downtown los angeles, fashion district, historic core
comments 36

Renderings Revealed: New Trio of High-Rises Coming to Historic Core in Downtown LA

Hill Tower Lofts seen from the corner of 9th/Hill with the historic May Co garage in the foreground

Hill Tower Lofts: One of three new ground-up towers proposed for the Historic Core are set to break ground as soon as late 2015 (Photo: David Takacs Architecture)

The Historic Core in Downtown LA is where it all started after the adaptive-reuse ordinance was passed in 1999. Developer Tom Gilmore first took advantage of the new ordinance and converted three vacant and dilapidated historic buildings into 230 live/work lofts in what is now known as the Old Bank District at 4th and Main. It’s definitely come a long way since 1999. Over the last 15 years, the Historic Core — with its massive stock of, what else, historic buildings — has become a mixed-use residential hub with increasing numbers of restaurants, bars, and yes, even retail. Now that a good chunk of historic structures has been converted to mostly housing, it’s only logical for the next step in Downtown LA’s evolution toward urban maturity to begin building new ground-up projects as well that will help fill in those surface parking lots that have disrupted the urban fabric with its negative, anti-walking sprawling effects. Now, the exciting continuation of the Historic Core’s revitalization includes three new proposed high-rises set to break ground in the next year: the 38-story SB Omega, the 15-story Broadway Lofts, and the 33-story Hill Tower Lofts.

Designed by Downtown LA-based David Takacs Architecture, the trio of high-rises (more detailed info below) will be spearheaded by downtown developer Barry Shy who pretty much owns at least half of the residential buildings along Spring Street (SB Tower, SB Manhattan, etc.). The three towers, which will all have two-bedroom units available, will each have their own distinctive look. According to architect Takacs, all three are currently in the process of getting entitled. The goal the developer is striving for is to break ground on all three buildings at around the same time, which is hopefully sometime in late 2015/early 2016.

“The goal is to get the projects permitted by the time entitlements are done so that construction can begin right away,” Takacs informs me in an email. “We’ve been working very hard to bring all the pieces together in a complete manner in order to smooth out the review process, so I’m hoping we can clear the entitlements process in a year by summer 2015.”

The design renderings above and below give us an idea what’s to come, but by no means are they cemented in stone yet. The buildings’ concepts are in place but there’s still much work to be done with architectural refining and detailing. Takacs adds that they are looking to greenify the projects at the street and alley level with landscaping, planters, green screens, and turf blocks in the alleys.

All renderings courtesy of David Takacs Architecture.

SB OMEGA

Height: 390 feet
Stories: 38
Units: 452
Retail: 25,000 SF
Parking: 858
Bike Stalls: 524
Trees: 119

SB Omega at 6th and Main with SB Tower seen in the background on the right

SB Omega at 6th and Main with SB Tower seen in the background on the right

Looking south down Main Street with SB Omega on the right

Looking south down Main Street with SB Omega on the right

The front of SB Omega with retail store fronts along Main Street seen here

The front of SB Omega with retail store fronts along Main Street seen here

A view of SB Omega along 6th Street

A view of SB Omega along 6th Street

Another view of SB Omega along Main Street with historic SB Main on the left

Another view of SB Omega along Main Street with historic SB Main on the left

SB Omega compared to existing structures in the Historic Core with the 20-story SB Tower on the left

SB Omega compared to existing structures in the Historic Core with the 20-story SB Tower on the left

.
THE BROADWAY LOFTS

Height: 166 feet
Stories: 15
Units: 163
Retail: 4,600 SF
Parking: 219
Bike Stalls: 198
Trees: 46

Standing at the corner of Broadway and Olympic with the Ace Hotel seen on the right with the white crown

Standing at the corner of Broadway and Olympic with the Ace Hotel seen on the right with the white crown

A closer view of the corner at Broadway and Olympic

A closer view of the corner at Broadway and Olympic

A view of The Broadway Lofts along Broadway with Ace Hotel located on the very right

A view of The Broadway Lofts along Broadway with Ace Hotel located on the very right

The Broadway Lofts viewed along the Olympic side

The Broadway Lofts viewed along the Olympic side

.
HILL TOWER LOFTS

Height: 340 feet
Stories: 33
Units: 239
Retail: 5,400 SF
Parking: 328
Bike Stalls: 267
Trees: 60

Hill Tower Lofts seen from the corner of 9th/Hill with the historic May Co garage in the foreground

Hill Tower Lofts seen from the corner of 9th/Hill with the historic May Co garage in the foreground

A view of Hill Tower Lofts along Hill Street

A view of Hill Tower Lofts along Hill Street

Another angle of Hill Tower Lofts along Hill Street

Another angle of Hill Tower Lofts along Hill Street

A view of the soaring Hill Tower Lofts

A view of the soaring Hill Tower Lofts

36 Comments

  1. Joe Downtown says

    Looks like that’s the end of the Jesus Saves sign and the Ace Hotel’s wonderful rooftop view. Terrible.

    • Newsflash, Joe!
      In a real Big City, you don’t kvetch about your view including adjacent high rises. You sound like a NIMBY in Woodland Hills lamenting the neighbors’ trees blocking your view.
      I suppose you don’t want anything higher than 13 floors in DTLA?!

  2. dtlaedward says

    Good news. Do not like the drawings of the Broadway building…looks awful. At least try to make it match the historic core..or fashion district bldgs.

    • Lawrence says

      In most cases trying to match the look and feel of historic buildings fails miserably. The fact is those materials and that type of craftsmanship are far too expensive for most developers now, leaving an end product that’s typically an unattractive. I would prefer a modern building done well over a faux historic structure that looks like a bad copy of existing buildings.

      • Icebrg says

        I agree with Lawrence. Architecture that is true to its time actually contrasts with historic structures, enriching them in the process. Mimicking historic architecture devalues and dilutes the beauty of the original.

      • Eyeful says

        Uhhh…not really. Look to Chicago for evidence to the contrary.
        Of course, if you leave it to money-grubbing developers (SoCal’s mascot!) you end end up with dreck (The Grove being an example of HIGH DRECK).
        This city has suffered for decades because there is almost no public/private cooperation. LA City is to blame for its disregard of the public realm, and developers are to blame because they control the city council. Until this is fixed, expect helter-skelter development without regulation. Like Houston (choke on that)…

  3. Gordon Moore says

    Geez, don’t be soo nitpicky! All the Broadway Lofts needs is Imo, rounded corners, otherwise it fits its area with scale, mass, & even a blade sign, nice touch!

  4. Joe Downtown says

    @Dustin, it appears that the Jesus Saves sign will be facing the rear of the building. It will only be visible from a pretty extreme Northwestern vantage point. It will not likely appear to many people straight on, as it does now. In fact, I’m sure the residents of the new building with windows facing the rear will protest a huge neon sign in their face. I suppose, ultimately the Ace will see no reason to pay the electric bill on it for a very limited audience, most of whom will want it turned off anyway. Very sad, especially after all the efforts to save it when the church who originally owned try to get it back.

    • Eyeful says

      Really? The “Jesus Saves” thing – a relic of a disturbed SoCal TV evangelical cult circa 1970 – is something “sacred”?

      Good lord… MOVE ON.

  5. Dion says

    Awesome. These look very good and the street interaction is great. Honestly, filling empty lots with much needed, quality housing is much more important than a fairy tale sign

  6. John G. says

    These are all good projects, and yes Miss Phaedra – much better than 7-story shit boxes…

    Btw, wasn’t SB Omega supposed to be 40-stories?

  7. Sebastian says

    Olympic needs some love on the other side of the street, it’s nothing but 1 story buildings.

  8. Joe Downtown says

    Downtown LA is about the only bit of history that Los Angeles has. It seems that you’re all more concerned with the Gap and Urban Outfitters openings. The residents that were living here before all of the store openings, chose to live here in part for its rich history and we’re not eager to see it covered up to make room for new high rises. I’m just as excited by all of the development, but I wish that it would happen with regard and respect for the “fairytale” history of the neighborhood.

    Brigham Yen has done an amazing job of covering and editorializing the happenings in the neighborhood. I’m just surprised that the readers seem so disconnected from our neighborhood’s past. Brigham, any personal thoughts?

    • Dion says

      all of these are replacing parking lots that currently kill the neighborhood. Also, you dont speak for all the residents that were living before all the stores. There is room for both and i dont see how these projects do anything but help downtown grow. If the area is not growing, its stagnating, then that helps no one. Now if someone had proposed tearing down the United Artists building to build these, then everyone would be in an uproar.

    • Lawrence says

      Part of preserving a city’s history is ensuring that it has a viable future. Creating a dense, liveable downtown that provides much needed housing in a region whose demand has outstripped supply for years and retail options for residents and visitors alike, will ensure Downtown L.A.’s relevancy in the region as an area in which people can live, work and play.

      Preserving the “fairytale” history of downtown by capping building heights or development is just that – a fairytale. Downtown is one of the few places in Southern California that embraces density and has the infrastructure transit or otherwise to support it. The world’s most dynamic cities seamlessly blend historic and modern buildings everyday, creating vibrant streetscapes. Highrises should and will be part downtown’s future, but that by no means spells the end for the historic structures that define it. In fact, the opposite usually happens. The investment that new developments bring into downtown helps bring in the capital required to update, preserve, and breathe new life into historic buildings.

      Turning downtown into a museum city would be a huge misstep.

    • Christine says

      I agree with Joe Downtown. LA rips apart it’s history in favor of new construction and downtown is a center of so much beautiful architecture that could be upgraded to be a testament to the city’s rich past. There are so many vacant art deco buildings that I’d prefer to see turned into condos and lofts to further develop historic core rather than putting up new giant sky scrapers. I also feel like the recent construction is not taking into account the dangers of high buildings with earthquakes. Modern building materials aside – if you’ve ever been on a high floor during a quake you can feel how scary they are.

      I’m glad this new construction does mention having a few trees but if we have to have new construction vs. revitalization of old buildings – I’d love to see some some of them actually plan for more parks and green space. Some of the parking lots should be turned into actual PARKS. Especially dog parks so we wouldn’t have so much dog poop on our side walks. It’s wonderful that buildings in downtown LA are dog friendly but the neighborhoods need to be dog-friendly too.

      Again I’m not against new construction in general – but would like to see more revitalization of the empty old buildings because they add to the true beauty of DTLA.

      • Lawrence says

        Christine -I feel like you’re creating an either or situation that doesn’t need to exist. The future of downtown will include fully rehabbed historic structures and new construction – that’s how cities and urban re-development work. There are zero plans to to tear down any our historic buildings in favor of new highrises. The city has learned its lesson on that. Each of these proposals sit on vacant lots that have a detrimental effect on the streetscape downtown.

        Additional historic conversions likely will happen on Broadway and within the Jewelry District, but it’s up to the owners of those buildings to either a) convert them on their own or b) Sell them to developers who will move forward with a conversion to a higher or better use. Those owners who are sitting on beautiful but decaying buildings are more likely to cash out and sell to new owners who can give them the attention they need as additional private development comes in and increase the value of their properties. New development like these 3 structures allow them to do just that.

        With regards to earthquakes, there are plenty of cities with highrises in siesmic zones (Tokyo anyone?) but building tall doesn’t inherently make those structures unsafe. In fact, most taller buildings are constructed in a way that allows them better absorb the movement of the earth as uncomfortable as being in them (or any building for matter) during an earthquake may be.

        Parks will require some creativity on behalf of the city and its residents. Private developers have little incentive to build public green space as it provides zero ROI considering the cost of land in L.A. Stipulations that parks be built on other land owned by the same developer or the city could be a possibility though. This is how Grand Park was able to be funded by private money, but developed as public space withing the larger package of Related’s Grand Avenue redevelopment proposal.

    • Eyeful says

      What are you talking about?! I’ve known DTLA since 1970, and I can tell you that most of the people who lived there by that time were trapped, with no place else to go…the lone survivors of another time when the center of the city was truly its center. Others drifted in to fill the void… desperados and misfits and people scraping by on nothing… vagrants and shut-ins and people on the fringe of life in SoCal.
      Check your data to see how many DTLA residents there have been over the decades. Fewer and fewer, and more and more homeless.

      Your romantic view of DTLA as a place for “the real residents” is fatally flawed.

  9. Jake says

    I’m glad to see that SB Omega’s parking podium will be obscured by residential units.

    • Oh interesting! I didn’t even notice until you mentioned it. You can see it in the fourth picture along 6th Street. I was going to commend the plans for not having any hideous parking podiums, but if they can pull it off that way, great! Though still sucks for the SB Tower folks on the other side of the alley who will lose their balcony views to a parking structure.

  10. JJJJJ says

    Units: 452
    Parking: 858

    That looks to me like a parking garage that happens to also include apartments. What a disaster.

    • eyeful says

      Really? What’s wrong with a skyscraper development that provides TWO parking spots for most of its residents? Do you think DTLA folks don’t need a car to travel out of DTLA…across a metro region that is the most sprawling in the USA…that has almost no reliable public transport?

      Reallllllly?

  11. Don Goldberg says

    It’s SB, so it’s about making a fast buck. Hoping the city and neighborhood council are vigilant so design is decent and street life is not sacrificed.

  12. I like the modern design…the SB Omega reminds me of a giant computer chip and doesn’t try to be one it’s surrounding neighbors…The Hill St. Lofts Tower is slender and with sexy tall lines. Most importantly both have great views of the city and the towers themselves will contrast the historic parlay of the neighborhood! Well Done!

  13. annz0r says

    Too bad Barry Shy is involved. I only spent 8 torturous months in one of his crapulent buildings. Hope none of you ever experience the displeasure. I’m sure it will be poorly managed just like his other buildings.

  14. Horthos says

    Ugh, each one of these designs is total shit…then again, what do you expect from “architects” nowadays? Modern architecture sucks horse balls.

    • Eyeful says

      Darling, do tell us what you sanctimoniously consider to be “non-shit”

      Go on……

  15. Love them all. As far as the past goes, swap meet type stores along Broadway need to go and never return. To me it was such a tragedy to watch all of our dt history rot and decay decade after decade. Good riddens to the swap meet mess.

  16. Maddux T2 says

    Parking lots have killed the vibe of downtown LA for decades. They give off a hinky, semi-abandoned tone to the community.

    Squalid, beaten-down buildings also hurt the city’s appeal, so that and asphalted-over lots have been a one-two knock-out punch.

    To not understand this and, worse of all, to instead complain about proposed buildings such as the ones profiled on this page is the height of dumbness.

    • Tanesha says

      One of the things I really like about this blog and it’s readers is that the comments section, unlike many others I’ve read, is generally filled with insightful, yet respectful commentary. Let’s keep it classy and respect one another DTLA residents.

  17. Joe Downtown says

    Excuse me. I feel like my view has been distorted. It very we’ll be my own fault for not articulating my point of view well. I agree with what much of Lawrence said. I don’t think that my opinion was in opposition to it though. I never suggested that there should be building height restrictions or that I’m interested in saving the parking lots. I was merely voicing displeasure and concern over the lack of consideration by developers with respect to Downtown’s history. I would have loved to see the architects consider the sign when developing their design. I think tgat the Ace went the through a lot for the sake of preserving the sign. It really doesn’t make much of a difference for the Ace’s bottom line to have kept or abandoned the sign but they still took action because of their apparent interest in the neighborhood. I think Christine’s sentiment is representative of many of the resident’s love for the history and desire to see it preserved. Nevertheless I’m always excited to see new buildings go up and development continue. I believe that my third comment communicated that.

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