Some amazing things have been happening on the other side of the 110 freeway in Downtown LA’s lesser known City West neighborhood. Located just west of the Financial District, a place once defined solely by one towering residential (adaptive-reuse) high-rise — that shiny blue-glass prism sitting on a giant parking pedestal known as 1100 Wilshire — is evolving into a bona fide urban community that goes far beyond just one residential address. The neighborhood, a medical hub anchored by Good Sam Hospital, is finally starting to feel more alive than ever as more residential projects come online. There’s no stronger evidence of that urban evolution happening than the opening of a brand new grocery store — called Grocery Outlet — that will serve both City West and the rest of the Downtown LA area.
City West is one of Downtown LA’s least talked about community districts — sorta like the red-headed stepchild of the DTLA family! But that’s only because it hasn’t hit a critical mass yet (not enough restaurants, stores, residential developments, etc.), and there’s still that inconvenient chasm known as the 110 Freeway that divides it from the rest of the Financial District core. Nevertheless, things are slowly changing as more mixed-use projects are added (like the 210-unit 1111 Wilshire that opened in 2013), which will help usher in a new urban energy that will create the stronger pedestrian cross-flow between City West and the Financial District. And part of that exciting change is the addition of a new adaptive-reuse project called The Mint that is filling up with new residents who now call City West home.
City West is one of Downtown LA’s least talked about neighborhoods due to its quiet (read: nothing to do) nature. However, things are definitely changing for the better as new projects like the residential mixed-user, 1111 Wilshire, and the Good Samaritan Hospital expansion are adding more urban bulk to the fledgling neighborhood-in-the-making. And now the latest addition to City West is Plan Check, an exciting new restaurant that opens today on Monday on the ground floor of the aforementioned 1111 Wilshire resi-complex. The new downtown location is the third one for the restaurant, which is the brainchild of Terry Heller who has two other Plan Check locations: one on Sawtelle and another on Fairfax near Canters Deli. The downtown location was announced in April 2013.
Experience Downtown LA living at its best in this spacious penthouse unit. Located in Sonny Astani’s iconic development, Vero, this 1,140 sq ft property features 2 full bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, an open kitchen floor plan with Caesar stone countertops and stainless steel appliances, beautiful hardwood flooring, and convenient, dedicated underground, side-by-side parking for 2 cars. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout provide natural light all day, while top-line surround sound speakers allow you to listen to your favorite tunes. Vero offers an onsite pool, gym with top-of-the-line fitness equipment, full security and easy access to downtown amenities including dining, shopping, culture, public transportation and fabulous nightlife.
Earlier this month, we talked about the need for making the 110 freeway overpasses connecting City West with the rest of Downtown LA more attractive and pleasant for pedestrians to cross, encouraging more residents to walk instead of drive, which is part of the whole point of living in an urban downtown setting. Now there will be another reason for even those who live in “downtown proper” to walk across to City West. Two new eateries have signed on at the new 1111 Wilshire mixed-use apartment building, including Plan Check Kitchen + Bar and Souk Shawarma, both from the Westside.
As Downtown LA continues to evolve and mature into a multi-faceted urban center that’s not only a commercial hub but a bona fide residential community, it becomes even more important that we focus on creating an environment that is pedestrian friendly making it enjoyable and convenient for residents to live, work, and play in. That enhancement to the pedestrian realm — wider sidewalks, narrower streets, more bike lanes, etc. — in Downtown LA is needed to create the strong walkable connections that eventually spawns a walking culture.
Last summer, we saw that construction was humming along nicely for the newest mixed-use project rising in City West, which is an urban neighborhood of Downtown LA just west of the Financial District over the 110 freeway (the landmark 1100 Wilshire tower resides in City West as well). The seven story apartment rental building with ground floor retail developed by Holland Partners, named simply after its address “Eleven Eleven Wilshire” (aka 1111 Wilshire), is about 95% complete and is waiting to receive their TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) from the city soon before their first residential occupants can begin moving in hopefully by March 2013.
It’s exciting to watch the growth of City West as it becomes a bona fide urban neighborhood of Downtown LA. Located west of the 110 freeway across from the Financial District, City West has gained more residential population as more mixed-use projects have gone up over the last decade (starting with the Medici back in 2000). Creating a critical mass of residential density will allow City West to develop a more vibrant neighborhood supporting more businesses. The latest project to join the neighborhood is Eleven Eleven Wilshire (1111 Wilshire), which is actively under construction at the corner of Wilshire and Bixel.