downtown los angeles, historic core, south park

Breaking: New 26-Story “Alexan” Tower Coming to 9th/Hill in Downtown LA

A new 26-story mixed-use high-rise by Trammell Crow Residential is slated for 9th/Hill in Downtown LA

It’s always good to see another dead zone parking lot replaced by a high quality development in Downtown LA helping to activate our growing urban center. Over at 9th and Hill on the southern edge of the Historic Core, a new exciting mixed-use tower is slated to rise on a parking lot on the northeast corner of the intersection adjacent to the highly anticipated Broadway Trade Center redevelopment project.

Wanting to contribute to the growing momentum around the Ace Hotel near 9th/Broadway, Dallas-based Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) is in the process of entitling the 34,595 square foot parcel of land with plans to build a 26-story apartment high rise with 305 luxury rental units currently dubbed as “Alexan South Broadway.” In addition, there will be 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

A variety of unit types will be offered with a large portion set aside for smaller units that start at 400 square feet also referred to as micro lofts. Other layouts will include junior one bedrooms averaging 660 square feet, full sized one bedrooms averaging 715 square feet, and two bedroom units as large as 1,667 square feet.

Designed by architect firm RTKL (see renderings below), the modern glassy tower conforms to the strict Downtown Design Guideline with many design elements that enhance the urban pedestrian environment as well as creating visual continuity within the surrounding architectural context. For example, the frontage along Hill and 9th Street will be almost fully activated by retail spaces, one of which will be a retail bike kitchen — a first-of-its-kind in Downtown LA.

“We paid a lot of attention to the way our project interacts with the street and neighborhood,” said TCR’s Development Associate John Readey. “We’re putting our bike kitchen right in front of the building instead of hiding it.”  

In addition to the 344 bike spaces geared for the project — broken down as 309 long-term storage spaces and 35 short-term spaces available as bike racks on the sidewalk — the building aims to be visually harmonious with its immediate neighbors. Again, conforming to the Downtown Design Guideline, the building’s 333-space parking podium will be hidden behind glass panels (other materials may be used as well) creating an urban street wall along Hill Street blending in with the Broadway Trade Center to the north.

When completed, Alexan will have a slew of amenities located on both the 6th floor and the top floor. The 6th floor will include a very lush 12,295 square foot outdoor amenity deck with a relaxing pool. An indoor fitness center with yoga studio, a lounge with a full-size kitchen, and even an intimate sized “speakeasy” (where you can bring your own booze to serve your friends) will be available for residents to enjoy. On the top floor, a sky lounge with up to three conference rooms will be included, useful for those who consider themselves part of the creative class.

Alexan is slated to break ground in the second quarter of 2016 with completion in 2018.

Rendering of 9th Street side of RTKL-designed Alexan high-rise (Photo: TCR)

Rendering of 9th Street side of RTKL-designed Alexan high-rise (Photo: TCR)

Rendering of the Hill Street side of RTKL-designed Alexan high-rise (Photo: TCR)

Rendering of the Hill Street side of RTKL-designed Alexan high-rise (Photo: TCR)

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112 Comments

  1. Josh Richardson says

    Wow. That is an unattractive building among beautiful historic architecture. So the historic core is now going to be covered with Level-esque buildings apparently?!? I hope that there is a public hearing to voice concern for this direction of downtown.

    • Mark Puente says

      Seriously? This is going to be built in the Historic Core? Why bother calling it the Historic Core? This belongs in South Park or east of Main. The traffic congestion alone is reason to abolish this project. What about a Park? I thought Jose Huizar wanted to created a family neighborhood with his “Bringing Back Broadway” project. This is a monstrosity slated to be built in a Historicaly important area. What’s up with that?

  2. gregor says

    This is a monstrosity!

    So out of place in that area.

    Move it on down to South Park.

    • Mark Puente says

      Totally agree. Do we know what the Concilman Jose Huizar thinks of this project? Not appropriate for the neighborhood

  3. Luke Klipp says

    Agree with Josh on the unattractiveness of that building. Appreciate the focus on street-level space, which hopefully helps mitigate the hideousness of that building from a distance. But the overall feel of that building is a giant glass wall.

    • Mark Puente says

      From a distance? This will totally block the most incredible iconic tower in the neighborhood. The Eastern Columbia clock? Is that was this neighborhood wants?

  4. Raymond3000 says

    It’s decent infill but too monolithic for its vicinity, facade needs to be broken up or something not sloppy but in a way that respects the Eastern Columbia bldg moreso. Oh yea? Why do all these new towers need “sunvisors” Lol

    • Mark Puente says

      I would not at all call it “decent infill”! This monstrosity will block one of the most magnificent building Dtla. The Eastern Columbia Clock Tower is a historical monument of the Historic Core area. What happened to “Brining Back Broadway”? This is doing nothing but bringing darkness via shadow and shade to the new vibrant Broadway Theater disctrict. Just plain greed!

  5. Boris says

    Yeah I also agree that the new building is bad. Looks like a formula design that is adapted to any lot in any city. But my biggest problem with a lot of these buildings is the way that they provide so much parking. Not the fact they do but the way they do it. Look at the retail. 7,000 sq. feet? Why not 35,000 sq. feet? Because they have to make room for parking and car in and out space. That wrecks the streetscape more than the old parking lot did. We really need to do better or else DTLA jus becomes a vertical car culture.

  6. LA_StateofMind says

    I bet the people living at the Eastern Columbia are not going to be happy that this building will block their picture-perfect rooftop poolside view..

    • Mark Puente says

      Agree. But everyone DTLA should be concerned about saving the views of the Eastern Columbia magnificent building. The clock tower should be seen by all and should be saved of its viewing by the City. It’s called the Historic Core for a reason.

      • It is really sad that the developers are dictating to the city and the city goes along with it! It will block the historic Art Deco Facade of my favorite building the Eastern Columbia building.

  7. Gary Lenard says

    Brigham’s unabashed excitement for development is typically refreshing. But his enthusiasm in this article is a big miss given the renderings of this project. I’m all for the displacement of parking lots, but I doubt this was the vision of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative. If Geoff Palmer had to be sensitive to Broadway with his new project, this project should do the same.

    • Brandon says

      This building is not on Broadway. Why should it be subject to a vision formulated for another street? Where does the line stop? Hill? Olive? Grand?

      • C Brixton says

        I believe that since this building will be so visibly from Broadway, considerations should definitely be made. I think it’s safe to say that the Hill Street, just one street over from Broadway, and where most lots on the east side of the street are considered part of the “Historic Core” falls in this zone should take this into consideration. Suspiciously, this particular lot was carved out of the Historic Core,…the adjacent lots to the east, north and south of it, are in the HC. It will also cast a heavy shadow on to Broadway which the historic core building height limits were originally specifically designed to avoid. I hope the city really examines this in correlation the Bringing Back Broadway Initiative.

      • Mark Puente says

        A 31 story building will definitely cast a shadow and darkness on Broadway. I have no problem with it being built, but build it outside the Historic Core. So wrong

        • Brandon says

          Actually, the sun comes from the opposite direction most of the day. Hill Street will be in shadow most of the day. The sun rises in the East, sets in the West and shines from the South shadowing to the North.

      • Josh Richardson says

        Well considering that this project is called “Alexan South Broadway” it should compliment historic Broadway. Cashing in on the name, but ignoring the actual neighborhood. I’ve heard Jose Huizar publicly say that he is a “preservationist at heart.” Well here is his chance to preserve Broadway and his legacy.

    • Mark Puente says

      Could not have said it better myself! Build it… But build it on another parcel.

  8. Simone says

    That is the worst news I’ve ever heard!!!! How can they allow that?!!??!!?!!!!!!!!!!!! Downtown LA is being ruined!!!

  9. Myles says

    Ugly. This developer has a long history of ugly stump housing, mostly in Tejas.

    • Brandon says

      If you really knew this developer you would know they are well known for producing high quality development assets (commercial & multi-family) in the US & Canada and are considered one of the top development companies in the US.

      • Mark Puente says

        Brandon, I agree…. That are a class act operation. But really? Covering up an iconic Historical Building with one of the most significant histories of the development of DTLA in the 30’s. Tramell Crow is a class act and should know better.

    • Mia Truelove says

      They need to build this in Texas! Its an abomination!

  10. Michael says

    I’d donate all my organs at once to see a downtown full of broadway trade centers, but the sad reality is that era is gone. I’m not a fan of the design of most of these modern linear glass boxes, but this what is being built today; and regardless it will do great things for our downtown.

    In isolation this building lacks character or appeal but in the context of the streetscape it will be very much a benefit to the area. A constant street wall that brings people into the core of LA is how this will benefit us. In wandering the downtowns of more comprehensive cities, it’s rare to find a building with true aesthetic beauty, but in general you don’t pay much attention because you’re too occupied by the commotion of life by the people surrounding you. Let’s get people in the city and on the streets for a vitality that’s long been absent.

    It’s a shame that I have to justified poor designs, but buildings like these are critical in the evolution of downtown. There’s certainly no shortage of space for other more beautiful buildings in downtown, but first we need to make sure the city maintains the momentum in this renaissance.

    • Mark Puente says

      Absolutely agree; but let’s keep the Historic Core….. Historic! These buildings have a place in Dtla, but not covering up iconic buildings. The Eastern Columbia clock tower should be seen by all!

    • John says

      I don’t know that anyone would have an issue with this building in South Park or in the Civic Center…West of Olive or East of Main. We need more high density buildings in downtown. We also need standards to protect the integrity of the various neighborhoods. Isn’t it time for a serious conversation about city planning and urban development. Or do we just let any developer build whatever they want, if they can grab a cheap piece of land?

  11. I disagree that we have to accept ugly bland buildings in the interest of an evolving downtown. Of course, we can and must insist on better, more imaginative design. It would be especially fitting for influential bloggers (like you, Brigham) to be critical of such hideous architectural design–and to call for and insist on architecturally imaginative design.

  12. Jake says

    The thing is, basically no building will have any type of views that we currently have. The rent will stay the same, but now it comes with an up close and personal view if either someone else’s apartment or a wall.

    The apartments at the Brockman which had wonderful views on the side opposite the street now has not only that apartment building / whole food complex.

    • Mark Puente says

      I agree. Then let’s get a building plan put together that save our Historic Core. Contact the Councilman Jose Huizars office and voice your concerns. Otherwise… Our wonderful DTLA will turn into a glass monument with concrete alley ways. I thought this is what Jose was against? Am I wrong?

  13. Cool, modern and sleek. I like it and I think it will look nice next to the Eastern Bldg. I seriously want to know what new condo bldg in dtla do you all like? Always complaining about something.

    • Towersla says

      Thank you P! Couldn’t agree with you more. The future is now.

      • Mark Puente says

        Towersla, there are so many places to Bui,d a tower such as this one. You don’t think the Historical integrity of the Historic Core should be saved?

        • Kejth says

          Mark Puente, the problem with your argument is that it sets a dangerous precedent. “Historic preservation” is too broad and almost anything could be construed as “historic” – even an old ‘historic’ liquor store. NIMBYs could easily abuse this argument to halt any kind development in their neighborhoods. Even if there are other neighborhoods where this could be built, there will probably be residents there who oppose it and they would demand that it be built somewhere else. The developer might try somewhere else yet again and development would be halted there as well. This could go on and on until the developer gives up in frustration. The tower would never get built. There are just too many old cranky NIMBYs halting development progress everywhere in LA, and downtown is one place where this shouldn’t be a problem. If we keep yielding to silly arguments like, “don’t block my view” or “preserve the historic integrity of the neighborhood”, badly needed developments like these would never get built, or development would be slow down significantly. And given the housing crisis we have in LA, we can’t afford to chase away development opportunities like this.

    • Mark Puente says

      P… Not at all! Is called saving an iconic historical building g to be viewed by all. Not covered up with a glass tower. Build it… I’m all for that, but don’t cover up the beauty of DTLA while doing so.

  14. Shabaz says

    Agree with all the posters, ALL these South Park-esque buildings lack any creative design traits or inspire character to create a unique downtown atmosphere for the most historic part of Los Angeles. LA already has buildings like these in other parts (Westwood, Century City, Hollywood, Koreatown, Playa Del Ray, etc.) that serve the purpose of imposing structures for office space and density needs. Very rarely do they add any more to the urban landscape than these practical intents. What’s happening in DTLA is MUCH MUCH more important to the social fabric of our oft-maligned city than simply “adding density” and housing stock. Design and urbanism have been brought together to create a rich environment full of inspiring spaces and landscapes. This is what one thinks of when they think of a downtown landscape of a major world city (think Chicago or NYC where the urban landscape serves to inspire imagination and creativity in visitors and residents alike). That’s why we visit and live in such areas.

    I’m going to ask this question once and for all…. are we DTLA residents and visitors doomed to expect such bland/base architecture for all new residential projects? Even Maltzan’s One Santa Fe is pretty vacuous and cookie-cutter in its approach and complexity for an Arts District neighborhood that is trying to be everything opposite of that. Of all the new residential building projects in the Central City, there are sadly ZERO projects that serve such purpose. For now, looks like we are stuck with Adaptive Reuse as the only hope for elaborate/imaginative creativity for DTLA architecture. Chris Hawthorne would be remiss if he didn’t start paying attention to this disturbing trend.

  15. Mykes says

    P, I will answer your question. 8th and Hope. Now that’s a good looking new building.

    • Mark Puente says

      Totally agree. It doesn’t block an iconic his tidal building that we all enjoy in DTLA

  16. RWags says

    It’s happening so accept it. Just wonder who is going to accept living in a 400 sq ft micro loft. That is tiny. You can shower and scramble eggs at the same time. Crazy!

  17. “written by Brigham Yen” – ghostwritten by Trammell Crow Residential. I get that Brigham is in the industry, but this is nothing more than a press release. I have no issue with the parking lot being developed, but the concerns raised in these comments are legitimate. This is a Broadway block with amazing architecture in the Orpheum, United Artists/Ace, Eastern, Broadway Trade Center and other classic well preserved buildings at 9th & Broadway. This is a cash grab, unimaginative, out of place, cookie cutter, glass walled, micro apartment mistake. Entitlements are not just handed out, and if I were the planning commission and councilman, I would want to know what more can be done with the concept, and why should this building be approved when such hard work has gone in to revitalizing and preserving such a historically relevant area. Put this building in South Park and give us some class in the Historic Core.

    • Mark Puente says

      HD I could not agree with you more! I don’t mind a building on that lot at all…. But make it fit with the scope and the neighborhood. If you want a huge glass building g…. Build it! Just be responsible in where you do,it. Don’t block the clock!

      • John G. says

        The clock isn’t going nowhere and people aren’t fixated on it like their lives depend on it. Relax!

  18. Towersla says

    The Alexan is a forward looking tower which appeals to a new vibe of people who are open minded about historic quarter life. They will bring more foot and bike traffic to the L.A. of yesteryears, increasing the economic momentum to nearby restaurants, cafes, shops, which once languished in no can do neighborhoods. Keep this downtown building in the Historic Core. If at all possible, provide condos instead of apartments, and I’ll gladly fork out my own money for a two bedroom. Brigham, thank you for bringing this exciting possibility to my attention. You have long been a cheerleader for differing city center neighborhoods and have done so tangibly, without self-serving motivation.

    • Gary Lenard says

      Slick writing ^. Sounds like more PR speak. Hard to believe a breaking article isn’t just placement by the developer. Already a contentious project!

  19. Patti Gagan says

    I think it’s beautiful. I always look at these renderings wondering what it would be like to live there. Wow, look at those wrap-around balconies!

  20. Karl W says

    I hope the people complaining the loudest about the design of this apartment building at least live in downtown. Nothing worse than for outsiders, particularly folks living in areas like Silver Lake, Pasadena or the Fairfax district, to gripe about infill development in central Los Angeles and then also not be the types who want to spend much time in downtown because they feel it’s too dead on weekends (lots of auto lots to pick and choose from), too economically mediocre (still plenty of low-rent shopping), or too much of a slum in various ways.

    • Mark Puente says

      Karl….. As a DTLA resident I agree with you…. But why should we allow a builder to cover up an Iconic Historical Monument? Let’s build it, but let’s be open to another lot that doesn’t destroy the Historical Core of DTLA. Once built, our fantastic Integrity of the Historical Core will be gone forever. Is that what we want? I don’t think so.

    • Towersla says

      “Nothing worse than for outsiders, particularly folks living in areas like Silver Lake, Pasadena or the Fairfax district, to gripe about infill development in central Los Angeles” Karl W, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  21. Joe Downtown says

    Awful. Going to destroy the historic skyline where the Eastern Columbia is the crown jewel. Really too bad.

    • Mark Puente says

      Call Jose Huizar’s office and express your concern! We all need to do the same.

  22. Aaron says

    Filling in holes is a good thing. Besides, go visit SF, Chicago or NYC for 200 years of hodgepodge buildings. LA is still young in comparison. SF was already a metropolis when LA was still a dusty backwater. 100 years from now people will walk the streets and see an eclectic mix of early 20th cent, mid to late 20th century, early 21st etc and it will feel like a real, organically created city. The garbage buildings now will have long since been torn down and replaced. Forcing the historic core theme on new buildings will feel fake, especially 100 years from now, when some of those originals are still standing proud and the reproductions look like a bad tattoo on grandma.

    • Mark Puente says

      Aaron, not so true if you can’t see the building. At its building g the Eastern Columbua Building was the tallest in the city. The clock tower built to be seen by all. Your cool with covering that up?

  23. david says

    It’s sad. Developers aren’t even trying anymore in downtown to make a beautiful building. It seems little by little, each new project attempts to turn downtown LA into downtown Toronto with cheap-looking cookie-cutter high-rises. LA is never going to get a “Shard” or a Gherkin because these developers don’t respect downtown.

  24. I Like Buildings says

    This property already has a building approved for it. In the previous approval, the City required the mass of the building had to be pushed back towards BTC so that the Eastern Columbia tower was not blocked. The view of the tower was considered the entrance to the Historic Core and since this property butts-up against the HC, the City could make the developer change its massing.
    So either the City has decided that this consideration no longer has to be met or the developer has not done his homework and there is going to be some serious design changes required.
    If you guys are really upset about the design, please contact both the local City Councilmember Jose Huizar AND the city planner – your comments are actually listened to, as long as you actually make them. No one tracks comments on a blog.

    • Mark Puente says

      Right on!!!! This is so accurate.. For all of us residents DTLA we need to save the Historic Core. If we don’t, we will be living in a glass tower aquarium. Call Jose Huizar’s office and express your concerns. SAVE THE LIGHT ON BROADWAY! SAVE THE INGEGRITY OF TNE HISTORIC CORE!

  25. Catherine says

    This places a giant wall in front of the ICONIC national landmark Eastern Columbia building. The beautiful clock tower will be obscured from all of LA west and our skyline. It will cast a huge shadow over Broadway. It’s time that LA put into place some standards to prevent developers from destroying the historic and architectural integrity of the core. Reasonable development is great but surely it is time to invoke height restrictions in the historic areas? This would effectively mean we lose one of Los Angeles greatest assets. Let’s be sure we all voice objections to the planning committee. http://cityplanning.lacity.org/ DON’T BLOCK THE CLOCK!

    • I Like Buildings says

      “Don’t Block The Clock” – That’s catchy!

      The funny thing I think the regulations are already in place to prevent this – basically, this new tower would be taller but skinnier and pushed back so everyone could still see the clock. That seems like a fair compromise – the developer gets to build all the FAR allowed but the community gets to keep the view of this awesome, historic building. I’m confused why this was not included in this time around.

    • Mark Puente says

      Absolutely! Let’s get a petition letter together and let the councilman know we want to SAVE THE HISTORIC CORE!

  26. Eric Avila says

    this is sad indeed–what’s also sad is that the author of this DTLA blog seems only to be a mouthpiece for huge corporate outfits looking to get a piece of the action in downtown. Too bad he doesn’t demonstrate any critical insight about the kind of development coming to DTLA and how it might clash with the historic character of the existing landscape, especially at the corner of 9th and Broadway. Think about it–these four blocks contain some of the most amazing buildings from DTLA’s golden age in the 1920s and 1930s: the Eastern Columbia (who’s going to see that clocktower?!), the Orpheum, the Ace Hotel, the Anjac buildings and the Broadway Trade Center. Does it matter to BY that these buildings will fall into the shadows of bland residential towers? Or he is just shilling for Trammel Crow? (not to mention Panera, Starbucks, Macy’s and Philz Coffee as well?)

    • John G. says

      Eric, what are you talking about? Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean he is a “mouthpiece”. So do you know everything about “critical insight”? Where were you when downtown was a dead zone? DTLA is in transformation and you get the good with the bad. The bad is still purely subjective because EVERYONE will have their own taste on how the area should be. Keep in mind, cities continue to evolve and historic buildings are ONLY ONE ASPECT of what constitutes a global thriving downtown scene.

      What is it with your “shadow” fears? The sun constantly moves and you are free to move around as you wish. No one is locking anyone in a cave!

  27. Liz in DTLA says

    As an architect and a huge fan of modern architecture I have no issue with the design of he building. It’s certainly aesthetically acceptable–BUT in the right place. A major part of architecture is understanding the environment a building is placed in. This building in this space is an embarrassment and truly an insult to the integrity of the Historic Core. It’s like plopping Space Mountain in the middle of New Orleans square at Disneyland. Does one really need to explain the reason something like that isn’t done? A building like this belongs in South Park or closer to the financial district where the aesthetics are enhanced by its surroundings and doesn’t tarnish the beauty of the current surroundings that have majestically stood for a century. This is a sad day. I wonder how the LA Conservancy feels about this?

    • Liz, I agree completely. This is not responsible planning or development. The legacy the city council leaves behind is build, build with out aesthetics considered, respect to the historic core, or what the skyline really looks like when all the massive glass and steel buildings are towering over one of the most beautiful areas in downtown with United Artists Building, Broadway Trade Center, Eastern Columbia, and the Orpheum. There is already a 35 tower building at 9th and Olive, another 50 story glass and steel building coming up right next to it between 8th and 9th on Olive, another glass and steel at 8th and Olive rising 35 stories up, and yet another 35 story on Hill between 9th and Olympic. Enough is enough. Preserve the one area that still lends true beauty and history to the historic core. I will also be writing to http://cityplanning.lacity.org

  28. I lived in the Gas Company Lofts years ago, and I have to say one of the most amazing things was walking through that building and seeing the clock tower of the Eastern Columbia from a few of the common areas. I wish I had that view out my windows. Then, they started to build Eighth and Hope and I was bummed, literally bummed when the Eastern Columbia was blocked.

    The clock tower is just so damn cool, and I’m sure there are a few units in 8th and Hope that have a pretty magical view of it. As a DTLA resident, I too am all for in-fill and I actually don’t mind the design of this building one bit, but I pray that they have to do a redesign and allow the clock tower to be seen from the west. It’s just such an iconic building that I’d hate to not be able to walk around west of Broadway and never see it again on the skyline.

    My heart literally hurts that they’re blocking our clock. I’m all for a fight to push the mass of this new tower closer to the BTC to retain that view.

  29. To say that the lot on 9th & Hill is a “dead zone” couldn’t be further from the truth. Is it prime real estate given what’s taken place at the crossroads of 9th & Broadway? Absolutely! Is it a significant piece of property? Absolutely! Is it significant because there is new high rise construction going up all around us in DTLA? Absolutely! It is significant because it’s the ONLY remaining lot where the 4 corners of one of the most historically significant crossroads in DTLA converge. The historic integrity of our city is at stake with the structure that is proposed on this lot. Throughout the city of Los Angeles there are historic preservation zones–HPOZs (34 at last count). Our city takes great pride in the establishment of these neighborhoods to preserve the grandeur that represents why we love Los Angeles. It’s because of the promises that our city officials made when initiatives were first launched to “Bring Back Broadway,” that urban pioneers– both on the development side–who invested in revitalizing historic buildings for residential and commercial use– embraced this vision, as did those individuals who validated these visions by choosing to make their home in DTLA. The other beauty of how DTLA has been evolving is that people have choices–South Park offers a vibrant, sleek modern community where those seeking that type of environment have flocked. And for those who treasure the old construction, the soul of DTLA, if you will–9th & Broadway is the apex from which the soul of DTLA emanates. The Eastern Columbia building is the grande dame of DTLA–the most iconic building along with Disney Concert Hall. These two buildings are among the architectural crown jewels of our city. The revitalization of the Broadway Trade Center adjacent to the Eastern Columbia building will become another crown jewel in historic preservation and one that our city leaders can point to as an example of how the grace and elegance of our city is being honored. To allow a structure such as the one proposed on the only piece of property on this historic block would be a travesty to everything the historic core and Bringing Back Broadway stands for. This is a concern for everyone who cares about the future of DTLA–from Hollywood directors who use this location over and again to baby boomer Los Angelenos who remember visiting downtown when they were kids, to all who care about historic preservation within neighborhoods–EVERYONE should be making their voice heard about the negative impact of this project on this block where the historic preservation of DTLA began. The beauty of DTLA is that there is a place for everything. THIS is NOT the place for THIS building!!!

  30. Mia Truelove says

    What an ATROCITY! Why would any
    developer think it’s a good idea to cover
    up the most magnificent building in downtown?
    The Eastern Columbia is a gorgeous landmark
    for people to enjoy, and they do! We must protect our historic core! If we don’t stand up to these careless developments, we run the risk
    of turning downtown into a soulless wasteland.

    • glenn says

      it’s hardly a monstrosity. There are dozens of buildings in the downtown area similar to it and it will help blot out the unsightly Eastern Columbia which is outdated anyways (no one wants to go there) and helps reduce slumminess of the Spring, Broadway, and Hill corridors which give DTLA a bad name. Modernize! Modernize! Modernize!

    • Thanks. I hadn’t seen the original plans for this site before, and I agree that this is really a lot better of a layout. Here’s hoping there’s substantial push back on the Alexan design plans, and something closer to the older entitlements are used so we can preserve the look of this block.

    • I Like Buildings says

      “The new developer can’t just change the design without new entitlement hearings, can they?”

      No they can’t – that is partly why the developers are submitting a new application to develop this site.

  31. NIMBYs…. Thought we left them on the Westside and Silver Lake. Apparently not.

    Honestly, it’s a bit overly dramatic and an exaggeration to say this new construction will be blocking the EC building. This new construction will not harm, remove or change the EC building and the neighborhood. It’ll always be there.

    It’s also a bit selfish to preserve the lot for views during personal rooftop parties especially when LA is in a deep housing crisis. The lack of housing is keeping rents high.

    THINK about it. This is LA’s last frontier and only chance to develop a tall, dense, true urban community.

    As citizens of LA, we need to be responsible. Building styles and architecture is a luxury, not a necessity. Although I would love to see a better design by this company, we need more dense housing and development. That’s a true necessity.

    • I think your NIMBY reference there, Dan, might have far more to do with the homeless than it does with preserving the integrity of a neighborhood’s architectural beauty. The standards that the DTLA residents deserve are the same standards that any single family homeowner is entitled to in their neighborhood. Yet we choose to live downtown despite challenging homeless conditions and abandon historical buildings. There is exciting new residential construction throughout DTLA and there are plenty of wonderful historical structures in the historic core that await conversion.

    • Gary Lenard says

      Missing the point. Development is good. But there is nothing wrong with a desire for responsible development. This is a historic zone. Complimenting history should be a priority. And it can be done in a way that everyone wins with more housing, infill, bu class. This parcel can be developed in all of those ways. And $3,000/month 400 sq ft luxury apartments are not the answer to a lack of housing. This project is just a different form of blight. I just walked by the parking lot on my way to Pershing Square. Beautiful history all around and this building will tarnish that. Go look for yourself.

      • Jake says

        The rent for these properties are unreal!! I’m not saying make them low income housing, but who in the sweet h.e.(double ll) is going to be cool with a $3,000 bathroom w/sink combo.

        I wanted to test the water after my lease ended in November, but it strongly appears to be a waste of time as I’m not paying that.

      • Mr. DTLA says

        Could not agree with you more. Let’s ask them to build it east of Nain Street. Let’s get going in development in that area

  32. glenn says

    I think it’s a very attractive building and I am strongly in favor of cleaning up downtown with newer, sleeker projects like this one. It helps eliminate the sluminess of the corridors of Spring, Broadway, and Hill streets, which chase away many of the more respectable citizens

    • Mr. DTLA says

      It’s not a bad looking building, however I believe it belongs outside of the Historic Core. If your looking at downtown for the long term, I think you need to be mindful of maintaining the fantastic architecture of the Historic Core. I really don’t think it’s in the City’s best interest to loose the visibility of the fantastic Eastern Columbia building. Totally in synch with building this building…. But what about over near Main Street or Los Angeles street to bring the development over that way if your concerned about cleaning up the areas? Just a thought.

  33. Downtown sleeper, eater, & worker says

    This is going to be a fabulous project! Thank you Trammell Crow for believing in Downtown LA, investing millions in our community and for providing jobs. Im quite sure you will follow the Downtown LA Design Guidelines and will construct a beautiful project for our growing community.

    Please don’t lose faith from all the “cave” men posters above (citizens against virtually everything), also known as Nimby’s, but probably even more true to the fact they are all Eastern Columbia Residents whom are already mad they don’t own their parking spots, and are now losing their views.

    Downtown LA residents were once in an uproar citing similar gripes over the construction of City Hall.

    Angry posters, if you were really upset about bad downtown designs I suggest getting involved in Pershing Square.

    Good luck Trammell Crow, many in Downtown LA support you!

    • Gary Lenard says

      LOL. No one without an interest in this project writes a post like that. Comical. This is simple: the developer wants the project, the current area residents do not. The city will have to decide which is more important. I don’t live downtown, but I work down the street from this project and walk by it everyday. I personally love historic architecture. This project makes no sense for this spot. Put something here that compliments the area and put this project elsewhere in downtown. Win win.

    • Gary Lenard says

      I just looked up the title info for this property. Unless I’m missing something, I find it odd that Trammel Crow doesn’t own the land. The last sale was in 2010. I wonder if Trammel Crow has some purchase option from the current owner based upon whether or not the city approves this project.

      • Justin says

        Gary, Trammel Crow Residential has the property on a 99 year land lease from Coast, who owns the land.

    • Mr. DTLA says

      Dear Downtown Eater,

      You could not more right,congratulations to Trammel Crow in ivesting in DTLA. We need the revenue, jobs, residents, etc.. I do however differ with you on its location. I am not a NIMBY at all, I’m an individual that lives DTLA and want to see DTLA develop in an organized and planned manner. I have lived in several large cities where the developers were given free reign to basically build, build and build. Today those areas (Chicago in particular) regret what they allowed and now have DRB’s (Design Review Boards) that look at each project from a neighborhood impact point of view. I know countless Chicagoan’s that are terribly disappointed with their end result.

      My opposition to this build is not one of “don’t build”, not at all! I just believe that Trammell Crow should consider the build in an area that would not jeopardize the value and beauty we have in our fantastic Historic Core. It’s called “Preservation” not NIMBY (whatever the hell that means?).

      • Towersla says

        If this projects bites the dust, will you along with all the other naysayers in this forum be stepping in with your own bucks to create a new development? That’s what I thought.

        • Mr. DTLA says

          TowersLA……delightful? The proposed building is a glass and concrete monstrosity among some of the most visual and historic buildings in DTLA. Delightful would to see this go up in Southpark or east of Main where newer more contemporary buildings would be an asset to DTLA. I live in the Historic Core area and the traffic issues alone will be a nightmare let alone an eyesore towering over Broadway!

          • Towersla says

            I left the shiny burbs for traffic issues: people pouring in and out of subway stations, a tad too many cars crawling along the streets, light rail, bikes, foot traffic, and crowded sidewalks. Where there is traffic, there is life. As a L.A. native, give me and others like me, a downtown which is frenetic and equally fantastical. I shouldn’t have to relocate nor make repeat trips to Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Madrid, etc. to get a “real” city fix.

            • Mr. DTLA says

              TowersLA … Can you give me a good reason to build this tower on this lot? If you truly want that NYC, Shanghai city fix, why not start this type of building south of 9th or east of Main? Like I said before, I’m not opposed to this building as much as I am opposed to the location. Is it that you just simply don’t care about the value of maintaining the beauty of the Historic Core? A Broadway that becomes dark from shadows cast upon it doesn’t bother you? Am I getting this right?

    • Towersla says

      How did I miss this? A delightful, insightful, and agreeable read. Thank you.

      “Downtown sleeper, eater, & worker
      August 16, 2015
      This is going to be a fabulous project! Thank you Trammell Crow for believing in Downtown LA, investing millions in our community and for providing jobs. Im quite sure you will follow the Downtown LA Design Guidelines and will construct a beautiful project for our growing community.
      Please don’t lose faith from all the “cave” men posters above (citizens against virtually everything), also known as Nimby’s, but probably even more true to the fact they are all Eastern Columbia Residents whom are already mad they don’t own their parking spots, and are now losing their views.
      Downtown LA residents were once in an uproar citing similar gripes over the construction of City Hall.
      Angry posters, if you were really upset about bad downtown designs I suggest getting involved in Pershing Square.
      Good luck Trammell Crow, many in Downtown LA support you!”

  34. This building is out of place and out of character in the historic core. Developers, City Planners and Jose Huizar need to think and build responsibly. I just returned from NYC and it was great to see modern development that truly complimented and preserved the character of such historical areas like Chelsea Market, the Highline, the Meat Packing district, and Bryant park. There is a place for skyscrapers and high rises. The corner of 9th and Hill is not that place. All downtowners bought into the vision of a vibrant community that encourages growth, but that growth needs to preserve our past while building on our future in a way that protects historical landmarks. That doesn’t mean simply throw up more massive concrete, steel and glass structures just because there is a square inch to fill in. Put the modern, bright shiny objects together, in the modern areas. Preserve the historic core and protect the view of the beautiful majestic Eastern Columbia building so that all may enjoy. People need to see and be reminded what this downtown was built on. You can build a skyscraper anywhere, anytime, but you can never build another Eastern Columbia with a clock that symbolizes the time to protect and preserve.

    • Mr. DTLA says

      Well said! It’s called responsible growth. Mr. Jose Huizar, this is a time for you to shine. I know you love tall buildings but don’t let this one and others destroy your wonderful vision of “Bringing Back Broadway”! Build responsible and in keeping with the neighborhood.

  35. Towersla says

    “Wonderful, just wonderful. Prime location too!”

  36. Towersla says

    I am a resident of downtown L.A. My voice also holds credence and must also find representation in Señor Huizar’s decision making, I say build this project as visualized. I also thank Trammell Crow for the selected site and for the delightful design. As for all those opposed to this vision forward development, if there are any who don’t live in the Historic Core, or downtown, they have no business dictating the future of my neighborhood.

    • Gary Lenard says

      Vision forward? Huh? Not quite. A large building in a parking lot is all that this is. If it was vision forward it might not have such growing opposition.

      I guess if you need to live in the Historic Core to have a voice, that counts Trammell Crow out, who doesn’t even own the land.

      • Towersla says

        Growing opposition? As a result of pessimism gone wild on this page, a petition and letter writing campaign was started in my building for the pro-project cheerleaders. We reside downtown. We resent crybabies who live outside city center yet think they have the right to override the voices of those who Huizar indeed represents. Trammell Crow, replace emotion with logic, is not a resident so let’s throw out the sarcasm and keep the “party polite.”

        • Chad says

          This reminds me of the Level building. When I first saw the renderings of Level I was optimistic that it might work in this area. Now that it has been completed, I don’t think that it works, aesthetically. I don’t think that this Alexan building will be any different. And yes I do live in the Historic Core for all of you resident-ists.

          I like the prior project entitled for this land much better. It just fits in more-so than the Alexan. As a condo owner, I also like condos more. We need more people living in downtown that are invested in downtown’s future, and not just while in their early 20’s or Friday and Saturday night.

          http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/01/latest_renderin.php
          http://www.novumarchitecture.com/portfolio/multi-family-residential/850-south-hill-street-ca/

        • Nick says

          Haha… Yeah, I’m sure you have. What building are throwing your Ra Ra parties? I’ll drop in and say hi. They’re probably pretty lonely right now, anyway.

          I’m a South Park resident and I’m not sure if that makes me in your uncool camp or not. I could care less. I’m also not an Angeleno. Hell, I’ve only lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, but the last ten have been in downtown. I’ve spent probably way too much renting at Metro 417, the Gas Company and then actually scraping enough coin together to own my first place in Market Lofts. I love downtown LA, and I love all the changes we’ve seen over the past decade, but I don’t think this is the right project for this lot.

          The Alexan is text book poor city planning. They’ve built the tower to try and squeeze out every last penny from the area today, regardless of how much and how profitable a properly designed and respectful project would make in the long run of their 99 year land lease. They’re shortsighted, greedy, and have absolutely no respect for the area we call home. I doubt there’s a DTLA resident who doesn’t walk by the Eastern Columbia and just stare up at the clock. The idea that such an enormous building will be placed in the lot to dwarf that historic structure is upsetting to me and a lot of other downtown residents, wherever they may live.

  37. carter says

    Start throwing comments to CBRE, the real estate company that owns Trammel Crow, and is based in DTLA!!!
    Even on this site, just turning the building to avoid the proximity of the EC building would be an improvement.
    But if anyone understands planning in this city, it never involves architectural integrity, design, or anything other than another stamp on a building permit.
    Next….
    Attn: Christopher Hawthorne – when are you going to discuss the future of DTLA and its design and planning failures.

  38. If Huizar allows this to happen, he may as well change his catchy slogan from “Bringing Back Broadway” to “Let’s Forget About Broadway”. Most people who live and work in this neighborhood are all for development, but make it responsible. He and the city were hard and strict on Jeff Palmer in regards to his new development for a reason. We can only hope Huizar will apply the same standards and logic to this development as well.

  39. RWags says

    In real estate views Are never guaranteed. Too bad I I use the clock tower as the clock to my apt. Bummer.

    • Mr. DTLA says

      Are you not at all concerned about the Historic core in DTLA? You want this area to look like Miami Beach? The Eastern Columbia gave us the gift of this beautiful clock, what gives Trammell Crow to take that away from residents of DTLA?

      • Brandon says

        Actually the Art Deco architecture of the EC is very much like Miami Beach.

  40. The building looks fine. Modern and elegant. Why is there no outrage over the 50-story Onni tower proposed right across? Or the 3 high-rises planned for Spring Street and the one on 4th/Broadway? Because NIMBYs in the Eastern building want to preserve their precious views. This isn’t about preserving the clock tower view. Stop hiding behind that excuse. Maybe you should have bought that parking lot and turned it into a park if you wanted to preserve your views. The clock will still be visible by the way.

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