The mystery that surrounds the historic Trinity Auditorium continues (like its mysterious cousin the Hotel Clark near Pershing Square). New York-based Chetrit Group, who owns the Trinity located at 9th/Grand, has mostly shied away from media providing little information about future development plans for the historic edifice (once destined to become the Gansevoort West Hotel from NY’s Meatpacking District). We all know that it still involves a hotel project, but we have no idea what the timeline is or what it’s going to look like, etc. But little by little, some information has been revealed overtime that provides a somewhat clearer picture of what’s happening at the Trinity. For instance, in 2011 signs pointed to a King & Grove Hotel as the potential new brand for the Trinity. Then in 2012, a Notice of Public Hearing said the Trinity would actually be named “Empire Hotel” and would come with 183 rooms and a rooftop pool and bar. Now just this week, the plywood that boarded up the windows along the sidewalk, for what seemed like an eternity, has been removed revealing new windows behind.
Category Archives: architecture
After more than two and a half years of construction, Chinatown’s very first market rate housing development called Jia Apartments is now officially open. Developed, owned, and managed by Equity Residential, the new mixed-use project — with a new Starbucks opening in early April and a couple more restaurants in lease negotiations — rises six stories adjacent to the striking Chinatown gateway with its twin golden dragons guarding the Broadway entry. Jia Apartments, which cost $93 million to develop, signals a new economic incline for Chinatown as more money is being invested into this northern district of Downtown LA. Finally, Chinatown joins the rest of downtown’s development wave that has reinvigorated the city center with new life and regional relevancy.
Several independent sources have informed me that some very big and exciting changes are in the preliminary planning stages for Library Tower in Downtown LA. Last year, Library Tower (aka US Bank Tower) was purchased by Singapore-based Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) for $367.5 million from MPG according to the LA Times. The 73-story office high-rise stands at 1,018 feet tall and still holds the title of tallest skyscraper west of Chicago. However, Library Tower also has one of the highest office vacancies downtown hovering at around 45% (that’s 585,000 square feet of empty space out of 1.3 million total). In an effort to turn the property around and raise the profile of OUE’s new LA acquisition, the Asian investment company had to think outside of the box as the office market has been stubbornly soft and more and more companies are shying away from traditional office space in favor of creative spaces. But wait a minute: everyone knows that the red hot economic engine downtown has involved both residential and hotel developments. Aha!
Watch Onni’s 32-story apartment tower u/c rise halfway up in just 21 seconds!
Downtown resident, Aileen Viray, sends in this cool time-lapse video she put together — starting last November and ending just last week in February — tracking the progress at 9th and Olive where Onni’s new apartment tower is actively under construction. The high-rise has now risen exactly halfway up with work starting on the 17th floor (out of 32 floors total). Construction has been humming at the site since Jan 2013 just over a year ago when groundbreaking commenced. Vancouver-based Onni Group is developing this new mixed-use apartment tower, currently dubbed 888 Olive St., and will eventually bring to market 283-units for rent and add 11,000 square feet of retail space to the corner intersection.
Last week, I got an awesome tour of Union Station from Metro’s Deputy Executive Officer of Countywide Planning, Jenna Hornstock. I learned about some very exciting changes coming to the busiest rail station west of the Mississippi. Basically, you have two different timelines for planned improvement projects: short term and long term changes. Both are very exciting because it means Union Station is going to get better and better and play a much more prominent and vital role in our region’s growing mass transit network.
This past Valentine’s Day was another major, major milestone in Downtown LA’s continued march forward toward urban renewal and revitalization. The Metropolis project, which is a 6.3 acre development site (currently an ugly surface parking lot) on the western edge of downtown abutting the 110 freeway, held a ceremonial ground breaking event that finally secured the fate of the long-delayed project.
Downtown LA is getting a new, dare I say, sexy parking structure in north South Park at 8th and Francisco. I usually wouldn’t consider a new parking structure newsworthy, but this project is being designed with a lot more thought and concern for aesthetics, so I thought it should be highlighted as an example for other parking structures to follow. Designed by Downtown LA-based architect firm, LeanArch, the parking structure is being developed by landowner and giant parking operator Joe’s Auto Parks as a mixed-use project consisting of not only parking but with office and retail components as well according to a development executive I spoke to at the company.
The historic Olympic Theatre located near the NW corner of 8th and Broadway is now available for lease as a unique flagship retail space opportunity along the exciting Broadway retail corridor. Built in 1927, the 600-seat theater was originally called Bard’s Eighth Street Theatre but was renamed Olympic Theatre in 1932 to commemorate the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Today, the space is once again ready to shine as Downtown LA continues to attract national and international retailers at an unprecedented rate. This retail space is ideal for a retailer with a unique identity and brand.
Full details below ↓
Watch a short video about ULI FutureBuild hosted in Downtown LA!
Mayor Eric Garcetti is among the leaders who will preview dramatic changes in urban living at FutureBuild 2014. On January 28 ULI Los Angeles presents this high-level, interactive event. Mayor Garcetti will give the keynote speech – a preview of a sustainably designed a future Los Angeles. (Could it be something like the transit-oriented Downtown depicted in Spike Jonze’s movie “Her?”) Other Downtown-focused topics will include: new bikeways; a preview of the new cubicle-free office represented by CBRE’s redesigned headquarters; parklets such as those popping up on Spring Street; expanded access to a restored L.A. River, and more.
With over 5,000 residential market rate units under construction right now in Downtown LA — from South Park to Chinatown, Bunker Hill to the Arts District — only one development project will actually offer condo units for sale as opposed to apartments/lofts for rent. The highly anticipated second phase of Barker Block — located in the Arts District, one of the hottest up-and-coming urban neighborhoods in the country — will be bringing 68 new condo units to the market. Out of ~5,000 units under construction, the new Barker Block Warehouse No 1 units only represent about 1% of the total! Given the low supply and the pent-up demand for new condos, you can only imagine the buyers’ interest for these new Barker Block units. According to the co-developer, KOR, there are 2,800 registered on the interest list.
The very highly anticipated Ace Hotel — the uber trendy boutique lodging chain originally from Portland — soft opened today in their new digs at the historic 1927 United Artist Theatre building near smoking hot 9th/Broadway. As you may remember, DTLA Rising broke the news that Ace Hotel was coming to Downtown LA back in Oct 2011. Two years later, the wait is finally over and was well worth the wait!
Almost a year ago, DTLA Rising first released the exciting renderings of the AC Martin-designed Wilshire Grand Tower to become the West Coast’s new tallest skyscraper located at Wilshire and Figueroa in Downtown LA. When completed in early 2017, it’ll rise 73 floors at 1,100 feet tall (up to the spire) and have both office space and a yet-to-be determined 4-star, 900-room hotel with a sky lobby on the 70th floor. According to a reliable source, the developer/owner of the Wilshire Grand Tower, Korean Air, has narrowed the hotel choices down to two brands and will pick one “very soon.” At one time, Le Meridien was rumored to be the winner. However, other more recent rumors have pointed to a few other brands like Waldorf-Astoria and Grand Hyatt.
Some awesome news coming out of LA Councilman Jose Huizar’s office regarding the egregiously outdated and totally unnecessary “helipad fire code” that the LA Fire Department instituted back in 1958, which forced all subsequent high-rise structures built in the City of Los Angeles to have helipads for “potential evacuation.” This has led to our signature stumpy skyline, which could be a lot more visually stunning and architecturally interesting if spire rooftops were allowed. Imagine if our City Hall had a plain flat rooftop how boring that would be?
Behold! The most beautiful sight to see in all of Downtown LA: The historic 1917 Rialto Theatre neon marquee — dark for numerous decades due to sad urban decay — was relit tonight after successful restoration work by Urban Outfitters as the clothing retailer prepares for a grand opening on December 19, 2013. Readers of DTLA Rising sent in numerous photos from various angles showing the amazing restoration of the historic theater signage now brightly lit with neon tubes illuminating the block near 8th and Broadway. Truly a beacon of hope for the future of Broadway and the growing strength of Downtown LA urban revitalization.
More cool shots below!
This past February, we discovered that an actual historic courtyard was “hidden” at the PacMutual building since post-WWII when it was covered up with a one-story building that was most recently a Verizon authorized retailer. The courtyard was created when the original 1908 PacMutual at 6th/Olive expanded with the addition of a much larger 1921 structure that most people now associate as being the main building (there are a total of three historic buildings that comprise the PacMutual). After the PacMutual was purchased by Rising Realty Partners back in April 2012, the urban-conscious developers have been actively repositioning the building with the goal of activating the community surrounding it.