downtown los angeles, little tokyo

Sares-Regis Little Tokyo Mixed-Use Project to Break Ground in 2013 in Downtown LA

This parcel at 2nd and San Pedro (a desolate surface parking lot known as “Block 8”) will soon be developed into 240 rental units helping to connect Little Tokyo with the rest of Downtown LA for pedestrians

The LA Times reported on Sunday that a $100 million mixed-use project will break ground in March 2013 in Little Tokyo. The new 7-story apartment complex will be developed by Sares-Regis (who also developed Westgate Apartments in Old Pasadena) on a site in Little Tokyo known as “Block 8.”

According to the report, the still unnamed project will have 240 units of market rate rentals with an average monthly rent of $2,200. It will be built at 2nd and San Pedro on a parcel next to the existing Sakura Crossing apartment building, which is also home to the popular Lazy Ox Canteen restaurant.

Another mixed-use project is supposed to break ground soon on the Block 8 site as well. We reported back in May 2012 that developer Avalon Bay Communities plans to build an apartment complex called “Ava Little Tokyo” that entails 280 units within two separate buildings at 2nd and Los Angeles St.

Once both these projects come fruition, which will be sometime in 2015, the entire 6-acre Block 8 site will finally be completely built out — or what I like to call “a maturing urban neighborhood” — from its current disappointing state as a desolate surface parking lot more fit for Irvine, not the urban center of the second largest city in the United States. There will be hundreds of new residents added to Little Tokyo along with new retail and restaurants, especially along 2nd Street, that will finally bridge Little Tokyo to the Historic Core for pedestrians.

An updated rendering with a view of the 2nd and San Pedro intersection, which will have commercial ground floor space that could be either retail or restaurant (Photo: TCA)

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  1. Raymond3000 says

    Soo the rendering on LA times that we see.with the protruding.roofline @ the corner & red walls is it legit? Because I like that one helluvalot better than these?

  2. Whitman Lam says

    My only question is …. Could they have built these buildings taller ? This is Downtown L.A. we could use some more high density, not the low rise-suburban apartments that are counted as “Urban” but do nothing for street life and underuse the space.

  3. Lawrence says

    @Raymond – these are massing renderings to show how the structure will meet the street. They don’t typically provide the full 3 dimensional overview like other types of renderings.

    • Raymond3000 says

      Thanks for that info Lawrence! This is definitely a project I would want to look exactly like that rendering (in a perfect world) or close to it as possible. It looks very urban to me yes its 7 stories but it does connect with its streetscape very well. That s what true urbanity is all about!

    • Raymond3000 says

      Actually nope they are 2 different structures go study the one @ LA times then compare it with this rendering.

  4. brudy says

    Three years feels like an eternity. I also wish they were taller. While I’m glad these are getting built, it seems shorted-sighted to make them only 7 stories. With downtown already just about maxed out for availability, once the area develops further with more retail, restaurants, and mass transit the demand will be even higher. This seems especially true in the northern part of downtown, whereas south park seems to be getting most of the larger developments.

    • Alika says

      I, too, wish they were taller. My thinking is that these buildings are cheaper for still-hesitant developers to build and once they hit full occupancy and produce several years of healthy profit, they can be replaced with more dense structures. Once we get rid of all the surface parking lots, then we should turn our attention to replacing short structures such as these. (Well, maybe the 1- and 2-story buildings first.)

      Also, it seems that those new residential rental highrises (The Watermarke, 717 Olympic, etc.) that have been built in the Downtown area charge an arm and a leg in rent whereas these smaller structures (and even some of the adaptive reuse buildings) have more reasonable rates.

  5. sebastian says

    L.A. the land of the the 7 stories. Is it the heliport law that makes all these structures stop at 7 stories? Do they need to build a heliport once they reach 8 stories? Does anybody know?

    • Alika says

      Someone with more development experience may want to chime in here, but I think the “approximately 7-story phenomenon” is related to the height limit for Type V construction, which as I understand it is vastly less expensive than Type I construction that is typical of a high rise.

    • Simon Ha says

      Brigham – these elevations are not from the same project. And these are not for AVA either.

      • Thank you Simon, I have removed those other renderings to the updated one from the LA Times article.

  6. Illithid Dude says

    Correct me if I wrong, but I believe that the project the LA Times showed and this one are two separate projects. This is something entirely new.

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