888 South Hope: CIM Group’s New 33-Story Project Preparing for Ground Breaking in Downtown LA

A new 33-story tower by CIM Group is set to rise at the corner of 9th/Hope in South Park called "888 South Hope"

A new 33-story tower by CIM Group is set to rise at the corner of 9th/Hope in South Park called “888 South Hope”

South Park in Downtown LA just keeps getting hotter and hotter! Recently announced are a slew of new proposed shiny high-rises set to break ground in the next year or so that will give our growing skyline a major shot in the arm — how exciting! Now let’s add another tower to the mix, this time at the northeast corner of 9th and Hope also in South Park (directly adjacent to the u/c boutique “Empire Hotel“). The new 33-story residential tower — to be called “888 South Hope” — will be developed by CIM Group, which just recently purchased Two Cal Plaza on Bunker Hill and also developed the Market-Gas Company Lofts across the street.

The new high-density project will happily replace an existing boring surface parking lot (i.e., dead zone) and will be completed in two phases: a 6-story mixed-use parking structure along Hope Street and the 33-story tower itself at the very corner. The pedestrian-unfriendly parking lot is just over an acre in size (~46,500 square feet) and takes up over half of the entire length of the block between 8th and 9th.

A building notice sent to neighboring Sky Lofts residents yesterday provided information that “grading” is expected to begin this week on the project site and that Sky Lofts residents will no longer be able to use the cut through passage that allowed access through the parking lot.

According to the same notice, 888 South Hope will have 526 apartment units for rent and the attached 6-story parking structure will have (unspecified) rooftop amenities. But we should expect to see a pool, clubroom, BBQ deck, cabanas, fire pit, etc. similar to other luxury high-rises in Downtown LA.

Work will begin on the parking structure first while the more exciting tower portion looks like it’ll come later, unfortunately, as brand new white parking stripes were painted yesterday¬†in the lot where the tower is supposed to go signaling that the lot will still be used for public parking for at least awhile longer.

It’s not clear exactly how much retail will be included in the new parking structure, which is centered around mid-block. That’s quite a bit of street frontage, so hopefully we’ll be getting a substantial amount of retail helping to activate Hope Street and forming a stronger pedestrian urban connection between South Park and the Financial District.

CIM Group’s 888 South Hope was first proposed back in the early-to-mid 2000s not as a 33-story tower but a 42-story one at 490 feet tall. The original version, dubbed “9th and Hope” or “Park Tower” at that time, was designed by now defunct Kanner Architects. The design was really one of the most striking new high-rises proposed in Downtown LA with a mid-century aesthetic clad in an olive-green glass that exuded urban sophistication akin to Manhattan or Chicago. We can only hope that the new tower’s design, still unseen, will retain some elements of the original design.

Although the website is not live yet, future info for the tower will be parked at www.888hope.com.

Workers were seen yesterday removing the parking board and replacing it with a new "Coming Soon" sign for 888 South Hope

Workers were seen yesterday removing the parking board and replacing it with a new “Coming Soon” sign for 888 South Hope

The very long parking lot along Hope Street is divided into two parts: a portion for the tower and a portion for the parking structure divided by a green construction fence

The very long parking lot along Hope Street is divided into two parts: a portion for the tower and a portion for the parking structure divided by a green construction fence

Green construction fencing divides the lot into two parts: one for the tower (to the right) and one for the parking structure (to the left)

Green construction fencing divides the lot into two parts: one for the tower (to the right) and one for the parking structure (to the left)

888 South Hope will be diagonally across the street from the brand new 801 S Hope tower developed by Wood Partners

888 South Hope will be diagonally across the street from the brand new 801 S Hope tower developed by Wood Partners

Original Kanner Architects Rendering

The original design by Kanner Architects (Photo: Kanner Architects)

The original design by Kanner Architects (Photo: Kanner Architects)

18 Responses to 888 South Hope: CIM Group’s New 33-Story Project Preparing for Ground Breaking in Downtown LA

  1. I just dont understand why so much parking has to be included with this tower. There are 2 large (presumably underused) parking structures across the street, both developed by the same company i believe and a very large parking structure for Sky lofts (That i park in) that is very underutilized. They can just contract with them because the 4 – 6th floor is always empty. What a waste of space that could have been another 35 story mixed use.

    Anyways, good to see another large tower breaking ground. I hope they have kept the original design. It was a favorite of mine.

    • People working near by need to park. e.i. Ralph’s employees, FIDM students, businesses, etc, etc, etc…
      As these parking lots get replaced by high rises, the demand for parking will remain and most likely increase as population and commuters storm to DT. Parking is big business…it’s a cash cow!

      • Yes, but my point was that the area already is inundated with parking (forgot to add the Macys plaza lot, the parking structure across from it and so much more) No need to build another structure that will be half used and waste space in our city.

      • Actually, parking is anything but a cash cow. If developers ever recoup the cost of the parking they provide it’s a miracle, except in parking-starved areas like Manhattan, where they can actually charge in excess of the cost to build it.

        We can assume that parking spaces in multi-story garages cost around $30,000+ each to build (which is quite conservative given land costs in DTLA). Most DTLA parking lots charge no more than $15/day max, which at 22 working days/month gets you to $330/month, if every single space is used every single day of the workweek (which we know just won’t happen). At a 100% 100% occupancy rate at $15/day (which would never fill because there are so many cheaper lots in DTLA), at a straightline analysis this would finally get you to even after 7.5 years. But that also assumes that the developer only paid $30,000/space and doesn’t include financing costs over time. Including financing costs, you’re looking out more like 10+ years before this gets close to even, let alone a “cash cow,” as you describe it.

        Meanwhile, parking is a big loser for the city, because it’s a major loss on potential property tax revenues, constricting the space from being used for other, more tax-generating purposes. All-in-all, it’s not a great use of space. Makes sense to provide some parking, yes, but it isn’t the “cash cow” you describe it to be, and it artificially constricts the kind of development we could be seeing in DTLA right now.

        • 10 years is nothing to developers and large investors. You’re also assuming parking costs don’t rise, which they will as these lots get redeveloped.

    • Agreed, but hopefully “mixed use parking structure” means they’ll wrap the majority of the ground floor with retail storefronts.

      Downtown LA would greatly benefit from specific zoning guidelines that ensure parking integrates into the public realm as much as possible: narrow driveways preferably tucked into alleys, retail storefronts along the ground floor, landscaping and design focused on obscuring that the top floors are dead space, etc. etc.

  2. People working nearby can take Metro to their jobs. Not everybody needs a parking space. LA is growing up, and if we continue providing excessive parking, then what’s the need of promoting transit? A lot of people will take it, when it becomes more convenient than driving and parking.

    Parking doesn’t bring business, it’s the density of an area with stores and entertainment that brings crowds. This theory is proven with the activity of mega cities (i.e. Chicago, New York, London, Paris) and not those with parking heavy cities (i.e. Indianapolis, Nashville, etc…).

    • Which is exactly why instead of providing individually-accessible parking spaces to meet the minimum required parking for this development, the city should allow the developer to both “unbundle” the parking from the housing and to make a number of the spaces accessible only via valet. These two options alone would likely mean about 10% or so of the new residents would opt out of a parking space entirely, and another group (probably the majority of new residents) would forego having more than one space for their units. The rest would pay for it, but not everyone should have to, and using valet rather than literally building individually-accessible spaces for everyone would allow the parking garage to be smaller and more flexible to the needs of the new residents.
      *sigh*

  3. Yes understood, but why can’t they put them underground? That spot where the parking structure is going could be underground and then they have a little dog park on top. Just saying.

    • Underground is prohibitively expensive. You go from $30,000+ per space to $50,000+ per space. For a 526-unit building plus retail they’re probably constructing around 750 parking spaces, so the difference (in a conservative estimate) is $15M in construction costs. For what? The developer would lose a rooftop amenity for residents (thus dropping what they could get in rents by, maybe, 5%, and the developer also loses ground-floor retail space that generates additional revenue. No lender is going to pay for a developer’s additional $15M in construction costs in order to provide a dog park for the neighborhood (even though it’s a sweet idea), especially at the cost of other revenues that’ll be necessary to pick up the development costs.

  4. Be very wary of CIM Group. They tend to sock the taxpayers by complaining to foolish politicians that they need tax subsidies or their benevolent projects can’t be built. They were huge “users” of the awful boondoggle called “redevelopment” (thank you Jerry Brown for killing this mess) and now they troll around Garcetti’s office looking for handouts and favors. Make no mistake – this Billion dollar pension funded development group is not helping our city. Just helping themselves. Does Garcetti and company give YOU a free 25 year ride on taxes just because you painted your house and trimmed your lawn? So why do Billionaire’s get free taxes while the rest of us pay?

  5. Interesting. I have not seen any master land use application filed for this site. They may be building a stand alone garage first which does not need entitltment approval. I guess its time to inquire.

  6. Sucks for the people of Sky lofts….Thanks CIM group for destroying our amazing views of Staples center.

  7. BTW, the drawing of the tower on the billboard looks pretty similar to the rendering available on CIM groups site so hopefully we get that beautiful tower. The street level integration is very good and the design is top notch

  8. i assume part of the decision to build the parking structure there mid-block at 6 stories is because there is the dead wall of the Sky Lofts-adjacent parking structure on the other side (6 stories as well?).. it would be hard to sell/rent a unit with windows facing a wall (though it looks like some of the Sky Lofts units will become just that). Seeing the same thing with the ugly podium proposal at the Amacon development on Hope/11th.. it is adjacent to the existing parking structure so of course they can’t have any units that low, but that would also mean units at Flower Lofts to the west across the alley will have to face a wall/parking structure.

    The zoning codes have to change in order to reduce parking requirements.. which I understand is currently at more than one parking space per unit. But the demand for parking is still there.. for now. I am so glad to see all these dead zone surface parking lots go away, but it is happening at quite an alarming rate. For sure, parking prices will go up because structure parking is, as mentioned above, very costly to build. Hopefully that will get more people to find alternative methods of travel! Thereby eventually reducing the demand for parking. But we also need more options (bus, rail, carshare, etc.).

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