downtown los angeles, south park

New “Urban Village” Mixed-User Will Add 100 Rentals to South Park in Downtown LA

A new 7-story mixed-use project called Urban Village South Park is slated to break ground in Sept 2013, rising near Olympic and Olive (Photo: Urban Village)

Rendering of a new 7-story mixed-use project called Urban Village South Park is slated to break ground in Sept/Oct 2013, rising near Olympic and Olive (Photo: Urban Village)

Last May, rumors were circulating that Hilton was in escrow to purchase a surface parking lot at Olympic and Grand adjacent to the former Crash Mansion nightclub (which is getting torn down). Several new sources have stepped up since then confirming once again that Hilton is, indeed, still interested in the site. However, the urban-infill fun doesn’t stop there. Now, a new mixed-use project adjacent to the potential future Hilton tower, called “Urban Village | South Park,” is slated for a Sep/Oct 2013 groundbreaking near Olympic and Olive according to Brett Shaves and Joshua Host, the founders of Urban Village who will be developing the ground-up project. Entitlements for the project were secured on May 20, 2013.

Urban Village South Park will be designed by Don Getman of LA-based GMP Architects (who also designed Avant currently under construction by the LA Convention Center). Located at 1027 S Olive St in South Park, on just over 1/3 of an acre of land, a 7-story mixed-use project will rise with 100 units for rent. Out of those, 96 apartment units will include 84 studios/one-bedrooms averaging 576 SF and 12 two-bedroom units averaging 998 SF along with 4 ground level live-work units at 801 SF for potential use as retail or office. In addition, the building will have amenities catering to residents including private roof decks, dog park, and fitness center.

“We really wanted to create a higher level of¬†affordability where our average unit size will be about 636 square feet,” said Brett Shaves. “Our project is still market rate, but we believe there is a huge market that needs to be addressed right now for more affordable units, allowing for a broader base of people to have access to rent in Downtown LA.”

Urban Village South Park will contribute to an area of South Park that has been steadily transforming with new infill projects and retail including the Hanover project at Olympic and Hill, the YWCA, and The Well flagship retail boutique located directly across the street from the future project.

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17 Comments

  1. sebastian says

    I don’t like it, too small and no retail. This belongs in Burbank not DTLA.

  2. brudy says

    It’s a pretty small lot if you look on google maps. While I think there should be retail and I wish some of these more recent buildings would go higher than 7, this isn’t the worst thing going given the size.

  3. John G. says

    I’ll agree with sebastion…

    This is downtown! Building for the sake of infill without long-term planning is like following the same mindset of suburban developers when undeveloped land here was still plentiful. Perhaps 7 stories isn’t bad, but as I said earlier, the life-cycles of these buildings will last a very long time. Building taller where it is most feasible (in the downtown area) is the best strategy to accomodate long-term growth in population, instead of spreading out laterally elsewhere and having to fight NIMBY opposition in those places.

    I’m sure many will say “let the market decide” or that a taller structure won’t support “the market”. Well, let me ask, are we talking about “the CURRENT market”? Two factors fall into play here…

    1. Large projects are never shovel ready, require permits/approvals, and can take years from initial approval to turn-key sales.

    2. Population and growth rates will not stop (barring of course sometime catastrophic).

    Given these two factors, the market is in constant flux and if a developer can calculate the pro-forma financials and payback periods that can satisfy a bank or a group of investors, then a developer should be allowed to build taller.

    In addition, the problem I see in Los Angeles is that urban planning (especially from a regional point of view) is basically non-existant. When higher-density should be build but isn’t, people cry that the market should decide. And Ironically, when the market is there for higher-density (taller buildings), people cry that there should be more “voice” (ie. government mandated public hearings) in the urban planning process. Thus, urban planning in Los Angeles (and basically everywhere else) has been relegated to LOCAL AND STATUTORY POLITICS.

    It amazes me that some of the best and beautiful cities in the world that I have visited have been designed and built in an era where there was less bureaucracy and more regional planning. Perhaps the critics today can cite the old days of enviromental and social inequality that city residents experienced in the past. However technology and regulatory reform in our society have dramatically altered our landscape for the better – and it shouldn’t preclude us from developing smarter, even if it means building taller buildings…

    • Horthos says

      Plus, think of this. LA has a history of destroying its history. As of now, downtown is becoming popular again, people want to live here, so obviously there is demand for living space. If you build something with 8 or more floors, it must be steel and concrete, but if its under 8 (like all of the ugly 7 floor flops that have been constructed lately), then it can have a wood frame, and is much much cheaper to build. I look at it as temporary architecture, in that if downtown continues to go on the path it is right now, 20 or 30 years from now after all of the surface lots have been built on and all of the old buildings have been re-occupied, these things will be torn down in order to build something higher, because they were built cheaply and quickly and have no architectural value.

      Besides, I dont trust 7 floors of wood. I grew up in van nuys (ugh) and went through the northridge earthquake, and all of the apartments that collapsed or suffered severe damage were crappy cheapo wood frame ones. If 8 floors requires steel and concrete, and 7 doesnt, that means they are building these things right to the limit, and the first big earthquake that hits downtown, these are the most likely to fall.

    • brudy says

      But that’s true of many cities, especially places like Boston (where NIMBY groups have killed, among many projects, a Renzo Piano designed museum). Philadelphia is known for its union issues hampering development. Politics like this is always local.

      I think LA probably wants taller stuff downtown (indeed I read somewhere that proposal for a 7 story deal at the Park 5th location was turned down to wait for something taller), but it’s still a free market. The historic core apparently has design codes that need to met, perhaps lots of a certain size need to meet a mass or height requirement…

      • John G. says

        Yes, it’s a free market. But we also need planning that will PROMOTE economic development for a free market. Planning and free markets need to work together. I strongly believe in a free market, but with no planning all we get are ad-hoc projects that will only hurt us and lower our true potential.

        • brudy says

          I think we’re in agreement. We need to promote smart development.

  4. taffy says

    So much better than the parking lot that is there now! It will be nice to add something attractive to that block. Now if they can just get something going with that abandoned building at the southeast corner of Olympic and Olive…

    • Horthos says

      Yeah, it would be nice to have something attractive built on this lot, but unfortunately we get this blob.

  5. Lawrence says

    @Horthos – Woodframe buildings aren’t inherently unsafe in earthquakes. The dingbat buildings of the 1950’s & 60’s that dot the L.A. landscape however can be vulnerable in that many have a soft story above parking. Often the stilts or poles beneath the soft story are not enough to maintain the integrity of the structure during intense shaking. Most of the new buildings are type 3 meaning they have a concrete and steel base/underground parking garage with wood frame above. Generally speaking wood is a less rigid material and can bend with the motion of an earthquake.

    • John G. says

      You can also thank technology that has progressively occurred in the past decades. While wood is less rigid, the concrete of today is more ductile than the ones in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. While Portland Cement makes up the majority of the “binder” composition in concrete, additives such as Reinforced Fiber Polymers (RFP) in concrete makes them less susceptibe to fracture under higher compressive and lateral stress loads than their earlier counterparts. Steel alloys of today also are available that can withstand higher torsion and shear loads per ASTM requirements. The research continued everyday around the world, and its reflected in our ever changing building codes.

      But of course, these things are probably boring and “nerdy” to many of the people who don’t really care for these things. Instead, they would like to point out how tall buildings are dangerous and point out the dangers from earthquakes. Of course earthquakes strong enough can take out just about any man-made structure, but the point is that we are always increasing our standards in how we live – especially in dense cities….

  6. Carter says

    With about 15,000 square feet of land, you cannot develop high-rise construction, regardless of desires.
    this lot has restrictions, meaning its size.
    They are maximizing what they have available to them.
    While the post states the ground floor is available for live-work, its rendering most surely does not look at all retail/work friendly.

  7. Christopher Columbus says

    Will the size queens PLEASE stay on curbed. Smart development does not always equal Manhattan. Look at European cities. So what this project has no retail? You think these live-work ground floor units, given their future bad-ass location, won’t interact with the public?

    • John G. says

      Sorry Christopher, but smart development doesn’t preclude taller or denser structures. As a matter of fact, smart development is about CONCENTRATING growth, sustainability, and walkability. If people here feel 7 stories might be a tad too short, then they can speak their mind!

      I live in Alhambra. On Main St. in downtown Alhambra, City Ventures is finishing up their Main Street Collection project with live-work ground floor units. Time will tell how this will pan out. It’s the upper floors with condos however that I feel will accomodate growth (to help meet some of the city’s RHNA goals – Regional Housing Needs Allocation). The structure is only 4 stories. I think it should have been 5 or more as I have been living here since 1997 and our population rates are definitely growing. But even more important, I’m thinking about the residents in the R1 tracts who have been resistant to growth and actually succeeded in temporarily blocking a project by the same developer (City Ventures) in the Midwick Tract area (southern Alhambra south of the I-10 fwy). The project is stalled but something WILL be built there. Perhaps if the city and residents supported a higher-density downtown, these residents and other SFR owners wouldn’t be worried so much. But as with almost all cities, planning deals alot with politics and sometimes the bigger picture is ignored. It’s ignored because people still cling on to common perceptions ingrained in an old suburban influenced environment – Taller is bad, taller means more density and traffic, taller means casting shadows, etc. etc. What people fail to neglect are the hundreds of people moving into Los Angeles almost every day, 24/7, 365 days a year. They are invisible because there is no magic counter in the sky keeping track to remind us every minute. But we see it and feel it in the streets, on the freeways, and the counter aisles.Our last 2010 census actually showed a drop in our city population by several thousand but the streets here in our small downtown don’t show it. People move and gravitate where they see fit. Our cities are organic, so knowing the key areas to build for growth is critical.

      As I said before in a previous post in DTLA Rising, there’s a big difference between DAY-TIME DENSITY (population during business hours) and NIGHT-TIME density (Census population). For downtown Los Angeles that has so much potential for growth and with a residential population CURRENTLY rising, I say developers should build on the taller side of the development spectrum. As I said many times before, buildings are never shovel ready (not build overnight) and the life-cycles of these structures last for DECADES (a century or more if properly maintained). With this project announcement slated for a Sept/Oct 2013 start, when do you think the turn-key sales will finalize with residents moving in? A year from now? Year and half? What will the population and housing demand be then? To add further planning, what structural capacity could this building provide in terms of projected density rates for downtown in say, the next 50 years or so? Is 7 stories sufficient?

      Taller buildings ARE NOT LEGO pieces. They just can’t be torn down when the need arises when there is too much traffic or future congestion. They are not built to the economy of scale like the abundance of SFRs that have flooded our sprawled freeway congested southland. Costs and regulatory standards are much different. Considering this building’s “bad ass” location, its structural capacity for growth is even MORE IMPORTANT. And to drive the point further, if it was in a really awful location, who is to say that the area won’t become popular in the near future when NEWER projects get announced around the corner! Even bad areas (or good) can later become “submarkets” for other areas. Just look at Hollywood at its capture of the office space market, or Measure B that is driving the Porn Industry out of Chatsworth, and into places of like Camarillo in Ventura County. Who could have seen that?

      The bottom line, we are growing. If we build, we should build to last. 7 stories in downtown LA is inconsistent with its location from a long-term perspective. The developer has every right to build what they are legally entitled to, and so be it. But when I see all these 7 story-or-so buildings in downtown LA (like the Jia Apartments in Chinatown), I’m reminded of the same approach developers took when they created our sprawled suburbia which we pay for today – short-term planning mindset, cheap, fast, and easy…

  8. david says

    DTLA will never be ANYTHING until there is a compelling vision of its future, co-authored by public and private entities. As it is, the city of LA seems to care less, and the private sector is all about profiteering.

    Until the two can come together, DTLA will continue to be a 4th rate urban environment…dirty, unwelcoming and DULL.

    • brudy says

      I’m sorry we haven’t rolled out the red carpet for you.

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