation and construction across the property in order to save time and resources. When completed, the 32-acre facility will have restrooms, an amphitheater, parking lots and seasonal wetlands.
1111 Sunset: Developer Linear City is wrapping up its conversion of the former Metropolitan Water District headquarters at 1111 Sunset Blvd. and should be ready for move-ins by February. Linear City paid $6.8 million for the seven-story edifice originally built in 1973 and designed by William Pereira. The project will offer 92 apartments ranging from 800-1,000 square feet. Each unit will have a balcony.
Marriott Tower: The $172 million Marriott Tower in South Park is scheduled to open in July. It will instantly strengthen Downtown’s tourism scene, with a 174-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 218-room Residence Inn in a 23-story building just north of the Ritz-Carlton/J.W. Marriott.
The Bloc: In the first quarter of the year, the developer Wayne Ratkovich embarks on a $160 million renovation of Macy’s Plaza. The transformation of the tired shopping center/office/hotel complex fronting Seventh Street in the Financial District is slated for completion in late 2015. The project will transform the brick fortress into a plaza with 400,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Plans also call for 750,000 square feet of office space and a $40 million renovation of the Sheraton Hotel.
Jia Apartments: Chinatown is getting a massive mixed-use addition in the form of Jia Apartments. The $92 million, six-story project from developer Equity Residential is set to begin move-ins on Jan. 27, according to Jia’s leasing office. The complex at will offer 280 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residences, along with 18,000 square feet of retail. The design by Thomas P. Cox Architects will offer 17-foot-wide sidewalks and a pedestrian plaza. It also will create a major new southern entrance to Chinatown and provide hundreds of customers for area restaurants and businesses.
Eighth and Grand and Whole Foods: Work has already began on this massive 700-apartment complex. Construction will rise above street level this year as the developer moves toward its anticipated opening date in 2015. This project will include a Whole Foods that will be a 42,000-square-foot supermarket. Other high end retail and commercial tenants in the project is expected be announced this year.
950 Third Street: Development is set on track to break ground this spring on 472 units in three buildings next to the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Dilip Bhavnani, a managing member of Legendary, said the development on the six-acre site at 950 E. Third St. in the Arts District already has city entitlements and would be comprised of five- to six-story structures. Once it starts, construction would take about three years, with a first phase of 248 units.
Blossom Plaza: Chinatown developer Forest City Residential West moves forward on the $95 million Blossom Plaza. The complex will feature 240 apartments (both market rate and affordable), 20,000 square feet of retail and an expansive plaza that will connect pedestrians from Broadway to the Metro Gold Line. Blossom Plaza is slated to open in 2015.
G12: The South Park boom continues as ground breaks early this year on a $245 million mixed-use project. The project, a three-acre site at 12th Street and Grand Avenue , dubbed G12, should take two years to build; it will have 640 residential units along with 40,000 square feet of retail space, a screening room and two pools. Plans also call for 740 bike parking spaces, yet only 595 slots for cars.
Mack Urban Project: In South Park this year, developer Mack Urban moves forward on a mega-plan to build a network of 1,500 residential units in buildings connected by green space and pedestrian plazas. Construction on the initial phase of the approximately $1 billion project could begin late in the year if the city approval process goes smoothly. In October Mack Urban — a new partnership that includes longtime Downtown developer Urban Partners — announced that it had purchased up six acres of prime land for more than $80 million.
Medallion 2.0: In the Historic Core the project is Farkhondehpour’s attempt to activate some underutilized retail space that never got filled when the mixed-use complex at Fourth and Main streets debuted in 2010. Now Farkhondehpour is moving toward community-serving uses — among them Big Mista’s Barbecue — instead of Toy District tenants. This year, Farkhondehpour is expected to refine his plans for a new round of building on the site — possibly creating another 400 residential units and a parking structure. Farkhondehpour is expected to break ground by 2015.
Avant: One of the biggest projects in South Park scheduled to open this year is the Avant Apartments. The first phase of the complex at 1360 S. Figueroa St. is slated for a February debut and will offer 247 units. The adjacent 193-unit second phase (at 1420 S. Figueroa St.) began construction in late April and could wrap up by the fourth quarter of 2014. The buildings offer residential units above 11,000 square feet of combined retail space. They will also establish a new residences across from the Convention Center.
Eighth and Hope Apartments: A 22-story tower is rising at Eighth and Hope streets in South Park. A 290-unit edifice, which is slated for completion by the end of the year. The apartment complex will feature a pool deck, a six-floor garage and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Lotus Garden: The $24 million development from Affirmed Housing, which is slated for a first-quarter opening, has 60 units with studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom layouts. It will serve tenants making 30%-60% of the Los Angeles County median income. One of the coolest things about the project is its automated parking structure. Known as the Carmatrix, the 17-stall machine lifts cars vertically and moves them horizontally, creating a space-saving, stacking effect.
Blue Line Getting a Massive Speed and Safety Overhaul: Metro announced on January 8th that they’ll spend $1.2 Billion on updates to the 23 year old blue line over the next 6 years. The new work should help cut down on delays for the 90,000 commuters who ride the LA to Long Beach train everyday. It includes new power stations, power lines, tracks and refurbished train cars. The 22 stations will get renovated with new canopies and fresh paint. Also, part of the funding will include new cameras, cops, and safety signs.
$500 Million to help curb homelessness and poverty: While not a not of swank or tangible improvement, this is a matter that lies close to my heart. Since the early 20th century Downtown Los Angeles has a large homeless population. As any resident of downtown will tell you it comes with the territory. While nobody would want this problem to be dealt with in a heartless way, it is a matter that needs to be dealt with. As development has boomed in Downtown Los Angeles Homelessness has been pushed into smaller and smaller areas. The reason the homeless population stays in the Skid Row area, quite possibly could be that there are no alternative. Earlier this week The Whitehouse announced to pledge $500 Million to pull the homeless population out of downtown Los Angeles. This will create services and housing in the areas of Pico-Union, Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood, and Hollywood. This is GREAT news. The homeless population will be drawn out of the Downtown area with dignity and respect, and efforts to end Downtown Los Angeles as a center of homelessness will end for the first time in almost 100 year.
The #1 buyer’s agent team in Downtown Los Angeles often gets exclusive access to new construction loft buildings well before other agents and their clients are able to get in. New lofts are coming to Downtown Los Angeles. Take advantage of this rare opportunity by registering for the New Loft Mailing List below:
Corey Chambers, REALTOR® (213) 478-0499 Mobile
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The #1 Downtown buyer’s agent, Corey Chambers is a Top 6 Realtor® with a Double Platinum award-winning, 5-star Yelp rated team. J.D. Power Award 2012 – Keller Williams Realty ranked Highest in Overall Satisfaction for Home Buyers and Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms. DRE#01889449