New 65,000sf South Park Hotel Renderings…

Located on a small 7,500 square foot in-fill lot, next door to the Luma building, and which was expected to be turned into a city park after being used as a drug den for dealers over the past several years; is a new hotel in the works. The building is expected to be 65,000 square feet, and contain anywhere between 40 and 60 rooms, according to the developer, who bought the site for $2.1 million in 2011. The property is located at 1130 S Hope Street.

Below are a few renderings recently released for the project… Architect is LA-based XTEN Architecture.

Current Building:


New Farmers Field Stadium Video…

Here’s a glimpse into what Farmers Field Stadium will be like on game day… video was created by stadium architect Gensler, Convention Center hall architect Populous, Gilbert Lindsay designer Melendrez, and parking structure architects HNA Pacific.

AEG is now going through its public comment period on its draft environmental impact report.

Hard Hat Tour! Catching Up With Billy Ruvelson & The ICON Plaza at USC









On May 3, The Urban Observer caught up with Billy Ruvelson, a friend of the blog and one of the developers behind The ICON Plaza at USC, for a hard hat tour of his 56-Unit student housing development at the corner of Exposition and Figueroa across from the USC Campus. The building has come a long way from where it was just one year ago, when we interviewed Mr. Ruvelson a few months after the project’s groundbreaking.









Scheduled to open to new residents in August of this year, the building is beginning to take on the looks of the initial renderings. The shots above show the the ground floor lobby and retail space from the inside. The large circular feature you see in the picture to the right will house retail facing out to the corner of Exposition and Figueroa. The building will feature retail frontage along both streets. The lobby will have high ceilings, carded security access, and a mezzanine level with a lounge area.









Continuing the tour, the pictures above show some of the innovative interior space that Ruvelson believes sets the ICON apart, in the eyes of prospective student tenants, from other private student housing developments in area. To the left is the impressive “Presidential Suite.” The top floor, corner unit features the same circular living room window as the corner units below it, but with an additional 3 feet of ceiling height, with an added layer of window space. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but the unit offers sweeping views of the USC Campus and Exposition Park with sight lines to Baldwin Hills. The building’s additional units feature private bedrooms for all but 66 of its  273 beds, an important selling point for prospective tenants. The interior common space features an open atrium (seen above), pool, sundeck, 24-hour fitness center, study lounges, and a host of other amenities that were definitely not offered in the dorm I lived in freshman year.









The ICON Plaza is scheduled to open in August of this year, just in time for the 2012-2013 school year. At the time of this article, the building was 96% pre-leased, with all units filled and only a few open beds remaining. Ruvelson contributes much of  the successful pre-lease to the project’s ideal location. The project is across the street from USC’s campus and just steps to the coliseum, the Galen Center,  Exposition Park, and 2 different stops on the recently opened Exposition Metro Rail Line (not to mention the attractive mix of retail coming to the ground floor – Ruvelson said that tenants will be revealed soon).   He also cited the private rooms, security features,  and the laundry list of amenities including in-unit laundry, stainless steel appliances, and quartz countertops as big draws for students and parents alike.

Ruvelson said he aims to make the ICON Plaza “The best address at USC. ” In doing so, he has paid incredible attention to detail in nearly every aspect of the project. The project succeeds in focusing intently on the resident experience. he explained that everything from the campus sight-lines looking out of  the exterior windows to the “zen-like atmosphere” of the leasing office is meant to make students (and the parents ultimately footing the bill) feel at ease.


The Icon Company

The ICON Plaza at USC

La Cienega Strip Club Gets 125-Unit, 50 Million Dollar Neighbor

ImageGlobeSt reports that construction has started on the NMS @ La Cienega at La Cienega Boulevard and Westmount Drive (MAP). According to the website for the project, the NMS will bring 125 units of ” One and Two Bedroom dwellings for rent over ground level retail and two levels of subterranean parking.” Jim Andersen, president of developer NMS Properties, told GlobeSt, “The project also will provide residents with onsite retail, dining and entertainment options along with modern exterior design.”

Killefer Flammang Architects has been tagged to design the project, slated for completion in July 2013. The project will be nearly 200,000 square feet and will cost an estimated $50 Million.

 Interestingly enough, neither the article nor the flashy website mention that the project’s neighbor to the south is strip club Star Strip. In addition, it sits directly across for La Cienega staple Trashy Lingerie. At least residents will have all their “adult” needs covered within a one block radius.

Article: GlobeSt – Construction Starts on $50M Multifamily Project

Project Website: 

Champion Real Estate Buys Second Hollywood Parcel for Mixed-Use Development…

Globe St. reports that Champion Real Estate Cohas purchased the 1.14-acre commercial parking lot at 1717 Cherokee and 1718 Las Palmas pictured above for an estimated $10 Million in an all-cash transaction. UPDATE: Champion Paid $9.2M for the site, which is actually 1.1 Acres, meaning a price tag of approximately $192 per sq ft – according to a close source) This acquisition comes almost a year to the day after the firm’s March 2011 $20 Million purchase of a 2.76-acre, 5-building, adjacent redevelopment site spanning the Selma Ave facing side of the block between Las Palmas Ave and Highland Ave. A rendering of the proposed mixed-use development for that site is pictured below. (See Champion’s description of the project here, click on “Projects” and then on the star icon just to the left of the word “Glendale” on the map)

As for the new purchase, Globe St. reports that the company will continue to operate the parcel as a commercial parking lot while entitling the land for another mixed-use project. With the lot currently kicking of a 5% ROI, Champion can afford to be patient with its plans for the new development. However, Globe St. quotes Champion as saying, “Long term, as the transformation of Hollywood continues, we believe the property will be perfectly suited for a mixed-use development that will include public parking, residential, retail and possibly a hospitality component.”  The Globe St. article goes on to explain, “Champion could not elaborate on the mixed-use project until the City Council approves the community plan update, which will dictate what the developer can build, but he does tell that the price in mind for the mixed-use project at this point is around $50 million.”

Champion Acquires Parking Lot With $50M Plans (GlobeSt.)

Image Via Champion Real Estate Companies

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.