Desmond Building Plans – South Park…

Last night CBRE and EVOQ Properties (Formerly Meruelo Maddux) hosted an open house party, where they unveiled plans for the Desmond building and promoted the owners new name change; which we first announced back on June 3rd.  The party was packed with brokers, good food and fancy cars…?

The Desmond building is going to be converted to 4-stories of creative office space, with rents from $30 psf! Ground floor will have retail, including a restaurant, and the rooftop is being considered as a lounge.  EVOQ Properties currently owns the parking lot next door to the site, which at one time had plans for a 21-story residential tower, but will now be used for restaurant parking. Office tenants will most likely park at a neighbor garage at the southwest corner of Hope & 11th street.


South Park To Get A 32-Story Apartment Tower…

Today the Downtown News announced that Developer Onni Group, from Vancouver Canada, is in the Plan-Check phase on a 32-story apartment tower, located at 888 S Olive Street, in Downtown LA.  The project is expected to have 283 apartment units, 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail and a 662 space parking garage.

The site sits on an approx. 36,670 square foot lot, which was entitled back in 2009 by LaeRoc Funds and sold to Onni in early June of 2011.  Included in the sale was the 163,000 square foot Coast Savings Building, which was approx. 65% occupied at the time of the sale – both sites sold for $16.5 million.

According to the Onni’s VP, Chris Evans, the $100 million project has secured construction funding and is expected to break ground by August, with a 2015 opening date.

Onni also owns the below parcel, which is approx. 1.5 acres on the corner of Flower & 12th Street, which they plan to develop as a residential high-rise at some point.

LA Downtown News Releases Updated Info On 70 Downtown Projects…

The Los Angeles Downtown News has just released their updated report with the latest information on 70 downtown Los Angeles real estate projects.  As the article mentions, the recovery appears to be underway in downtown, as many stalled projects are moving forward or have recently opened, and new projects have been announced.

Click here to view article

Photo: Developer Linear City plans to break ground in April on a renovation and residential conversion of the former Metropolitan Water District headquarters building at 1111 Sunset Blvd

Bringing Back Broadway Announces New National Retail Tenant…


Councilmember Jose Huizar; visionary behind the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, announced today that a national retailer is moving into the historic Broadway corridor.  Ross Dress for Less will open a 39,000sf retail store in the historic Woolworth’s Department Store building, located at 725 S Broadway.  According to the Press Release, the store is expected to generate up to 50 new full and part-time jobs.

“We are looking forward to Broadway serving as home to an iconic Downtown Ross retail store…It’s fitting that the historic Woolworth’s building, which was so beloved by Angelenos in years gone by, will now provide a new retail destination for modern-day Downtown residents, workers and shoppers.” – Councilmember Huizar said in a statement.

Last month the building was purchased by Paragon Commercial Group out of El Segundo, who specializes in acquiring, developing and managing high-quality, value-add retail investments anchored by best in class, creditworthy retailers in high barrier to entry markets, according to their website.


“Reactivating another Broadway storefront and returning this historic building to its original purpose is a significant accomplishment in the ongoing efforts of Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway. The revitalization initiative will soon celebrate the fourth anniversary of its 10-year plan aimed at the restoration and revitalization of the Historic Broadway Theatre District.” – Councilmember Huizar’s Press Release.

The grand opening is expected by early 2013.

UPDATE: CRA Approves Astani’s Scaled Down Plans For 8th & Grand, City Council Up Next…

The site at the north-east corner of 8th and Grand, which in 2006 was approved for three buildings (38, 22 & 15 stories tall), with 875 condominium units, went before the CRA on Thursday Dec 15th; who voted to cancel the current approvals and re-approve the site for a scaled down project. Developer, Sonny Astani; who recently went through bankruptcy on his downtown Concerto building (now owned by ST Residential), will next request approval from City Council for his new plans which include two 7-story buildings with 700 residential units, 30,000 sf of retail and 737 parking spaces.  Astani said $50 million in in-place financing is available for the project and that he will be moving forward on his plans next year.  More information on the project can be found in this CRA Memorandum.

Sale Expected Soon On Myrons South Park Site…

(Photo – Lee & Associates)

The owner of a South Park site; containing 58,095 sf and  made up of a parking lot & the former Myron’s Ballroom building, is expected to select a winning bidder soon, with the sale price expected to come in over $15 million ($258 psf +), according to local real estate experts.

The site is in the process of being entitled for a 33-story tower, with 346 residential units and 25,490sf of ground floor retail space, according to the Lee & Associates listing site.  However, it is likely the new owner will scale back the plans, which were originally conceived before the economy went into recession.

The site is one of over 78 parking lots in the South Park area with potential for ground up development, many of which have already been entitled.  As Farmers Field progresses in finding an NFL team willing to play in Downtown and secures full approvals, South Park will see many of these parking lots sell to developers for large mixed-use projects.

The Urban Observer is keeping a close eye on downtown development movement, and will keep you updated as new information comes in.  For information on any of the sites below, feel free to contact us.

D.C. Developer Aims to Expand “Soho on La Brea”

Washington, D.C.-based developer Madison Marquette unveiled plans on Friday to redevelop 85,000 square feet of vintage buildings between First and Second streets on South La Brea Avenue as “District La Brea.” According to a press release on the company website, Tom Gilmore, Executive Vice President of Madison Marquette explained, “We’re looking to expand a little bit of SoHo that has existed on La Brea.  The project’s focus is to revitalize the historic 1930’s era compound of buildings into the newest shopping destination for the fashion forward that already frequent the popular retail boutiques across the street such as American Rag, Union, Stussy, and Undefeated.” The company has already signed retail concepts Feal Mor and WGACA (the first west coast location). Madison Marquette also plans to bring Sycamore Kitchen, a full-service restaurant and bakery concept from Karen and Quinn Hatfield (Hatfield’s on Melrose).

Check out the District La Brea BLOG for continued updates and events in the area

Image via Madison Marquette website