Page 1


Updates On 104 Downtown Projects, Pages 9-25 Plus a Residential Section

FEBRUARY 22, 2016 I VOL. 45 I #8

The 15th Annual Downtowners Of Distinction Winners Honoring Nine Projects That Made Downtown a Better Place in 2015 SEE PAGE 7

INSIDE THIS WEEK: Racing Against El Ni単o : 5

photo by Gary Leonard

Sex Talk at the Taper : 29

The A+D Architecture and Design Museum returned to Downtown last August, following a 12-year absence from the community.


2 Downtown News



Pre-Leasing and a Name for Little Tokyo Housing Complex


he large Little Tokyo apartment complex from Irvine-based developer Sares Regis now has a name: It’s Wakaba LA, and pre-leasing on the units has begun, with an “interest list” available at Wakaba means “young leaf” in Japanese. The name arrives as the tarps and scaffolding have begun coming down on the project at 232 E. Second St., revealing an angular, gray-and-red-laced façade. Architecture firm TCA designed the building that, when it opens in late spring, will offer 240 studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with 16,000 square feet of street-level retail or commercial space. Amenities will include a pool, rooftop deck and lounge, and a fitness center. There is also a pre-leasing office at nearby Weller Court, inside Suite 201-A, at 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St.

High-Rise Plan Revived on Grand Avenue


long-stagnant housing project near the Ramon Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts is being revived. Cimmarusti Holdings, a company that primarily owns dining franchises around Southern California, is pursuing plans to build a 22-story residential tower with 299 units on the site of its Burger

TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS King at Grand and Cesar E. Chavez avenues. The project, just north of the high school, would also have about 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space and a garage with room for 408 vehicles and 411 bicycles, according to documents filed with the city. No timeline or budget have been revealed. Brothers Larry and Ralph Cimmarusti first broached plans for a 31-story tower on the site in 2006, then switched to a seven-story building in 2013.

February 22, 2016


Archery on Bunker Hill Is Part Of Downtown Olympics Plan


he site of the 2024 Summer Olympics won’t be chosen until 2017, but plans are already coming into focus for how Los Angeles would host the games. Those include details on where events would take place, and according to a new bid book from the L.A.24 Exploratory Committee, there’s a lot in store for Downtown. Perhaps the most unique aspect would be hosting the archery competition on Bunker Hill. Although the exact site was not specified, the bid book says there would be seating for 8,000 people. Additionally, opening and closing ceremonies would take place in the L.A. Coliseum, and the Convention Center would host six events, with Staples Center and the Microsoft Theater holding down basketball and weightlifting, respectively. Badminton and taekwondo would be at the USC Galen Center. The marathon and other races would start and end at City Hall. Downtown would also tout the biggest “Live Site” of the L.A. Olympics, a central pedestrian corridor along Figueroa Street linking the major Downtown venues. More details are at Los Angeles is competing for the games against Rome, Paris and Budapest.


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February 18, 2016

Downtown Restaurants Up for Culinary Awards


he James Beard Awards represent some of the most prestigious praise a chef and restaurant can receive. The 2015 national list of semifinalists were announced last week, and four Downtown restaurants are among the city’s 22 nominees. Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer of the Grand Central Market falafel restaurant Madcapra are up for the “Rising Star of the Year” award. The Historic Core speakeasy The Varnish has received a nod for “Outstanding Bar Program.” Bestia’s Ori Menashe and Orsa & Winston

chef/owner Josef Centeno are in the hunt for “Best Chef: West.” The finalists will be announced March 15, and winners will be revealed on May 2.

Correction The Feb. 15 story “New Designs for Major Chinatown Project,” about the College Station development, contained two inaccuracies due to incorrect information given to Downtown News by an individual affiliated with the project. College Station will have 770 apartments, not the 624 originally reported. Additionally, it will break ground this year, not in 2017.


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Downtown News 3


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4 Downtown News




CIRCULATION: Danielle Salmon DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Salvador Ingles DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANTS: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla February 22, 2016

©2016 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis

Pondering the Future of the Industrial District




SENIOR WRITER: Eddie Kim he Arts District is booming, with hundreds of milSTAFF WRITER: Nicholas Slayton lions of dollars pouring into housing projects and CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Kathryn Maese S I N C E 19 7 2 restaurants continuing to open. Little Tokyo is also CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer Los Angeles Downtown News seeing new residential buildings, while the Historic Core 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 has undergone a massive transformation in the past 15 ART DIRECTOR: Brian Allison phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 years, and today is filled with shops and places to eat ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR: Yumi Kanegawa web: and drink. email: PHOTOGRAPHER: Gary Leonard Almost in the middle of those communities is the Infacebook: dustrial District. You probably haven’t heard much about ACCOUNTING: Ashley Schmidt L.A. Downtown News it recently, except for occasional reports on the growing CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING MANAGER: Catherine Holloway homelessness problem and how that is impacting the twitter: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Catherine Holloway, Brenda Stevens, DowntownNews I N C E 19 7 2 area long known for seafood packaging and lightSindusMichael Lamb Los Angeles Downtown News trial businesses. ©2016 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News SALES ASSISTANT: Claudia Hernandez is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CAseeking 90026 to draw at Now some area stakeholders are The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newsphone: 213-481-1448 fax: 213-250-4617 tention to the Industrial•District, and to ensure that as CIRCULATION: Danielle Salmon paper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every web: • email: Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Downtown grows, the community benefits. It’s the right DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Salvador Ingles Los Angeles. move, and facebook: the topic should be taken up by elected DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANTS: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla One copy per person. twitter: and communityL.A. leaders, along with officials in the DepartDowntown News DowntownNews ment of City Planning. Los Angeles Downtown News this month wrote about a EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Sue Laris & PUBLISHER: Larisof “State of the CommunireportEDITOR that seeks to giveSue a sort GENERAL MANAGER: Dawn Eastin GENERAL EastinThe Central City East Planwhere taxes and regulations are less cumbersome. The report itives and negatives with these and other ideas, but it is helpful to ty” look at theMANAGER: IndustrialDawn District. notes that many seafood businesses have left the Industrial Dishave them on the table. ning Study details theJon physical and financial landscape EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Regardie EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Jon Regardie SENIOR Eddie Kim trict, and that the 9% job growth in the area since 2002 trails the forgotten. “This is a The report also mentions something often and lays outWRITER: a compelling argument for change. SENIOR WRITER: Eddie Kim WRITER: 17% growth seen in the entirety of Downtown in that time. neighborhood,” it states. “The city needs to treat it so.” The com TheSTAFF report runs Nicholas down a Slayton series of area shortcomings and STAFF WRITER: Nicholas Slayton EDITOR: Maese It would be foolish to turn away from industrial uses, even if ment references a lack of what the study terms “public realm” positsCONTRIBUTING potential plans for Kathryn the future. These range from doCONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Kathryn Maese CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer some landowners would prefer to sell basics. One person involved in the report noted that the district ing nothing and letting growth and change happen natuS Itheir N C Eproperty 19 7 2 to housing CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer developers. But demanding only industrial businesses is outdatcan seem like an urban industrial park with blocks of windowrally, to pushing for a community-wide zoning re-designaART DIRECTOR: Brian Allison Los Angeles Downtown News ed thinking. The key is finding the right kinds of businesses, and less walls. tion that more ART or less allowsYumi all uses. Neither seems approASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Kanegawa ART DIRECTOR: Brian Allison 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 taking advantage of existing warehouses and wide streets that Fortunately, this is low-hanging fruit, and the city could take priate, but some of the report’s in-between measures merphone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR: Yumi Kanegawa PHOTOGRAPHER: Gary Leonard allow for truck access. As with much here, the right path insteps such as planting trees, providing benches and adding crossit consideration. web: so ACCOUNTING: Ashley Schmidt is the idea of focusing devolves balance. walks to intersections that lack them. While few people walked Among the most appealing email: PHOTOGRAPHER: Gary Leonard The study was commissioned by the Central City East Associahere in the past, the pedestrian experience matters now. velopment on major east-west corridors suchHolloway as Fourth or CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING MANAGER: Catherine facebook: in partnership with The issue of homelessness casts a shadow over anything that SixthACCOUNT streets. While someCatherine people Holloway, might say this Stevens, is too limitACCOUNTING: Ashley Schmidt tion, the area’s business improvement district, EXECUTIVES: Brenda Michael Lamb L.A. Downtown Newsto think public affairs and lobbying firm Kindel Gagan. It’s logical happens. Central City East includes Skid Row, and as in other parts ed toSALES benefit the entire area, it could help tie the Industrial ASSISTANT: Claudia Hernandez that Kindel Gagan and AECOM, which performed the study, might of Downtown, tents and encampments are an epidemic here. District to the Historic Core on the west and the Arts DisCLASSIFIED ADVERTISING MANAGER: Catherine Holloway twitter: CIRCULATION: Danielle Salmon involved in future changes to or projects in the district, and thus Study organizers maintain that the intent ACCOUNT is not to EXECUTIVES: move homeless trict on the east. Making it easier to bring, say, restaurants, Catherinebe Holloway, DowntownNews DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Salvador Ingles Stevens, Michael Lamb could have a financial interest in what happens. There’s not necesservices elsewhere, but rather to respond Brenda to an over-saturation. shops and even housing to specific streets could be the DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANTS: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla SALES ASSISTANT: Claudia sarily anything wrong with ©2016 that, but decision makers pubAgain, this makes sense — this page has long called for halting theHernandez first step in sparking wider investment. Civic Center News, Inc.and Los the Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News lic should know who the players are. of homeless services in Downtown and spreading Other intriguing the report ©2016 Civic Center options News, Inc. detailed Los AngelesinDowntown Newsinclude is a trademark of concentration Civic Inc. All rights reserved. Center News Inc. industrial All rights reserved. a great launch with the The City Planning department some of them to other communities, as moving people away from preserving large parcels while pushing new deThe Los has Angeles Downtown News point is the must-read CIRCULATION: Danielle Salmon The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is disCentral City East Planning Study. Nothing will change overnight, turn lives around. velopment on other looking to position sizable and is distributed everyplots, Mondayand throughout the offices and residences of Downtownthe Los scourge of Skid Row is the best way toDISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Salvador Ingles tributed every Monday throughout the offices and Angeles. but with so much activity across Downtown, this is the time for a Another vital issue is jobs. Manufacturing businesses have been chunks of land or buildings for so-called “once-in-a-generresidences of Downtown Los Angeles. DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANTS: Lorenzo Castillo, serious discussion of the future of the neighborhood. fleeing Los Angeles, winding up in nearbyGustavo cities such as Vernon, ation”One projects help transform the area. There are poscopy perthat person. One copy per person. Bonilla


S I N C E 19 7 2 Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: • email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News

twitter: DowntownNews


PHOTOGRAPHER: Gary Leonard ACCOUNTING: Ashley Schmidt CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING MANAGER: Catherine Holloway ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Catherine Holloway, Brenda Stevens, Michael Lamb SALES ASSISTANT: Claudia Hernandez CIRCULATION: Danielle Salmon DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Salvador Ingles DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANTS: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

©2016 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

February 22, 2016

Racing Against El Niño

Soaring Plans for Car Wash Site

With Huge Storms Predicted, Developers and Construction Crews Face Challenges

A 57-Story Tower Would Have Undulating Walls and Trees Built Into the Structure

By Nicholas Slayton hen a series of storms rolled through Los Angeles last month, it wasn’t just residents and commuters who were inconvenienced. Work crews at Holland Partner Group’s $90 million Vibiana Lofts at Second and Main streets also had to make adjustments. Once the rain and wind picked up, the construction team told the crane operator to stop work and come down from his perch. Bert Levesque, vice president of Holland Construction Inc., which is building the project, said that it was a matter of safety. “If there are heavy winds over 20-25 mph, we’ll stop work,” Levesque said. “People could lose their balance, materials could be blown away. High winds are as much a concern as rain.” Dozens of developers could be forced to take similar steps in coming months, as meteorologists predict that Southern California will be doused by a string of El Niño storms. Different projects in various stages of construction face a variety of challenges: Developments in the excavation stage risk having dirt turned to mud. Days of rain can soak construction sites and make work all but impossible, particularly on projects that utilize wood construction. Crews building highrises where a roof has yet to be installed are forced to take temporary steps to protect interiors. Perhaps the most complicated challenges come with high-rises, whether the $1 billion, 73-story Wilshire Grand replacement or the numerous 20-something-story structures now underway throughout South Park and the Financial District. Marc Turcot, a superintendent at the Wilshire Grand Continued on page 28

By Nicholas Slayton outh Park is a hub of high-rise construction. Now, another proposal, and one of the tallest to date, is on the table. Developer Ben Neman, working under the limited liability company Olymfig26 LLC, is proposing building a 57-story tower with a hotel, condominiums, and office and retail space at the northwest corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street. He acquired the site, which currently houses the Downtown Car Wash, in 2014 for a reported $25 million. Plans for the project, called the Olympic Tower, were presented to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The proposal calls for 373 hotel rooms on floors 15-31, with a lobby on the 14th floor. There would be 374 residential units on the upper levels. The tower would have 838 parking spaces split between six below-grade levels and eight more above ground. The project between L.A. Live and the Hotel Figueroa would include 33,500 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of retail space. Monrovia-based architecture firm



rs o t o M A L n Downtow


l Holt er, CE O


Nardi Associates is handling the design, which features undulating elements on upper floors and a mix of diamond patterns, LED lights and trees built into the exterior walls. A rooftop amenity deck would include a pool and gym. “The structure and landscape in this project are absolutely connected,” said Noberto Nardi of Nardi Associates. “We have 14 floors of natural hydroponics. The building will be a giant urban tree.” The car wash was built in 1980 by Robert Bush, who bought the land for $525,000. It has remained the site of intense speculation as L.A. Live rose and nearby high-rise projects such as Metropolis and Oceanwide Plaza broke ground. At the DLANC meeting, project representatives said they hope to get variances on bicycle parking (including creating a bicycle valet), and to be allowed to plant required green space elsewhere, due to the limited size of the lot. The DLANC panel, which has only advisory powers, voted to support the variances. Ultimately binding approvals from the city would be required. Neman declined to comment on the project after the meeting.

The proposed Olympic Tower would replace the Downtown Car Wash in South Park.

photo courtesy of Nardi Associates LLP

Some DLANC committee members expressed concern about the scale of the project and asked if it would actually be built, or if the developer just hopes to raise interest and sell the land. Nardi said Neman has no intention of selling the property and plans to build the tower. The building’s height means that it would block views of the Hotel Figueroa, which often has ads on south-facing walls that are seen during exterior shots of games at Staples Center. No timeline or budget have been revealed for the project.

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February 22, 2016

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Downtown News 7




Return of the A+D Museum

Downtowners OF

Distinction Awards

Honoring the Projects That Made Downtown Better in 2015

photos by Gary Leonard (unless noted) By Jon Regardie owntown Los Angeles today has little in common with the Downtown of 2000. Sure, the basic geography is the same, a lot of people still work here and many landmarks endure, but almost everything else is different: There are more high-rises dotting the skyline, more restaurants, more businesses and more parks. The residential population has swelled by nearly 40,000, and Downtown is now a nightlife hub. Every year brings change, but in 2015 the change was even more pronounced than usual, thanks to a clutch of diverse projects that will impact life in the neighborhood for decades to come. In the following pages, Los Angeles Downtown News highlights some of the transformative additions from the past year with our 15th annual Downtowners of Distinction Awards.


Commercial Office Space for Lease

The prizes are dispensed by district, and when choosing winners we sought to identify projects that had the greatest positive effect on their individual community, and also benefitted Downtown as a whole (prizes were not given in every district). The nine district winners for 2015 were selected by the editorial staff of Downtown News, and the awards will be handed out Tuesday, Feb. 23. Next week the Project of the Year, selected from among the individual winners by leaders from each district, will be revealed. Picking a winner isn’t easy, and in several instances there were other projects that clearly deserved recognition. We only give one Distinction award in each district, but we wanted to highlight some of those who worked hard to better the neighborhood. Following, in alphabetical order by district, are this year’s Downtowners of Distinction winners.


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he Arts District is awash in residential projects and new restaurants. So it was refreshing when the A+D Architecture and Design Museum opened at 900 E. Fourth St. in August. The institution, as the name implies, celebrates architecture and design, and the opening show was a thoughtful exploration of how we live in Los An-

geles. The A+D Museum dovetails nicely with the nearby Southern California Institute of Architecture, and helps cement Downtown’s reputation as a design hub. Plus, this marks a return — the museum originally opened in Downtown in 2001, though for a dozen years it had been elsewhere. This is proof that you can come home again.


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8 Downtown News



Clifton’s Cafeteria


t’s a cliché to say that something is worth waiting for, but in the case of Clifton’s, it’s true. Owner Andrew Meieran reopened the historic establishment at 648 S. Broadway on Oct. 1, after spending four years and more than $10 million on a top-to-bottom transformation. The new Clifton’s is wondrous, with the refurbished cafeteria being just the start. Old culinary classics have received a modern twist, and the din-

The Broad

ing room is highlighted by a replica 40-foot-tall redwood tree. People from across Los Angeles have been coming for a mid-day meal or an evening drink at one of the bars, all of which have different themes. Secrets lie around every corner, whether the dinosaur eggs or the taxidermy animals. With this upgrade, Meieran has taken a piece of Downtown’s past and made it a part of the future.


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February 22, 2016


he $140 million contemporary art museum from Eli and Edythe Broad is the most important cultural addition to Downtown Los Angeles since the opening of the neighboring Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. The 120,000-squarefoot Grand Avenue facility was the talk of the town for months before and after its Sept. 20 opening, and huge crowds have flocked to the museum, drawing international attention to

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Downtown. Many ogle the honeycombed edifice designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, while others spend hours perusing the artworks inside by Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and every other major name in contemporary art. The “veil and vault” design and the Broads’ 2,000-piece collection ensure that people will be coming to the museum, and surrounding Bunker Hill, for decades.


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owntown got another top-notch nightlife destination in May, when the Teragram Ballroom opened at 1234 W. Seventh St. Like the Historic Core’s revived Regent Theater, which debuted in 2013, the Teragram hosts prominent rock and independent acts, and with shows at least three nights a week, the community is busier and more lively. Brothers Michael and Brian Swier, who were

behind standout New York City nightspots including the Mercury Lounge, spent $2 million restoring the 1913 City West building that originally opened as the Playhouse Theater. The praise for the club that holds 600 people has come fast and frequent, with accolades for the Teragram’s sightlines and acoustics. Now, you don’t need to leave Downtown to see some of the best bands around. Continued on page 26

February 22, 2016

Downtown News 9



The New York-based investment firm Lizard Capital is working on plans to turn the narrow lot at 633 S. Spring St. into a hotel. The Lizard In, as it is called, is being designed by architect Adam Sokol, and would be 28 stories tall and feature 176 guest rooms, as well as a rooftop bar. Initial plans call for the lower levels to feature concrete and columns to fit in with the neighboring buildings on Spring Street, while upper levels would have a glass exterior. Due to the lot’s size (105,000 square feet), the Lizard In would not have on-site parking. According to a representative of Sokol’s firm, the project is in the entitlements stage, and the goal is to start construction this year. The project would take two years to build. No budget has been revealed.

The Latest Information on 104 Downtown Projects By Eddie Kim, Emily Manthei, Jon Regardie and Nicholas Slayton he U.S. stock market is shaky. Financial analysts are worried about the economic situation in China. Many people are wondering if another recession is on the horizon. You would hardly know that from looking at Downtown Los Angeles, where the development scene continues to boom. Land and buildings here are selling for ever-higher prices. Rents in new apartment structures routinely surpass $4 a square foot. More than a dozen skyscrapers are under construction. In the following pages, Los Angeles Downtown News runs down the latest information on a mindboggling 104 projects. These cover a wide spectrum, from the aforementioned residential buildings to several older structures being turned into creative office space to the tallest tower west of the Mississippi to the creation of new parks. What’s more, the activity is happening across the community. The Arts District and South Park continue to hum, while investors also see opportunity in Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Bunker Hill, the Historic Core and other neighborhoods. The activity underway will forever change the face of Downtown. Here is a look at what is happening in the community.


NEW PROJECTS These projects were either publicly announced, were revived or gained prominence in the past five months. 813 E. FIFTH ST. Developer Daryoush Dayan plans to convert four buildings in Skid Row into affordable micro-lofts. Three adjacent buildings at 801, 809 and 813 E. Fifth St. would feature 132 marketrate units. Across the street at 721 E. Fifth St., 28 apartments would be set aside for veteran housing. Units would be very small, starting at just 214 square feet; a project representative said rents would start at $900 a month, though that could change as plans are refined. The adaptive reuse project would encompass a total of 66,082 square feet, and the former hotels would have 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. David Gray Architects is handling designs. The project is currently in the entitlements stage, and a budget and construction timeline have not been revealed. 1201 S. GRAND AVE. A Chinese developer has proposed building a $100 million luxury condominium tower at 12th Street and Grand Avenue in South Park. City Century Development, a Los Angeles subsidiary of Shanghai firm ShengLong Group, is pursuing final approvals on a 37-story building that would have 126 units. Architect Richard Keating is handling designs. City Century bought the 44,000-square-foot site for $26 million and is aiming to break ground this spring. Early renderings show a glass tower with balconies on each corner and a rooftop deck with a steel-and-glass overhead covering. Construction would take about two years, according to a project representative.

ONE BUNKER HILL In October, development firm Rising Realty Partners teamed up with Lionstone Investments and Hermes Investment Management to buy One Bunker Hill, a 12-story Art Deco structure at Fifth Street and Grand Avenue. Now plans for a renovation and rebranding of the historic structure are in the works. Specifics have not been revealed, but Rising officials have said that initial steps will involve upgrading the property’s systems, including the elevators. RRP also expects to undertake both exterior and interior modifications on the 1931 edifice that features a central tower with terra cotta tiling. image courtesy Holland Partner Group

of protruding balconies on approximately a dozen levels over Spring Street. It would contain a pool and terrace, as well as about 7,200 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. A groundbreaking could take place this summer, and construction would take about 30 months. HOTEL FIGUEROA RENOVATION The overhaul of the 1925 hotel just north of L.A. Live began in late November, and the Hotel Figueroa will remain shuttered through the summer as new owners Green Oak and Urban Lifestyle renovate the property. The aesthetic in the building at 939 S. Figueroa St. will shift from Moroccan to Spanish Colonial, with an emphasis on modern amenities and features in the 285 guest rooms and common spaces, including the outdoor pool. A liquidation sale of all the hotel’s fixtures, furnishings and more took place in December. The renovated hotel will be managed by HHM Hospitality, which operates more than 100 hotels around the country. At

SAPPHIRE Downtown-based developer Jade Enterprises, which already has two Central City apartment structures under construction, is working on plans to build Sapphire, a residential building in City West. The seven-story edifice at 1111 W. Sixth St. would have 369 units along with roughly 22,000 square feet of retail space, according to a company spokesman. The development is still in the entitlements phase. No budget or timeline has been announced. VARIETY ARTS CENTER RENOVATION

HOXTON HOTEL Private investment firm Ennismore of London purchased the former Los Angeles Railway Building at 1060 S. Broadway at the end of 2015. Ennismore, which paid $30 million for the 10-story structure, plans to turn the 89,136-square-foot building into a Hoxton hotel. The brand, which bills itself as an “anti-hotel” for its built-in nightlife and boutique stylings, started in London. The 1922 edifice served as the headquarters for the Los Angeles Railway and its yellow cars in the early 20th century No details have been announced regarding the project’s design, budget or timeline. LIZARD IN

photo by Gary Leonard

EMERALD Developer Jade Enterprises is seeking entitlements for the South Park project Emerald. The seven-story building at 1340 S. Olive St. would feature 154 apartments. There would also be approximately 11,000 square feet of ground-level retail space. No budget or timeline have been revealed. HOLLAND PARTNER GROUP/732 S. SPRING ST. Developer Holland Partner Group is pushing forward with entitlements on a 24-story tower at 732 S. Spring St., according to Southern California division head Tom Warren. Renderings for the 276-unit (down from an initial 308 units) building show a structure with glass and steel on the upper floors, and a number

image courtesy Lizard Capital

The long-stagnant Variety Arts Center at 940 S. Figueroa St. is getting a big tenant and a major renovation. Downtown-based Robhana Group, which acquired the South Park building in 2012, began an upgrade of the 92-year-old property in January. The entire core of the building will be modernized, including installing new infrastructure systems such as elevators and plumbing. Historic upgrades are being undertaken by the Spectra Company. Once the work is finished, Hillsong L.A., a branch of the Australia-based Christian mega-church, will move in; that is expected to happen by the end of the year. The 1924 Variety Arts Center has a ground-floor theater with 1,100 seats, a smaller theater space on the third floor, and room for offices or other Continued on page 10

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PROJECT UPDATES, 9 uses on the fourth and fifth floors. Hillsong will use the main theater for its Sunday services and also house offices on upper floors. Additional unused space would be rented out to other tenants, according to Robhana Group head Robert Hanasab. RESIDENTIAL 801 S. OLIVE ST. The concrete core of a 33-story residential tower at 801 S. Olive St. is under construction. The project from San Francisco-based Carmel Partners is slated to wrap in late 2017, according to company Senior Vice President of Development Dan Garibaldi. The tower at Eighth and Olive streets will have 363 units, with studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments and eight penthouses. There will also be 10,000 square feet of street-facing retail, and amenities will include a rooftop pool and lounge, a larger pool and recreation area on a fifth-floor deck, a fitness center and more. The tower’s five-story parking facility will be wrapped in translucent panels so that it glows softly at night. 825 S. OLIVE ST. Vancouver, Canada-based Onni Group plans to break ground on a 50-story residential tower in the first quarter of 2018. The project at 825 S. Olive St., at the same intersection as Onni’s Level Furnished Living high-rise, which opened last summer, will feature 498 residential units, along with 600 parking spaces, according to project manager Karlton Lockett. The space is currently a parking lot stretching between Hill and Olive streets. No budget has been revealed. 888 S. HOPE ST. CIM Group is completing predevelopment and design work for a project at the northeast corner of Ninth and Hope streets, according to Karen Diehl, a spokeswoman for the developer. Published reports said that 888 S. Hope St. would be a 33-story tower with 526 apartments and a six-story parking podium, and that RTKL would handle designs, though Diehl said those details are not confirmed and the look has not been finalized. 920 S. HILL ST. A 32-story residential building from developer Barry Shy is in the planning stage. Shy, who has created numerous Downtown Los Angeles apartment complexes, hopes to break ground in the first quarter of 2017, according to project representative Kate Bartolo. The project next to the Ace Hotel, being designed by David Takacs Architecture, would have 239 condominiums and five ground-floor commercial spaces. The budget has not been revealed. 950 E. THIRD ST.

cording to Dilip Bhavnani, a principal at developer Legendary Developments. The apartment complex will feature 472 units, along with 22,000 square feet of retail space. There will also be a public path through the site connecting Third Street to Traction Avenue and Merrick Street. The budget for the sixacre development has risen from $170 million to $215 million. Bhavnani said it will take 28 months to complete, which would mean an opening in mid-2018. 950 S. BROADWAY Developer G.H. Palmer Associates, known in Downtown for its huge apartment complexes in a faux-Mediterranean design, has begun work on its first adaptive reuse project, a renovation of a small 1913 edifice at 950 S. Broadway. The seven-story structure is being turned into 30 apartments, with a rooftop deck and about 7,500 square feet of retail space on the street and basement levels. The design from Killefer Flammang Architects includes re-creating a decorative cornice along the roofline and adding balconies to better reflect the original architecture. The 102-year-old building sits next to Palmer’s under-construction Broadway Palace, which will create nearly 700 apartments in new seven- and 10-story structures at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway. Completion of 950 S. Broadway is expected this summer, according to company head Geoff Palmer. 1001 S. OLIVE ST. The seven-story, 201-unit apartment complex at Olympic Boulevard and Olive Street is slated to open this summer, according to Scott Rynders, vice president of development with developer Lennar Multifamily. Framing has been completed and crews are now proceeding with window installation and exterior finishes; extensive interior work is scheduled to begin in the coming months. The project includes 12 two-story townhomes, a pool deck, a roof deck, a dog run and a large fitness center. The building will have 228 parking spaces spread across two levels, as well as 4,100 square feet of ground-floor retail space. 1212 S. FLOWER ST. The Vancouver, Canada-based developer Onni Group, which last year opened the 33-story Level Furnished Living, is still seeking permits to build a pair of high-rises at 1212 S. Flower St. in South Park, according to Onni Development Manager Mark Spector. The project would create a total of 730 residential units in 31- and 40-story towers. The development would include 843 parking spaces and a landscaped podium deck. No timeline or budget has been revealed. 1400 S. FIGUEROA ST. DHG Family Trust expects to break ground soon on a housing complex at 1400 S. Figueroa St. The seven-story South Park edifice will have 106 apartments and 4,750 square feet of retail space, according to Don Getman, a principal with the project’s designer, GMP Architects-LA. The project is across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center. No budget has been announced. The project is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2017. ALEXAN

photo by Gary Leonard

After some delays, construction began last month at 950 E. Third St. The project next to the Southern California Institute of Architecture in the Arts District is back on schedule, ac-

image courtesy Trammell Crow Residential

February 22, 2016 Trammell Crow Residential’s proposed 26-story development at 850 S. Hill St. is awaiting a public hearing, according to a project representative. The design by architecture firm RTKL will have 305 apartments, and amenities will include a gym. There would also be a parking podium and one level of underground parking that together would create 336 stalls; there would also be more than 300 spaces for bikes. Additionally, the $140 million project would have about 6,200 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. A timeline has not been revealed. Residents of the neighboring Eastern Columbia Building have protested the project, claiming in part that the new building would block views of the property’s historic rooftop clock. AMP LOFTS Bolour Associates and Crescenta Capital had been working on plans to create 320 live/work apartments at Seventh Street and Santa Fe Avenue, and had hoped to begin construction on the $130 million development in the middle of 2016. However, the Amp Lofts has been sold, and it remains unclear if the new owner plans to continue down the same path. Plans had called for Amp Lofts, at 695 S. Santa Fe. Ave., to include 20,000 square feet of retail space and 390 parking spots. Designs by the Shimoda Design Group showed a complex built in a “J” formation, with a series of two-, three- and seven-story structures. At BEACON TOWER Equity Residential is waiting on the final approvals to build a 33-story tower at the northeast corner of Fourth and Hill streets. The company anticipates breaking ground in the spring, according to Equity Vice President of Development Dustin Smith. The project would rise on what is currently a surface parking lot, and would feature 428 apartments (studios, oneand two-bedroom units) and 2,900 square feet of ground-floor retail. The design from the firm TCA features a glass-heavy facade with balconies and a rooftop “beacon” for decorative lighting. The project near Pershing Square would have a subsidized housing component, with 22 very-low-income units and 86 workforce residences. Construction would take two years. BROADWAY AND OLYMPIC CONDOS Developers Barry Shy and Joe Bednar expect to break ground on a condominium building at Broadway and Olympic Boulevard in the first quarter of 2017. The 184,705-square-foot project at 955 S. Broadway, near the Ace Hotel, would feature 163 residential units, along with eight commercial spaces. The 15-story edifice would include a rooftop deck with a pool and outdoor space on the second floor. Construction is expected to take 18-24 months. No budget has been revealed. BROADWAY PALACE Developer G.H. Palmer Associates is in the framing stage for a two-building project at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway. Broadway Palace includes a 10-story, 439-apartment building and a six-story, 247-unit structure on adjacent lots. Unlike most of company head Geoff Palmer’s projects, which have a fauxMediterranean look, Broadway Palace will have brick facades that complement the historic buildings on Broadway. The project will be complete in early 2017, according to company head Geoff Palmer. The complex is a partnership between Palmer and parking lot company L&R Group. At BUNKER HILL TOWERS RENOVATION Essex Property Trust, which owns numerous Downtown apartment complexes, is continuing its $76 million renovation of the Bunker Hill Towers. It is aiming to upgrade all 456 apartments in the 1969 complex by the end of 2017, although the timing depends on how quickly existing tenants leave or transfer to a temporary unit while improvements are made. The work in the pair of 19-story buildings at 234 S. Figueroa St. will include new HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) systems and new plumbing lines so that each apartment can have its own washer and dryer. All the windows will be replaced with more energyefficient panes, and Essex plans to add full-size balconies on corner units and smaller balconies with sliding glass doors on center apartments. The plan also includes the creation of a twostory amenity center, with a gym and pool deck, along Third Street, between Flower and Figueroa streets, on a current parking lot. That work is anticipated to take place in 2017. Continued on page 12

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beques and dining areas. The developer may also include a dog run. There will be 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space above three levels of parking and bicycle storage. Sales and Marketing Director Joy Maine said the project is slated for completion in September 2017. The budget has not been disclosed.


FOREST CITY/SOUTH PARK Developer Forest City has completed excavation for a pair of seven-story buildings at 1100 S. Hill St. and 1200 S. Broadway. The parking and ground floors of the buildings are now being framed. The Hill Street edifice, which Forest City will connect to the nearby Herald Examiner Building with a pedestrian paseo, will contain 177 studio to two-bedroom units above 7,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The Broadway structure will contain 214 studio to two-bedroom units, also above 7,500 square feet of retail. Amenities will include a pool, spa, outdoor deck, fitness centers, barbeques, lounges, work spaces, pet spas and a film room, said K.C. Yasmer of Forest City. The $135 million project will offer 500 parking stalls and 450 bicycle parking spaces. The buildings are scheduled to open in summer of 2017. GAREY BUILDING

Crews have finished underground and foundation work and are now proceeding above street level at the Circa project at 1200 S. Figueroa St. Plans from architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux call for twin 36-story towers with a combined 648 luxury condominiums, sitting on top of a seven-story retail podium with 48,000 square feet of space for shops. The complex will have 1,770 parking spaces. Additional features at the approximately $500 million South Park development include a two-acre outdoor amenity deck and a 15,000-square-foot ribbon of LED signage along Figueroa. Circa is backed by a development group composed of Hankey Investment Company, Jamison Services (headed by prominent landowner Dr. David Lee), Falcon California Investments and Highlands Capital. Circa is slated for completion in late 2017.

E. ON GRAND Construction crews have finished pouring concrete on three of the four decks at E. On Grand, a seven-story apartment building at 1249 S. Grand Ave. Next, Hollywood-based 4D Development plans to start the wood framing of the $30 million, 115-unit project. The development will contain studios and one- and twobedroom apartments averaging 670 square feet. Units will rent for approximately $3.50 per square foot. Amenities in the South Park project will include a pool, sun deck, recreation room and gym, and there will be about 5,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. E. On Grand will have 120 underground parking stalls. Architect AFCO Design’s structure will feature an articulated facade with colored accent panels and glass balconies on every unit. 4D expects to complete the project by November. At ETCO HOMES LITTLE TOKYO Beverly Hills-based developer Etco Homes plans to break ground in March on an eight-story condominium complex at 118 Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka St. in Little Tokyo. BGA Inc. is designing the 77-unit building that will offer one- and twobedroom lofts ranging from 700-1,200 square feet. Amenities will include a rooftop with a fitness center, pool, lounge, bar-

HANOVER OLYMPIC Construction crews are wrapping up work on interior units and the clubhouse at developer Hanover Company’s seven-story, 263-unit complex at Olympic Boulevard and Olive Street. The project is expected to open in April, according to Hanover development partner Ryan Hamilton. The final step will be finishing sidewalks and walkways at the project, which will be the company’s third completed development in South Park, following the Hanover Grand, which opened in November, and Hanover South Park, which debuted about a year ago. The three projects, designed by architecture firm TCA, have a combined 38,000 square feet of retail space; Hanover Olympic contains 14,500 square feet. The building includes parking for retail as well as residents. The mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments will average 800 square feet, though Hanover has not yet announced leasing rates. Amenities will include a rooftop deck and gym. Apartments have glass balconies overlooking the street. HOLLAND PARTNER GROUP/EIGHTH AND SPRING Developer Holland Partner Group broke ground on its 24-story tower at Eighth and Spring streets in late January, and excavation for the foundation is underway. The 320-apartment building designed by Irvine-based architecture firm MVE & Partners will have an eclectic façade, melding a Beaux-Arts feel near the ground level with modern steel-and-glass elements above. Amenities will include a pool, rooftop deck and 8,900 square feet of retail space. Construction is expected to take about 30 months, according to Tom Warren, head of Holland Partner’s Southern California division.

photo by Gary Leonard

DA VINCI Developer G.H. Palmer Associates is building out the interior of the second phase of the Da Vinci apartments at 909 W. Temple St. The second part of the project burned down in an arson fire in December 2014, requiring a full rebuild. The building, south of Temple Street, is expected to be complete by May, according to company head Geoff Palmer. He added that there were no changes to the plans or design for the rebuild. Da Vinci II, like most of Palmer’s Downtown complexes, has Italian/Mediterranean-inspired architecture and a bevy of amenities including a resort-style pool, screening rooms and lounges. The two phases together will contain 526 apartments. At

square feet of retail and commercial space. No budget has been disclosed. At


photo courtesy Lowe Enterprises

The Arts District residential project the Garey Building is nearing an opening, with finish work and landscaping now taking place at the 320-unit apartment complex, said Tom Wulf, senior vice president of developer Lowe Enterprises. Lowe is partnering on the two-building project at 905 E. Second St. with Megatoys and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The Arts District property was long the headquarters for Megatoys, a toy business run by the Woo family. The five-story buildings between First and Second streets flanking Garey Street are scheduled to open in April, Wulf said, with pre-leasing starting in early March. The $60 million development, with designs by Togawa Smith Martin Architects, includes 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space with outdoor dining along a pedestrian-only street connecting First and Second streets. The studio to two-bedroom apartments will average 728 square feet. Residences will have open floor plans with features including gourmet kitchens, quartz countertops, and washers and dryers. The property contains four courtyards, one dedicated to pets. Another courtyard will offer a pool, spa and sundeck with grilling areas, fire pits and an outdoor lounge. The development is being constructed to LEED certification standards and will include 530 parking spaces for both retail and residential tenants. At G12 Financing for developer Sonny Astani’s 640-unit G12 has been secured by private equity firm Wolff Company. The first phase of the project, a 347-unit building at 12th Street and Grand Avenue, broke ground last year, but Astani Enterprises is holding off on starting work on the second phase, which would deliver 293 units and stretch the complex south to Pico Boulevard and west to Olive Street. Plans call for the project to include 42,000

photo by Gary Leonard

Crews are framing and building the upper floors of two sevenstory structures at Holland Partner Group’s $200 million City West project. It will ultimately deliver 606 apartments in the new structures and a renovated medical building at Sixth Street and Lucas Avenue. The latter is expected to open soon, while the new buildings would begin leasing in early 2017, with full completion the following year. The development will have 25,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, much of it fronting Sixth Street. The designer is Togawa Smith Martin. Residences will be studio to three-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,500 to slightly under $4,000. Amenities will include rooftop decks, a large fitness center, a pool, a public plaza and 300 trees. HOLLAND PARTNER GROUP/SOUTH PARK Entitlements are being secured for Holland Partner Group’s 28-story, 341-apartment tower at the southeast corner of Ninth and Figueroa streets in South Park, according to Tom Warren, head of the developer’s Southern California division. The Vancouver, Wash.-based company hopes to break ground in early spring, he said, with construction taking roughly two and a half years. Designs by Preston Partnership depict a glass tower with box-shaped clusters of balconies. Nearly 11,700 square feet of retail space would front the sidewalk along Figueroa and on

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Ninth. The tower was originally envisioned as the third phase of developer Sonny Astani’s Concerto project, but Holland Partner acquired the property in 2014. HOLLAND PARTNER GROUP/VIBIANA LOFTS

five stories of wood construction over a concrete podium, with approximately 247 above- and below-ground parking spaces. The building will appear to be eight stories when viewed from Los Angeles Street and seven floors when eyed from Main. It will include about 4,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space. The $90 million development, designed by Togawa Smith Martin, is expected to debut in early 2017.


MACFARLANE PARTNERS/PARK FIFTH Macfarlane Partners’ 660-unit residential project just north of Pershing Square is now fully entitled and the developer plans to start construction in the spring, according to Jeff Berris, director of development at Macfarlane Partners. The project on a plot bordered by Fifth, Hill and Olive streets (the site of the development previously known as Park Fifth) consists of a 24-story building that would have 347 units and approximately 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and a seven-story edifice with 313 residential units and 7,500 square feet of retail. The shorter building is expected to break ground in late April, while construction is slated to begin on the high-rise at an unspecified date later in the year. Both buildings are scheduled to take 28 months to complete. No budget has been revealed.

image courtesy Holland Partner Group

Vancouver, Wash.-based Holland Partner Group is working on a mid-rise apartment project with 237 units adjacent to the former St. Vibiana’s cathedral at Second and Main streets. The underground parking structure is complete, and crews are working on the complex’s wood frame, according to Tom Warren, head of the company’s Southern California division. Plans call for

MACK URBAN/SOUTH PARK The six-acre South Park development from Mack Urban and AECOM Capital is moving forward. A seven-story, 362-unit apartment complex bordered by Pico Boulevard, Olive and Hill streets has reached the podium level, with wood framing starting soon, according to a Mack Urban spokesperson. Residences will average approximately 761 square feet, and there will be 438 subterranean parking stalls and 4,000 square feet of retail space. The next phase, slated to break ground in April, will be a 38-story tower at Grand Avenue and 12th Street. That building will contain 562 residences and 13,000 square feet of retail, along with a 10,000-square-foot park. Three additional structures, for which details have not been released, will complete the $750 million complex. Designs come from AC Martin and Togawa Martin Smith.

image courtesy The Albert Group Architects

Financing is in place for developer and landowner Eli Melech’s $20 million apartment structure above the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre in City West. The project at 1345 W. First St. would involve building a five-story edifice that arches over the Historical-Cultural Monument. There would be 102 one- to three-bedroom apartments. Approvals from the city’s Office of Historic Resources and the Department of City Planning have been secured, Melech said, though he added Continued on page 15

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116 one-bedroom and 73 two-bedroom apartments ranging from 715-1,750 square feet. Sares-Regis is working with potential tenants for 16,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. There will be three levels of underground parking and two floors above ground, providing a total of 472 parking spaces. At

that he is still at least a year from breaking ground. The theater would serve as the complex’s lobby and also hold a small performance space and a display honoring the late puppeteer Baker. The theater remains open and is holding regular performances. ONYX Construction continues on Jade Enterprises’ Onyx development at Pico Boulevard between Flower and Hope streets. The South Park project, designed by the Downtown firm TCA, consists of two buildings, both seven stories, that will create 410 apartments. There will also be 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and 462 parking spots. A company spokesman said the development is on track to be completed in the second quarter of 2017. The budget has not been made public. SB OMEGA Developer Barry Shy’s proposed SB Omega remains in the environmental review process, according to project representative Kate Bartolo. The 38-story building would rise on a current parking lot at 601 S. Main St., creating 452 apartments. The development in the heart of the Historic Core would include a seven-story parking podium with spaces for automobiles and also 268 bicycles. There would be 25,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Once started, construction is estimated to take 12-18 months. No budget has been announced. SPRING STREET APARTMENTS Plans from developer Joseph Hellen for a 40-story residential tower at 525 S. Spring St. have stalled following disagreements between Hellen and the city on the high-rise’s design. The Historic Core structure would have had about 360 one- to three-bedroom residences, but its sleek, modern facade was a point of contention for the city Office of Historic Resources, said Simon Ha, a principal at Steinberg Architects who had been working on the project. Faced with the prospect of significant changes to implement more historical features into the design, Hellen has chosen not to move forward, Ha said. He added that it is unclear if Hellen will come back with a new design later. The plan also included the reactivation of three small theaters, the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade, that front Broadway. SUNCAL/SIXTH AND ALAMEDA Last year, Irvine-based developer Suncal, in a partnership with Michael Dell’s investment firm MSD Capital, spent $130 million to buy 15 acres of land at Sixth and Alameda streets. The company is continuing to work on preliminary designs for the site’s master plan with Swiss architecture firm Herzog & deMuron, according to Dan Rosenfeld, a land-use consultant for the group. Though Suncal initially aimed to release an early public plan by the close of 2015, it now hopes to finish preliminary sketches by the end of spring, Rosenfeld added. The project could include residential, retail and creative office components in multiple buildings. TEN50 The 12th story of San Francisco-based developer Trumark Urban’s 25-story tower at 1050 S. Grand Ave. has been poured. The $100 million luxury project in South Park will contain 151 one- and two-bedroom condominiums as well as several one- and two-floor penthouses. The project will include a fifth-floor pool deck with


photo by Gary Leonard

cabanas, a fitness center, entertainment rooms and small pockets of green space, as well as 251 underground parking spaces. Downtownbased architecture firm Hanson-L.A. is handling the design, which is highlighted by the Rubik’s Cube-esque glass features overlooking the street. The project is expected to open in the fall. At THE HILL Last summer, an entity identified as 940 Hill LLC filed documents with the city to build a 20-story condominium tower called The Hill at 940 S. Hill St. Development officials did not return recent calls for additional information. Initial plans for the project included 232 residences along with 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The 420,000-square-foot building would also hold 355 parking spaces, a fitness center, pool and rooftop spa. Architecture firm DGB is designing the development. No timeline or budget have been announced.

photo by Gary Leonard

Developer Sares-Regis’ apartment complex at 232 E. Second St. is nearly finished. Work started with the San Pedro side before circling around to the Second Street face of the Little Tokyo project, according to Sares-Regis Communications Director Zoe Solsby. The development, now known as Wakaba L.A. (“wakaba” is Japanese for “young leaf”), is expected to open in June, and crews are now working on exterior painting, and installing drywall and cabinets in the apartments. The seven-story, $84 million project will create 240 units, with 51 studios,

photo by Gary Leonard

The five-story, $100 million development at 900 N. Broadway in Chinatown is more than Continued on page 16

TITLE INSURANCE BUILDING Construction continues at the 1928 Title Insurance Building at Fourth and Spring streets. Interior demolition, seismic upgrades and infrastructure improvements are all underway at the 13-story Art Deco edifice, and developer Capital Foresight anticipates the work will last into 2017. The project will create 215 residential units with 60,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. TOPAZ The 159-apartment Topaz is deep in construction and an opening of the Historic Core development from Jade Enterprises is scheduled for the third quarter of this year. Work on the seven-story building at Sixth and Main streets began in 2014. The project will include 23,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. The budget has not been revealed. VALENCIA Move-ins at developer Sonny Astani’s $60 million Valencia project in City West are expected to start in April, according to a representative of Astani Enterprises. The six-story building, designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, features 218 apartments, most of which have balconies. The project at 1501 Wilshire Blvd. will also have open courtyards, a fitness center and 4,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space. There will be underground parking for tenants. At

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PROJECT UPDATES, 15 85% complete. The Chinese landscape-inspired paintings now being installed along College Street are the last part of the façade, and landscaping and planting work will follow. The project from developer Forest City is expected to open in May, barring complications from the winter’s rains, according to company vice president Frank Frallicciardi. The first floor will include 19,000 square feet of retail space. Upper levels will hold 237 studio to three-bedroom apartments, 53 of which will be reserved for low-income tenants. Market-rate rents will start at around $2.50-$3.50 per square foot, said Frallicciardi. The project will include a 17,000-square-foot public plaza and walkway that connects Broadway to the nearby Metro Gold Line station. Blossom Plaza will have 175 public parking spaces. BROADWAY TRADE CENTER Work continues on Waterbridge Capital’s transformation of the mammoth Broadway Trade Center at 801 S. Broadway. The New York-based developer acquired the 1906 building in 2014 and is turning the 1.1 million-square-foot complex into a 15-story mixed-use project; the development includes creating several mezzanine levels in the former department store. The new Broadway Trade Center would have a 153-room hotel, office space, a rooftop park and parking for up to 600 cars, according to project representative Elizabeth Peterson. The project would also hold what is being called the Earth Market, a two-level space featuring a variety of food and other vendors, along with four bars and four restaurants. Current projections call for the building to open in about two years. CITY MARKET Work on the first phase of City Market is nearly complete. City Market South, developed by the Lena Group, has finished its exterior, and crews are now focusing on building out the interior space and preparing for tenants, according to Lena Group cofounder Kevin Napoli. Tenants coming to the batch of former produce warehouses include the Vietnamese restaurant the Slanted Door, the Italian eatery Rossoblù and an unnamed bar. Those businesses are expected to open this summer. The later phases of City Market are still in the entitlement stage. The overall project, from developer Peter Fleming, will have 225,000 square feet of retail, 945 housing units, 210 hotel rooms and 295,000 square feet of office space. The project site is on San Pedro and San Julian between 11th and 12th streets. The entire development is expected to take more than two decades to complete. At COLLEGE STATION

Johnson Fain, ditches the former 20-story towers for six low-rise buildings, public plazas and retail space spread across a 5.7-acre site at Spring and College streets (near the southern tip of Los Angeles State Historic Park). The project would have a total of 770 apartments and 51,000 square feet of retail, including a roughly 37,000-square-foot market. The plan is to break ground by the end of the year, according to a project representative.

The Chinatown mega-development College Station has received a significant reworking. The project, initially broached in 2014 by now-defunct developer Evoq, has been redesigned under the helm of Atlas Capital Group, which acquired Evoq. The new plan, designed by Chinatown-based architecture firm


HERALD EXAMINER RENOVATION The Hearst Corp., the owner of the Herald Examiner Building, is partnering with New York-based Georgetown Company to redevelop the 1914 structure, transforming it into a 100,000-squarefoot creative office complex with retail and restaurant space. Construction on the property at 1111 S. Broadway is expected to begin this spring and finish in late 2017, with a budget of about $40 million, according to a representative of the Hearst Corp. The building originally designed by Julia Morgan was formerly the headquarters of William Randolph Hearst’s Los Angeles newspaper, but has been mostly empty since the paper closed in 1989 (it has primarily been used for film shoots since then). LA PLAZA CULTURA VILLAGE The La Plaza cultural facility and its development partner Trammell Crow are nearing the groundbreaking for La Plaza Cultura Village. Pre-construction work is commencing, with a formal start of work planned for the spring, according to Jim Andersen, senior vice president at Trammell Crow. The massive mixed-use development, with designs from Chinatown-based architecture firm Johnson Fain, would rise on a 3.7-acre site near Olvera Street. It would create 345 residential units in five- and eightstory buildings, with 20% of the apartments set aside for low-income tenants. The 425,000-square-foot project would also have up to 55,000 square feet of restaurants, cafes and shops, along with nearly 800 parking spaces in subterranean and abovegrade structures. The project, which would rise on two parking lots on either side of Broadway, would connect El Pueblo to Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, a small park and monument at 430 N. Hill St. It is scheduled to open in 2019. At LUXE HOTEL REPLACEMENT Chinese developer Shenzhen Hazens is still seeking entitlements and finalizing designs for its $700 million, three-tower megaproject that would bring condominiums, shops, restaurants and hotel rooms to the current Luxe Hotel site near L.A. Live. The first phase would include a 32-story, 250-room W Hotel and a 32-story condo tower along 11th Street at Figueroa and Flower streets. The two structures would be connected by an eight-story podium with open-air amenities on top. A second phase would bring a 42-story tower to Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard, where the Luxe City Center hotel now stands. The South Park project would create a total of 650 condominiums. There would be 80,000 square feet of retail space, most of it fronting Figueroa Street. Shenzen Hazens hopes to break ground in 2017, with completion in 2020. MEDALLION 2.0 An environmental impact report was filed with the city in December for a large mixed-use complex at Third and Main streets in the Historic Core. Developer Saeed Farkhondehpour, who previously built the first phase of the Medallion at Fourth and Main streets, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Earlier plans had called for 500 residential units in three buildings, along with a farmers market and restaurant space. No budget or timeline have been announced.

image by Johnson Fain

Ninth and Francisco streets, is budgeted at more than $1 billion. At

METROPOLIS Construction on the first and second phases of the Metropolis mega-project, just north of L.A. Live, continues, with all four towers now rising. The initial phase, comprising an 18-story, 350-room Hotel Indigo and a 38-floor condominium tower, is expected to be complete by the end of this year. The second phase, which features 40- and 56-story condominium towers, broke ground in December and is scheduled for completion in 2018. The developer is the Chinese company Greenland. Designs from architecture firm Gensler show shining glass structures with intricately detailed steel framework. Amenities in the buildings adjacent to the 110 Freeway will include fitness centers, outdoor pools and small parks on top of several decks. The towers will sit on parking podiums that have two floors with more than 70,000 square feet of retail space along Francisco Street. Metropolis, which is bounded by the 110 Freeway and Eighth,

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Beijing-based developer Oceanwide broke ground on the massive three-tower Oceanwide Plaza in March, and construction of the site’s lower levels continues. The $1 billion project consists of one 49-story tower and two 40-floor buildings, all sitting on top of a 100-foot-tall podium across the street from Staples Center. Plans call for the South Park towers to hold a combined 504 condominiums and 183 hotel rooms. Most of the property’s amenities, including a pool and a park, will sit on a deck on top of the podium overlooking Figueroa Street. A 30,000-square-foot ribbon of LED signage will wind around the podium and illuminate the street below. Oceanwide Plaza will also hold 1,444 parking stalls and an open-air galleria with more than 166,000 square feet of retail space. The roughly $1 billion development will be built in a single phase, with completion expected by 2018. THE GRAND Developer Related Cos. remains in discussions with potential equity partners for the $850 million development known as The Grand, and hopes to start construction this year. The project would include a residential tower with approximately 380-450 units (20% set aside as affordable housing), a 300-room Equinox hotel tower, and a large retail and restaurant component built around a central plaza that opens to Grand Avenue. Designed by Frank Gehry, The Grand represents the next phase of the Grand Avenue Project, which includes the already completed Grand Park and the apartment complex The Emerson. Related executives are speaking to dining and shopping tenants; they previously said the project would contain both an Equinox gym and a Soul Cycle studio. WILSHIRE GRAND REPLACEMENT Construction continues on the building that, when completed, will be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi. Construction on the $1 billion development is 60% complete, according to a project spokesman, and a topping out (marking the end of vertical construction) is expected in early spring. Glass on some lower levels has been installed and paint and flooring are going in. The project from Hanjin International is being designed by the Downtown-based architecture firm AC Martin. The spire, which will jut out from the 73-story building, is expected to go up by early September. The project will include 400,000 square feet of office space and 900 hotel rooms, which will operate under the InterContinental brand. There will also be retail space and restaurants in the building. The project on schedule to finish by early next year. At CIVIC AND NONPROFIT ARTS DISTRICT PARK Although the Arts District park was delayed last year following

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Downtown News 17


the discovery of contaminants in the ground, the terrain has been cleaned, and work has begun again. The $1.6 million park at Fifth and Hewitt streets had been expected to open last fall. Now, the city Bureau of Engineering estimates the park will be finished this fall, according to Rick Coca, a spokesman for 14th District City Councilman José Huizar. When finished, the half-acre park will feature a playground, shade trees and a wall full of mural art. BUDOKAN OF LOS ANGELES Nonprofit developer the Little Tokyo Service Center has raised more than 80% of the $23.5 million needed to build the Budokan of Los Angeles, said the fundraising campaign’s director, Mike Murase. The proposed 88,000-square-foot sports and activities complex on Los Angeles between Second and Third Streets in Little Tokyo would have a two-court gymnasium, a rooftop park, event space and small community rooms. Murase said the goal is break ground late this year. The project will host basketball and volleyball courts, martial arts and other activities. At CHINATOWN PARK Crews are scheduled to break ground on a park in Chinatown by the fall. The park, at the intersection of Ord and Yale streets, has been approved by the city Department of Recreations and Parks, according to Fredy Ceja, communications director for First District City Councilman Gil Cedillo. The park will serve as an expansion for the Alpine Recreation Center and plans call for a children’s play structure area, shade sculptures, fitness equipment and artwork. A total of $8.25 million has been secured for the park, but the project needs an additional $1.5 million for subterranean structural support following a geotechnical review. The park is scheduled to open in the winter of 2017. FEDERAL COURTHOUSE

facade will cut solar heat gain. The building at First Street and Broadway is aiming for LEED Platinum status. FIGUEROA CORRIDOR BIKEWAY Construction of the three-mile Figueroa Corridor bikeway project, officially known as MyFigueroa, is set to begin this spring, according to a city representative. The roughly $20 million bikeway will run from Seventh Street in Downtown to 41st Street in South L.A., with a primary spine on Figueroa Street. It will slash eight driving lanes to five, and significant segments of the route will feature curbs that protect cyclists from cars. The project will also create bus platforms that extend the sidewalk for transit riders, improve landscaping and install pedestrian-friendly lighting and signage, among other elements. The project would be completed in early 2017. At FIRST AND BROADWAY PARK Four teams have been named as finalists to design the park at the northeast corner of First Street and Broadway, adjacent to Grand Park. The finalists are AECOM, Brooks+Scarpa, Eric Owen Moss Architects and Mia Lehrer+Associates. The final design will be decided by March, and public feedback at community meetings will be solicited and incorporated. The project across from City Hall is estimated to cost $20 million. So far, $14.1 million has been secured from Quimby fees (charged to developers for park creation), and the city Department of Recreation and Parks has identified another $3.65 million, according to Rick Coca, a spokesman for 14th District City Councilman José Huizar. The goal is begin work on the park in late 2017. GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL MEDICAL PAVILION The $80 million Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Pavilion, which had been scheduled to debut late last year, is now on track to open in the third quarter of this year, according to hospital spokeswoman Katrina Bada. The 190,000-square-foot development will hold the Frank R. Seaver Ambulatory Surgery Center, with eight operating suites. The architect is Ware Malcomb and the builder is Millie and Severson. The project at Wilshire Boulevard and Witmer Street will also have a pharmacy, outpatient clinics and the hospital’s Surgical Specialties Clinic. Physician offices and the Specialties Clinic will open in the second quarter. LOS ANGELES STATE HISTORIC PARK

now expected in the summer, according to a city representative. The work began in April 2014 but hit delays after the discovery of archaeological finds and toxic waste on the site; the latter required remediation work and the restoring of clean soil. The approximately $20 million project is transforming the park by creating several distinct areas, with new landscaping and features such as a pedestrian bridge and a two-acre wetlands zone. Other planned elements include a tree-flanked promenade, a visitor center and a paved parking area. At LOS ANGELES STREETCAR Ernst & Young has been hired as a financial advisor, and the next major milestone for the Downtown streetcar project will be the draft of its environmental impact report. The nonprofit L.A. Streetcar, Inc. is also looking to hire a firm to conduct more preliminary engineering work for the proposed 3.8-mile circulator. The goal is to complete 30% of the preliminary engineering in order to refine the financial plan, said Rick Coca, a spokesman for 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, who is leading the effort. Full-time city Bureau of Engineering staff were assigned to the streetcar project in late 2015, he added. The price tag from project manager AECOM remains $281.6 million. The current goal is for service to begin in December 2020, but a funding shortfall of at least $144.1 million remains, according to the city. The streetcar team is in the hunt for a $75 million federal Small Starts grant. At MERCED THEATER AND MASONIC HALL The plans for the $23 million overhaul of the city-owned Merced Theater and Masonic Hall

near Olvera Street are roughly 60% complete, according to Bureau or Engineering spokeswoman Mary Nemick. RoTo Architects is working on designs for the upgrade of the 18,000-square-foot project. Plans call for retaining the historic elements of the east and west facades. The space will become the headquarters of government public access station Channel 35; the building will have two television studios, room for a 50-seat auditorium (it will be open to the public for special events), office space, conference rooms, editing bays and parking for Channel 35 vans. Construction should be complete by July 2018, said Nemick. PARKER CENTER The city Bureau of Engineering last year recommended razing Parker Center and replacing it with a $475 million, 27-story office tower. In light of calls from entities such as preservationist group the Los Angeles Conservancy to consider renovating and reusing the building at 150 N. Los Angeles St., the city began looking at saving the existing structure and building a much bigger complementary tower than originally proposed. The Bureau of Engineering continues to review the preservation plan, which would ultimately need multiple layers of city approval, said Ken Bernstein, manager of the city Office of Historic Resources. Parker Center, designed by Welton Becket and opened in 1954, has been empty since the LAPD moved into the new Police Administration Building in 2009. REGIONAL CONNECTOR Major construction is underway on the $1.4 billion rail line, beginning in Little Tokyo, where Continued on page 18

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The $323 million Federal Courthouse is expected to be finished in July, said U.S. General Services representative Traci Madison. The curtain wall and skylights have been installed, and builder Clark Construction is now working on the interiors and completing the final exterior site work. The 600,000-square-foot structure designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will have 24 district courtrooms, 32 judges’ chambers and offices for the U.S. Marshall Service on 10 floors, with a support services penthouse. The angled windows that make up the curtain

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The renovation of the 34-acre park on the edge of Chinatown continues, with completion

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18 Downtown News

February 22, 2016


PROJECT UPDATES, 17 the tracks for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Gold Line are being relocated in advance of underground tunneling. Closures of the Little Tokyo station and neighborhood streets started Jan. 8, with work expected to last through March. Excavation for stations at First Street and Central Avenue, Second and Hope streets and Second Street and Broadway is also underway. The 1.9-mile Regional Connector will join area light rail lines to streamline cross-county travel and reduce the need for transfers. Underground tunneling (starting in Little Tokyo and moving west to Seventh Street/Metro Center) is slated to begin in early 2017. The project is expected to open in 2020. SIXTH STREET VIADUCT REPLACEMENT

Tower, Los Angeles and Palace theaters are used for occasional cultural and private events. The State (703 S. Broadway) currently operates as a church, the Cathedral of Faith. The church’s lease runs out this year. Plans call for the four theaters to ultimately contain about a dozen restaurants between them. HAUSER WIRTH & SCHIMMEL GALLERY The Arts District’s Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel Gallery is moving toward a March 13 opening, according to spokeswoman Andrea Schwan. The 100,000-square-foot facility will fill the former Globe Mills complex, a collection of seven late 19th and early 20th century buildings at 901 E. Third St. It will be run by former MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, The arts destination will hold what are being billed as “museum-caliber” exhibitions devoted to modern and contemporary art, as well as public programs. The opening exhibit, Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women: 1947-2016, will feature about 100 works. The site bounded by Second and Third streets also includes outdoor spaces. At ITALIAN AMERICAN MUSEUM

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tion, said Robert Schnur, co-chairman of developer Blatteis and Schnur. The developer purchased bought the property at Mateo and Palmetto streets in 2014 for $32.5 million. Development costs have exceeded the previously stated additional $30 million, although Schnur would not reveal the current budget. The 130,000-square-foot complex of shops and restaurants, designed by Edge Architecture, will include repurposed bricks, wood and concrete. Schnur said there will be an additional 50,000 square feet of creative office space. The retail center will have 500 parking spaces. The project is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of the year. At photo by Gary Leonard

The Sixth Street Viaduct was closed to traffic on Jan. 27. The first element of the 3,500-foot-long bridge to come down was the part extending over the 101 Freeway in Boyle Heights. The entire demolition process is expected to last nine months. Due to the nearby residential and business interests, the viaduct will not be demolished via explosion, but by machines that will break up the concrete bit by bit. The replacement, designed by architect Michael Maltzan and with construction by Skanska, Stacey and Witbeck, is expected to be finished in late 2019. The new bridge will connect the Arts District and Boyle Heights with a “ribbon of arches” design, and there will be dedicated space for pedestrians and bicycles. The budget is $449 million. At UNION STATION RENOVATION Work on the environmental impact report for a Union Station makeover began last summer and will continue through the middle of this year, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In addition, Metro in October secured a $12.3 million Caltrans grant for perimeter improvements along Alameda Street. The Union Station Master Plan has two main components: It would build a larger indoor-outdoor passenger concourse to connect travelers to an updated rail yard, and it would demolish the existing Patsaouras Bus Facility near the eastern entrance to Union Station and replace it with an elevated bus terminal between the historic station building (the west entrance) and the new concourse. Other proposed improvements include the conversion of the west parking lot into a public plaza and the creation of a walkway over the rail lines. At metro. net/projects/ CULTURAL/ENTERTAINMENT DELIJANI BROADWAY THEATERS The Delijani family continues to work on the restoration of four Broadway theaters. Interior upgrades are taking place at the Los Angeles (615 S. Broadway), Palace (630 S. Broadway) and Tower (802 S. Broadway). Permits are being sought for more extensive work, according to project representative Kate Bartolo. The

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Construction on the long-awaited museum at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is almost finished, and exhibition panels are now being installed, according to museum Executive Director Marianna Gatto. Additionally, the $4.5 million museum’s new entrance on Main Street is being finished. The project in the 1908 Italian Hall building is expected to open in the spring, Gatto said. The inaugural exhibition will examine the Italian experience in Southern California from the early 1800s to the present. The project at 125 Paseo de la Plaza near Olvera Street will feature photographs, maps and other documents. At BUSINESS 537 S. BROADWAY Beverly Hills-based developer King’s Arch is continuing to work on the six-story Art Deco structure at 537 S. Broadway. Though plans initially called for opening the project by the end of last year, permitting and construction delays have pushed completion to the third quarter of this year, according to a company representative. King’s Arch bought the structure for $7.35 million last year and announced plans to turn it into creative office space. The renovation includes a seismic retrofit, new electrical and plumbing systems, and restoration of the intricately decorated facade. King’s Arch aims to recruit tech, media and fashion companies to the building, according to a company representative. The 1931 building was originally designed by prominent Los Angeles architects Percy A. Eisen and Albert R. Walker. AT MATEO The At Mateo retail center in the Arts District is under construc-

CONVENTION CENTER RENOVATION In June, a city panel picked the team of HMC Architects and Populous to handle the renovation of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The colorful design would create a ballroom on the top of the Figueroa Street venue and build a new structure that bridges over Pico Boulevard, creating the contiguous space desired by meeting planners that is now lacking in the two separated structures. The Pico building would have multiple floors of meeting space that line an open-air courtyard. The $470 million proposal would also tweak the West Hall to create a large “outdoor ballroom” space, with a large staircase drawing people in from Gilbert Lindsay Plaza just south of Staples Center. The design and contract is expected to receive City Council approval by March, and the city is also considering different methods of financing the project. While the Council has already approved a bond-based financing plan, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana released a report in December on a public-private partnership opportunity that could potentially reduce the city’s debt burden. The Council’s Economic Development Committee approved Santana’s report this month. FORD BUILDING The redevelopment of the 1912 Ford Factory building at Santa Fe Avenue and Seventh Street in the Arts District continues. San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties purchased the property for $37 million in 2014 and is converting it into creative office space. In addition to the five-story, 254,000-square-foot building, Shorenstein acquired two nearby buildings, one of which is being turned into a 600-space parking garage, according to project representative Andrew Neilly. Shorenstein has not announced any tenants for the building, though Neilly said it is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in the spring. The space originally started as a Ford automobile assembly factory. At LA KRETZ INNOVATION CAMPUS The Arts District’s La Kretz Innovation Campus is nearing the finish line. The 60,000-square-foot business incubator and clean tech project at 525 S. Hewitt St. currently houses the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and the Los Angeles Department of

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Water and Power is in the process of moving its energy efficiency labs into the campus, according to John Susoeff, LACI’s creative director. Approximately three dozen companies have moved into the campus, which features workshops, laboratories, office space and open space, and Susoeff said more are coming in the next two months. A grand opening for the campus is expected this spring or summer. At SKYSPACE AT U.S. BANK TOWER Singapore-based OUE is spending $60 million on upgrades to its U.S. Bank Tower in the Financial District. The project will create a 69th-floor observation deck, a 70th-floor event space and a 71st-floor restaurant, together dubbed Skyspace L.A. Admission is expected to be $25 when it opens by the end of spring, according to OUE. Visitors will also be able to explore a 54th-floor tech-driven exhibit that shows off the city’s topography and other features. Skyspace is part of an overall $100 million upgrade at U.S. Bank Tower, with OUE also working on elevators, the lobby and the streetscape along Fifth Street. SOHO HOUSE The Arts District branch of the members-only Soho House is on track to open in early 2017, according to Allison Wagner, the club’s communications director for North America. The project will transform a six-story, 1917 brick building at 1000 S. Santa Fe Ave. into a high-end club. Amenities will include a market, 16 hotel rooms, gym, bar, screening room and a rooftop pool. Soho House acquired the property last year for $18.5 million. The Arts District outpost will be the second Soho House in Los Angeles County, following a West Hollywood branch. No budget has been revealed. THE BLOC

Los Angeles Downtown hotel. Construction on a Metro connection to the Seventh Street Metro Station stop will be finished next month. At HOTELS CLARK HOTEL The 348-room Clark Hotel at 426 S. Hill St. still does not have an opening date, although the hotel is nearly complete, according to a project representative. The project, which has been delayed for years, was most recently headed toward an early 2016 opening. The renovated 11-story structure just north of Pershing Square features guest rooms with lively Mod-style details, a lobby with bright marble and chrome accents, a ballroom, a pool deck and multiple dining spaces. The New York-based Chetrit Group acquired the property more than a decade ago. An operator has not been revealed. EMBASSY HOTEL Though New York-based Chetrit Group had hoped to open the Embassy Hotel late last year, delays with some permits and the construction of certain amenities means that there is no opening date, but rather a goal for debuting this spring, according to a project representative. The renovation of the historic edifice at 831 S. Grand Ave. will feature 183 guest rooms and the return of the Trinity Auditorium. A pool deck has been built on the roof and an outdoor patio is being constructed along Ninth Street. As with the Clark Hotel, Chetrit Group has owned the property for more than a decade, and repeated opening dates have been missed. An operator has not been revealed. FREEHAND HOTEL Major construction continues at the Commercial Exchange Building at 416 W. Eighth St., as New York-based Sydell Group and Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Company transform the 1924 building into a 200-room Freehand Hotel. The work includes a full interior renovation to create the rooms, the building of a rooftop pool and lounge, and upgrades to the property’s aged infrastructure systems. According to a project representative, the hotel is slated to open this fall. The Freehand will have traditional hotel rooms as well as hostel-style accommodations with multiple beds in group rooms. Plans include creating ground-floor space for retail and a restaurant. The tall neon sign on the corner of the structure will be preserved. Sydell is also transforming Giannini Place on Seventh Street into a hotel. At

The New York firm Sydell Group bought the 1923 Giannini Place for $39 million last year and plans to turn the former Bank of Italy headquarters into a 250-room hotel. Construction on the property at 649 S. Olive St. is expected to begin in the spring, and the schedule calls for opening the hotel in fall 2017, according to a project representative. The 12-story Financial District edifice stood empty for more than a decade before Sydell acquired it. The old banking floor would be turned into a large lobby, and the first floor would feature a bar and restaurant. An event space and swimming pool would be constructed on the roof. The hotel is expected to be pricier and more elegant than Sydell’s Freehand Hotel at 416. W. Eighth St. J.W. MARRIOTT EXPANSION Last March, L.A. Live owner AEG announced plans to build a 755-room expansion of the J.W. Marriott/Ritz-Carlton hotel. The new rooms would be part of the J.W. Marriott brand. AEG is currently in the planning and design stage, according to company spokesman Michael Roth, and the goal is to break ground on the 38-story tower in early 2017. Plans call for the $500 million project, which will rise on a 60,000-square-foot lot at the northeast corner of Olympic Boulevard and Georgia Street, to open in 2019. The new building, being designed by architecture firm Gensler, would be connected to the 878room J.W. Marriott, and there would be two levels of subterranean parking, ground-floor retail and a second-floor deck with a restaurant and a pool with cabanas. The project would also create more than 75,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and conference space over L.A. Live’s existing Event Deck.

MILLENNIUM BILTMORE RENOVATION The refurbishment of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel continues, and work is scheduled to be finished by early 2017. So far 120 of the hotel’s 683 guest rooms have been renovated, according to Kendra Walker, the hotel’s marketing manager. The project is being done in phases so as not to disrupt operations. The renovations include new carpets, fixtures in bathrooms, painting and new furniture. PROPER HOTEL The 13-story building at 1106 S. Broadway, long known as the Case Hotel, will become a Proper Hotel, part of a brand launched by one of the project’s developers, the Kor Group. Kor teamed with Channing Henry and Frank Stork to acquire the 1924 building for $13.5 million in 2013. The project will turn the structure, which has been empty in recent years after housing facilities for the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, into a 148-room boutique establishment with a mix of standard rooms and large suites. The developers, who did not return recent requests for comment, previously stated that amenities would include a swimming pool on the seventh floor and a basketball court on the sixth floor. Downtown architecture firm Omgivning is handling the designs. At downtown-la. OPENED IN THE PAST FIVE MONTHS 353 S. BROADWAY Renovations have been completed at developer and architect David Gray’s building at 353 S. Broadway in the Historic Core. Half of the building has been leased to a total of three tenants. Continued on page 20

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Although developer Wayne Ratkovich’s transformation of the former Macy’s Plaza was initially scheduled to open late last year, the debut has been pushed back to this summer. The roof has been torn off the part of the 40-year-old complex that fronts Seventh Street, and the $180 million project known as The Bloc will create a new open-air entrance. Tenants will include an Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Free Market and a refurbished Macy’s store. Renovations have already been completed at the complex’s 496-room Sheraton

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February 22, 2016


PROJECT UPDATES, 19 The building will also house his David Gray Architects. The third and fourth floors are open for creative office tenants. The $8.5 million project included adding a sixth floor to what had been a five-story building. The ground floor has been leased by nightlife purveyor 213 Hospitality. The 4,577-square-foot bar will have a back patio and outdoor seating on Broadway. At ARTHOUSE LOFTS Move-ins started last fall at Core Development Group’s 53-unit live-work Arthouse Lofts, and the Arts District project is now approximately 50% occupied, according to developer Philip Rahimzadeh. The two brick buildings, built in 1909, were acquired in 2014 for $18.1 million. The project at 1200 S. Santa Fe Ave. includes 12- to 14-foot ceilings, brick walls and stainless steel appliances. There is also 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Rahimzadeh said three of the four retail spaces have been leased. At ARTS DISTRICT BREWING COMPANY

photo by Gary Leonard

The longtime home of discount electronics retailer Crazy Gideon’s was reborn in December as the Arts District Brewing Company. The 17,000-square-foot business at 828 Traction Ave. comes from nightlife impresario Cedd Moses’ 213 Hospitality. The company initially filed plans for the project in 2012, and the brewery cost about $4 million. A total of 13 beers are manufactured on site, and the project includes a large, open bar and a set of 10 skeeball games, along with ping-pong and foosball tables. Arts District Brewing can hold about 390 people indoors and on an outdoor patio. The project includes Fritzi, a 50-seat restaurant from chef Neal Fraser with bar food such as burgers and wings. At CLIFTON’S CAFETERIA RENOVATION After a renovation that lasted more than four years and cost over $10 million, Andre Meieran reopened Clifton’s Cafeteria on Oct. 1. Meieran orchestrated a top-to-bottom transformation of the landmark at 648 S. Broadway, creating a slew of bars that accompany the upgraded cafeteria. The new Clifton’s is highlighted by a soaring 40-foot faux Redwood tree that rises up through the atrium levels. The five-story building is stocked with taxidermy animals and surprises such as a collection of fossilized brontosaurus eggs. Drinking spots include themed spaces the Monarch Bar and the Gothic Bar. At DESMOND BUILDING In November, Anschutz Entertainment Group began moving 500 people who had been working in spaces across the city into the Desmond Building, following an extensive renovation

photo by Gary Leonard

photo by Gary Leonard

of the brick structure on the northeast corner of 11th and Hope streets. Building owner Lincoln Property Company undertook the upgrade of the 1916 South Park edifice, which included adding a sixth floor to the former five-story structure. Architecture firm SOM handled the designs. The 82,000-square-foot building originally opened 100 years ago and at one time served as the headquarters of a car company; in the 1940s it was the distribution center of the Desmond furniture company. The building now holds employees of AEG-owned companies such as concert promoter Goldenvoice and ticketing service AXS. No budget was revealed. At

the jail; that water formerly flowed to storm drains. The project also holds more than 1,100 solar panels. The modern exterior includes horizontal lights that can change colors and an artwork depicting a 400-year-old sycamore tree. RESIDENT

EIGHTH & GRAND One part of developer Carmel Partners’ Eighth & Grand opened in November: the much-anticipated Whole Foods, which fills 42,000 square feet of space on the ground floor. Now, the apartments at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue in the Financial District are available for move-ins. The building is approximately 18% occupied, and about 400 remaining units are being released in two phases in the near future, according to a Carmel representative. The apartments have floor-toceiling windows and balconies, and amenities include a large lounge with a bar and dining area, two pools, BBQ areas and more. Rents begin at around $2,200 for a studio and run to about $4,200 for a three-bedroom unit, with floor plans ranging from about 500-1,800 square feet. The project has another 8,000 square feet of retail space, though tenants have not been announced. At HANOVER GRAND AVENUE Move-ins at Hanover Grand Avenue, at the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, began Nov. 20. The seven-story building features 274 studio to two-bedroom apartments, with rents starting at about $2,075 for an approximately 560-square-foot unit. Amenities include three rooftop decks, a 24-hour fitness center, a pool and courtyard, an HDTV lounge with a catering kitchen and more than 250 bike racks. It is the second of three South Park apartment complexes from Houston-based developer Hanover Company to open. The third, Hanover Olympic, will come online in the spring. At METRO BUS FACILITY An opening ceremony for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility was held Feb. 8. The $120 million project at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street is a state-of-the art complex designed with an environmentally sensitive approach. The 430,000-square-foot project can hold 200 compressed natural gas buses, which will be serviced in 17 maintenance bays. There are fueling and washing systems and places to park buses when not on the street. The project, designed by RNL Design, has been certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold, and includes a 275,000-gallon cistern beneath the complex, and a secondary 50,000-gallon cistern. There are also connections to the nearby Twin Towers jail; the Metro facility collects 30,000 gallons of emergency sprinkler water a week from

photo by Gary Leonard

The 5,500-square-foot bar and music venue Resident opened on Dec. 11. The project, at 428 S. Hewitt St. in the Arts District, is a former artists’ machine shop, and the industrial look remains in the form of exposed pipes and brick walls. The building’s longtime owners, married couple (and Arts District residents) Tom Krehbeil and Bridget Vagedes, partnered on Resident with Jacek Ostoya, Larry Little and Paul Oberman. The 2,000-square-foot interior features a low stage and a bar, and can hold about 215 people. The outdoor beer garden is highlighted by a 1952 trailer that functions as a second bar. The team began working on the project in spring 2014. No budget was revealed. At THE BROAD The $140 million contemporary art museum from philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad opened Sept. 20. The 120,000-squarefoot building at 221 S. Grand Ave. holds the approximately 2,000 pieces the Broads have collected over the decades. The New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed the building that has a honeycomb-like exterior and a “veil and vault” design theme, with display areas on the first and third floors, and storage facilities and office space on the second level. The Bunker Hill building contains nearly an acre of column-less gallery space on the top floor, and is lit by 318 skylights. Entrance is free to the museum and there are three levels of parking with a total of 366 spaces. The Broad also holds the Oculus Hall, a space for public events. At

February 22, 2016


Downtown News 21


photo by Gary Leonard


Everything You Need Under One Roof TENTEN Wilshire Helps Small Businesses Thrive in Downtown Los Angeles


ENTEN Wilshire is the ideal place for entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals to live, work and play. Perfect for start-ups and entrepreneurs in industries including tech, entertainment, fashion, law, finance, consulting, real estate and advertising, TENTEN Wilshire provides the perfect blend of amenities and necessities to fulfill the 24/7 needs of an entrepreneur.

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS You have heard the phrase “Live, Work and Play” countless times, but nowhere else have all three been combined into a comprehensive, single lifestyle solution. TENTEN Wilshire’s community goal is to offer a space for entrepreneurs, small businesses and young professionals to grow, network and expand across Downtown. Helping to fuel a rebirth of the area, TENTEN Wilshire houses 227 fully furnished live/work units, and more than 243,000 square feet of space for businesses to rent and expand into as their companies grow. The building is designed to eliminate many of the major barriers to budding entrepreneurs including distribution of capital between living space and office space. By providing a flexible, turn-key environment with equally flexible lease terms, TENTEN Wilshire has been able to sustain a 90% or higher occupancy rate every year since opening.

Additionally, due to exceptional zoning regulations, TENTEN Wilshire provides qualified individuals and all companies located on the premises special tax benefits including: live/work tax deductions, hiring credits, sales and work opportunity tax credits, utility cost savings, and expense and interest deductions. TENTEN Wilshire, through its green standards, a coming major expansion and keen focus on inspiring, promoting and helping entrepreneurialism, hopes to be the catalyst for 16,000-plus long-term jobs for Los Angeles. Located within walking distance of the center of Downtown, TENTEN Wilshire is an ideal place for meeting people and networking, providing guests and residents an unparalleled professional and social environment. TENTEN Wilshire, together with its sister communities of Plug and Play Technology Center and Hollywood Production Center, are home to more than 600 technology and entertainment entrepreneurs, startups and companies. TENTEN Wilshire is dedicated to fostering community growth amongst its residents through constant contact and the sharing of resources. With key multi-industry relationships including access to more than 150 venture capital firms, and additional relationships with major corporations, entrepreneurs and startups at TENTEN Wilshire are provided a direct bridge to numerous resources including:

■ Operations (Legal, Accounting, PR, Banking, etc.) ■ Technology (Microsoft BizSpark, Sun Startup Essentials, etc.) ■ Entertainment (CBS, 20th Century Fox, BET, BBC, Merv Griffin Entertainment, etc.) ■ Business Development (M&A, Investing, Licensing) ■ Corporate Partnership Opportunities (Google, Cisco, Best Buy, Yahoo!, Ebay, etc.) At 1010 Wilshire Blvd. For more information call (213) 785-5100 or visit

22 Downtown News

February 22, 2016


Where Everyone Knows His Name Bill Cooper’s The Loft Expert! Group Has Its Finger on the Downtown Pulse


f you live, work or play in Downtown, chances are you have met Bill Cooper or heard his name. Cooper has specialized in lofts since his first loft sale in 2001. He moved to Downtown in 2002 to estab-

255 Grand Arrives in Style Prestigious Bunker Hill Tower Gets a Modern Makeover

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS lish his real estate business, long before most people would even consider visiting the area. Cooper’s vision to help create a successful, thriving residential community in Downtown led him to launch The Loft Expert! Group. With years of experience from Keller Williams Realty, Coldwell Banker Residential Realty and Loftway Homes and Lofts, Cooper has enjoyed helping many Downtowners find their niche in the ever-changing environment they now call home. Cooper’s passion for Downtown plays out in his involvement with the development of Downtown’s real estate as well as its communities. He teamed up early with local movers and shakers, forging long-term relationships with the best in the community. He helped found, organize and currently leads the Downtown Real Estate Association as its president. Cooper is also passionate about preserving and creating green space in Downtown and has worked on several park projects. He currently serves as treasurer of the Pershing Square Park Advisory Board. At The Loft Expert! Group, Cooper has endeavored to learn everything he can about Downtown’s lofts and condo residences, and shares his insights with his clients, whether they are purchasing or selling, firsttime buying or looking for a second home. His passion for service, knowledge of the marketplace, and understanding of what it takes to complete any trans-

action with the least amount of problems is matchless in Downtown. Here are just a few things his clients have written about their experiences with Cooper this past year: n “I highly recommend Bill. He knows the area, he’s responsive and a true professional.” n “We are so happy. And you have done an amazing job, so thank you Bill. We couldn’t have done it without your expertise.” n “Bill is extremely knowledgeable about Downtown L.A. and was always professional, available and timely. Because of our inexperience in the L.A. market, Bill was invaluable in all aspects of the process: from the offer, to the inspection, to securing the loan on time and arranging move-in. We truly believe Bill has helped us find the perfect spot for our lives in L.A.” For more information call (213) 598-7555 or visit


oted Best “from the ground up residential property” by the L.A. Downtown News, 255 Grand reimagines what it means to live grand. 255 Grand, previously known as Grand Promenade, a G&K Management Co. apartment community, is bringing Bunker Hill to new heights with its multi-million dollar, top-to-bottom makeover. Located in prestigious Bunker Hill, this is the go-to neighborhood for fine dining, world-class museums, upscale hotels, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. 255 Grand offers

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS its residents immediate proximity to attractions such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art and the new Broad museum. The architectural designs by Nadel bring a fresh new face to this beloved building. With breathtaking views, awe-inspiring balconies, oversized patios and spacious floor plans, the 391-unit high rise property includes studios, oneContinued on page 24

February 22, 2016




M S. C O


Downtown News 23


DAY. R T O pen. E T S O I R E G allery Now G Sales








TEN50CONDOS.COM Trumark Urban and TEN50 reserve the right to make modifications in plans, exterior designs, prices, materials, specifications, finishes, and standard features at any time without notice. Photographs, renderings, and landscaping are illustrative and conceptual. Real estate consulting, sales and marketing by Polaris Pacific—a licensed California, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington Broker—CA BRE #01499250. ©2016 TEN50. Brokers must accompany their client(s) and register them on their first appointment in order to be eligible for a broker commission.

TEN50_GroundHero_DTLANEWs_February2_PrintAd_10.25x12.385_r2.indd 1 File Name:



2/11/16 3:39 PM

24 Downtown News


Boutique Living at a Grand New Address TEN50 Ushers In a New Era of Residential Luxury In the Heart of South Park


rently find Downtown. Located at 1050 S. Grand Ave., TEN50 provides a confluence of structure and imagination, exemplified through the building’s stunning architecture that meets the street with action and life, softens toward the top and includes a bold and contemporary design along the corner of Grand Avenue and 11th Street. TEN50 will stand in a class of its own with a curated collection of amenities that promote

urrounded by the hottest new restaurants, vibrant nightlife and inspiring culture, TEN50 ushers in a grand new era in Downtown Los Angeles living. One of the first condominium projects to be com-

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS pleted in nearly a decade, TEN50 embraces a personal and intimate resident experience addressing the tastes and quality levels that luxury buyers are coveting but cannot cur-

Call Us Today!

Buy, Sell or Lease

the loft expert!



Downtown since 2002

Bill Cooper Lic #01309009



overall wellness and a variety of communal spaces that bring neighbors together. The Fifty will be the centerpiece of the amenity program, offering residents the opportunity to lounge poolside, begin the day refreshed with a class on the yoga deck, or cap off a long workweek with drinks by the outdoor fireplace. The building’s screening room, business center, and state-of-the-art fitness studio also provide the ultimate backdrop for modern living in Los Angeles. The high-style common areas complement the 151 one- and two-bedroom boutique residences and penthouses that feature an unprecedented attention to detail and craftsmanship, and celebrate Downtown L.A.’s definitive creative culture. Positioned in the heart of South Park, residents will be within a short walk of L.A. Live and Downtown’s Historic Core, which offers precisely what urban dwellers seek — art galleries, new bars, lounges and boutique high fashion. Whole Foods has also bought into the rebirth of Downtown, with one of their newest concept stores opening just three blocks from TEN50 at Eighth and Olive streets. For more information, visit the sales gallery (now open adjacent to the building site at 1057 S. Olive St.). View the amenities and finishes that will make TEN50 the envy of DTLA. To schedule an appointment call (213) 861-1050 or register at for the latest news and event updates.

February 22, 2016

255 GRAND, 22 and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 480 to 1,335 square feet in a uniquely suburban-urban setting. 255 Grand will also offer penthouse memberships with exclusive features and benefits for residents. Upgrades offer enhanced amenities such as a WiFi lounge equipped with a full kitchen and bar, stylish Mid-Century furnishings, large TVs, and free WiFi access extending to the pool. Moreover, it boasts a state-of-the-art theater with reclining leather seats designed with the latest technologies in mind, an ultramodern fitness center with a yoga studio and outdoor stretching area, and pet-friendly features. A 24-hour staffed lobby provides passage to the spacious apartment homes with floor-to-ceiling windows capturing beautiful mountain and city views. Aside from the aesthetics, 255 Grand has expanded on the more practical details by adding a centralized laundry lounge with a builtin laundry alert system, top-notch concierge service, on-site restaurants and dry cleaning. Renovations outside of the building include lush landscaping, accent lighting, and a new look for the pool and Jacuzzi deck with an expansive barbeque area. In a nod to the sunny Los Angeles climate, several new fire pits with plush outdoor seating for entertaining are available year-round. From events in the newly appointed party room to movie nights in the theater, 255 Grand’s renovation tastefully complements the classy Bunker Hill neighborhood. For more information, call the on-site leasing office at (213) 229-9777 or visit

February 22, 2016

Downtown News 25


The Pilgrim School Promise Discover a Unique Downtown Blend of Tradition, Art and Technology


ilgrim School is unique among independent schools — unique in its Downtown location, unique in its rich diversity that mirrors the complex face of Los Angeles, and unique in its embrace of both art and technology in its traditionally focused academic program. The distinctive Reggio-Emilia approach in Early Education starting at age two places the emphasis on child-centered learning, which continues throughout the student’s academic career at Pilgrim. Small classes, dedicated faculty, and a truly nurturing


Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore! It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency Call Now Fo is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one r bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room Move-In Spec with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and ial slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses s ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.

environment, combined with a rigorous, college-prep curriculum in grades K-12, are the hallmarks of a Pilgrim education. Located just four Metro stops west of Downtown at the corner of Sixth Street and Commonwealth Avenue, Pilgrim School was established in 1958. Pilgrim’s location makes it possible for


255 South Grand Avenue Leasing Information 213 229 9777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Re New no ly va ted

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher (most units) ~ Central Air Conditioning & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

On-site: ~ Dry Cleaners / Dental Office / Restaurants


students to experience the city of Los Angeles as an extension of their classroom, and the classically beautiful campus offers a city experience in a peaceful setting. With the addition of the Mayflower House dormitory for students in grades 9-12, Pilgrim is now both a day and a boarding school. A Pilgrim School education is built on a base of traditional academics, including a full slate of AP classes. Technology is integrated into and across the curriculum beginning in Early Education, and the Fab Lab is creating a more three-dimensional engineering experience for students, including through the use of cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting. The beautiful Brown Family Fine Arts Center offers student artists the opportunity to imagine, explore and create. Pilgrim provides a unique opportunity for all students to interact with creative individuals through the Visiting Artists and Writers Program, in which working artists share their experience and creative process. Pilgrim is committed to the education of the whole student: traditional academics, state-of-the-art technology, a strong foundation in the arts, and a place in athletics for every student. Pilgrim’s Field of Dreams campaign will add a regulation sports field and underground parking this fall, and will greatly expand Pilgrim’s unique “no-cut” athletic program. Future plans are in place to further expand the campus. A Pilgrim education gives students the skills to succeed and thrive in a changing world — facing forward while respecting the past. Small classes, dedicated and innovative faculty, and special programs incorporating hands-on learning in all disciplines create open-minded learners with a unique perspective and a strong grounding in the 21st century skills of problemsolving, innovation and collaboration. One hundred percent of Pilgrim graduates go on to the best colleges and universities equipped with the skills they need to create a unique, meaningful life. Recent graduates have been accepted at institutions such as Columbia, Bryn Mawr, UC Berkeley and Williams College, where they are thriving. To learn more about Pilgrim School or to tour the historic campus, please call (213) 355-5204. Pilgrim School is a division of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.

123 South Figueroa Street Leasing Information 213 617 3777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Pool / Spa / BBQ Grills ~ Fitness Center ~ Covered Parking

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove & Dishwasher ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Solariums and/or Balconies

On-Site: ~ Convenience Store / Beauty Salon


225 South Olive Street Leasing Information 213 626 1500 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

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26 Downtown News


February 22, 2016


Whole Foods

photos courtesy Garment Lofts (except right)

Garment Lofts


and a rooftop deck. The project has preserved and revived the stately 12-story structure, and the developer took an additional step by focusing on the building’s historic features, including replacing the decorative rooftop finials. The project’s importance extends beyond its doorstep, and could help usher in a new wave of housing in the Fashion District.

he Downtown residential revolution has largely overlooked the Fashion District. So it was notable last summer when developer Capital Foresight opened a $20 million housing project at 217 E. Eighth St. The Garment Lofts turned the empty, 1926 Capitol Garment Building into 77 rental units with an open, loft-style layout, and amenities include a fitness center


Escape Room L.A.


here was a huge line on the November day Whole Foods opened, and no wonder: The 41,000-square-foot supermarket gives Downtown workers and residents high-quality and organic items that they previously had to drive elsewhere to get. Whole Foods, on the ground floor of the 700-apartment Eighth & Grand project, is an instant destination, with extensive sections for produce, meats,

fish, frozen foods, prepared meals, dairy items and other supermarket staples. The store, which created more than 200 jobs, also stocks more than 300 kinds of cheese and roughly 1,000 types of wine. There’s even an in-house bar and an outpost of chef Roy Choi’s ricebowl restaurant Chego. With Whole Foods, grocery shopping in Downtown is forever changed.


Level Furnished Living and Pershing Square Playgrounds HISTORIC CORE

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Experience the difference For your upscale home financing needs, contact me today. Christopher Dickie Private Mortgage Banker Office: 213-688-3652, Cell: 626-786-5026 NMLSR ID 245985

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obbling together financing for and building low-income housing is a Herculean feat. Yet veteran developer Skid Row Housing Trust topped itself in May, when it opened the 69-unit New Pershing Apartments. The $28 million project at Fifth and Main streets transformed the old Pershing Hotel, built in

1889, and the Roma, from 1905, into a single five-story structure. The design from Killefer Flammang Architects managed to make the complex modern while preserving the Victorian façade. It is instantly a model for both lowincome housing and any future historic building renovation.

February 22, 2016



Desmond Building




Downtown News 27


eal and Amy Fraser’s restaurant in the former rectory of St. Vibiana’s cathedral took years longer than anyone expected. Yet Redbird has been one of the most lauded new restaurants, not just in Downtown, but in all of Los Angeles. The Frasers have created a space that capitalizes on the Southern California climate, with an outdoor dining

area and a retractable roof. Fraser’s cooking has drawn raves, with dishes that are elegant and modern without grasping for exotic techniques or esoteric flavor combinations. Instead, he hones in on execution and a smart use of ingredients. The result is a restaurant that is regularly filled, and a new culinary star in the community.

ven as South Park boomed in the past decade, the Desmond Building sat empty. No more. In November, developer Lincoln Property Company completed a renovation of the 99-year-old former car dealership at 11th and Hope streets. The impact was instantaneous, as the structure is now a buzzing, creative office hub holding 500 Anschutz Entertainment Group employees who previously worked out-

side Downtown. Lincoln Property’s project was extensive, and the brickwork and large windows command attention in a neighborhood increasingly filled with glass and steel skyscrapers. The project even included adding a new sixth floor on to the building. Now the neighborhood is more active and there are more patrons for nearby restaurants, bars and other businesses.


Broken Spanish

Central City Association of Los Angeles and Downtown Center Business Improvement District congratulate this year’s honorees for their dedication and commitment to Downtown L.A. We also applaud the Los Angeles Downtown News for being the best source of news in Downtown L.A.

Downtown Center Business Improvement District


28 Downtown News

February 22, 2016

EL NIÑO, 5 replacement, pointed out that in high-rise construction, many different kinds of work occur at once, and waiting for a structure to finish vertical construction before doing drywall and interior work would delay the project and add costs. David Lara, a spokesman for the city Department of Building and Safety, said that most projects have drainage systems in place to divert water from the site to the street. This is particularly important if crews are digging deep into the earth to build a foundation for a high-rise, he said. Arden Hearing, managing director for Trumark Urban, said clearing water from a construction site is a priority. He would know, as the San Francisco-based developer has completed about 15 stories of its 25-floor Ten50 condominium complex at Grand Avenue and Eleventh Street. With more rains coming and a topping out not expected until April, he said securing the building is vital for keeping Ten50 on track. “We have worked to expedite getting the building watertight,” Hearing said. “That often means making sure the window systems go in as quickly as possible and expediting the roof systems.” The Wilshire Grand replacement, which will be the tallest building on the West Coast when completed, poses additional challenges. Turcot said that to protect lower levels, crews have installed “weather decks,” or barriers that seal the perimeter and space below. The decks are meant not only to repel water, but redirect it to drains. The first deck is on the 26th floor. As construction continues, crews will repeat the process higher up. Trumark Urban is taking a similar approach. “At Ten50, we are installing an intermediate/temporary ‘roof’ midway up the building,” Hearing said. “This allows us to conduct interior construction even before topping out.” Wood and Mud At the Vibiana Lofts, an eight-story building with wood framing, it’s not just about protecting the interior. Another issue, Levesque said, will simply be letting wood dry to a certain degree before work can continue. With heavy rains


photo by Gary Leonard

photo by Gary Leonard

The Vibiana Lofts at Second and Main streets is one of the numerous woodframed buildings in Downtown where some construction may have to stop if the rain falls. While the wood will take time to dry, however, crews have moved certain equipment to a nearly completed parking structure, meaning the project won’t come to a complete standstill.

At the Wilshire Grand replacement, work crews are preparing for the El Niño storms in part by building a temporary “roof.” One has been created at the 26th floor, which will allow interior work to occur in part of the tower even as the rain falls.

predicted, crews have even moved some equipment, such as electrical saws, to the project’s nearly complete parking structure. That way, when the storms arrive, at least some construction can occur. For other projects, the goal is to avoid turning lots into mud pits. That is a challenge for John O’Neil, senior vice president with Fasberg Contracting Corporation, who is overseeing the construction of DHG Family Trust’s seven-story residential building at 1400 S. Figueroa St. The South Park structure will utilize a mix of steel and wood framing, and excavation will start soon. O’Neil knows that the heavy rains can halt work for as long as it takes to dry things out. The priority, he said, is to pour a concrete slab, which will make it easier to handle storms. The hard surface can be used to direct rainwater to collection drains. Some developers simply factor El Niño into the schedule. That said, it’s an inexact science, as no one knows when the rains will arrive, how intense they will be and how long they will last. O’Neil said that rain always slows things down, and some-

times construction chiefs and developers have to decide on the fly if work must stop. At the Wilshire Grand project, Turcot said developer Hanjin is including a set number of weather days in the schedule — the building is supposed to open early next year — preemptively accounting for what might be lost to the storms. “You look at the historical rain data. We all know that whenever it rains you can’t weld outside, you’re not going to erect steel, pour concrete,” Turcot said. “Some days production is absolutely going to stop.” Hearing said that at Ten50, crews are working overtime to take advantage of the good weather before the storms make it impossible to get work done safely. Developers in general recognize that it is early in the El Niño season. Months of rain are still predicted, and many projects in Downtown are far from finished. While they can plan, ultimately it’s impossible to know what Mother Nature will deliver.


o S t o N




Example: There once was a boy named Huizar During campaigns he traveled near and far He saw stores come to Broadway Felt like king for a day But still he dreams of a streetcar In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re looking for supreme examples of the traditional Irish five-line verse. The catch is that the limerick must concern Downtown. How is up to you, but we expect creativity. Downtown players, places and themes are all fair game. The winner will be rewarded with a pot of gold. Well not really, but you might get a $50 gift card for Patina Restaurant Group.


Email your limerick and your contact info to with the subject line “Limerick Contest” or mail to 1264 W. First St. LA, CA 90026

One entry per person. All or part of the submissions may be published in our St. Patrick’s Day issue (or online), on March 14 and become property of the L.A. Downtown News.

February 22, 2016

Downtown News 29


Sex Talk Taper Show Tackles the Generational Divide, Lust, Romance and Self-Discovery

By Nicholas Slayton athsheba Doran’s play The Mystery of Love & Sex starts with a scene that is far less grandiose than the title suggests. It is simply a dinner, somewhat awkward, with two couples of different generations. The younger couple is Charlotte and her childhood friend Jonny, who are college students. Their dining companions are Charlotte’s parents, Lucinda and Howard. It’s a basic meal with all the limits of student life and conversations that involve catching up with parents. Yet it soon segues into awkward questions about Charlotte and Jonny’s relationship. The fact that Charlotte is white and Jonny black is just one of the elements that push the plot forward in a show that straddles the line between drama and comedy. The Mystery of Love & Sex follows the four individuals across five years, tracing their sexual exploration, dalliances with adultery and personal growth. It opened at the Mark Taper Forum on Sunday, Feb. 21, and runs

photo by Craig Schwartz


through March 20. Director Robert Egan said that the play is predominantly about self-discovery. The twist is that the discovery is not just for the younger couple. “You see two younger people who are discovering sex and love and how those intertwine and what they mean in a relationship,” Egan said. “Then there’s an older couple that’s

photo by Craig Schwartz

Bathsheba Doran’s play The Mystery of Love & Sex follows two couples, one young and one older, over a five-year period. It features (l to r) Sharon Lawrence, York Walker, Mae Whitman and David Pittu. It is at the Mark Taper Forum through March 20.

been negotiating a relationship for many years.” The show premiered last year at New York City’s Lincoln Center, with Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub in the cast. The Los Angeles run features Sharon Lawrence, known for her role as Sylvia Sipowicz in “NYPD Blue,” playing Lucinda, and Mae Whitman, from “Arrested Development” and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, as Charlotte. York Walker plays Jonny and David Pittu is Howard. Lawrence said she was drawn to the role of Lucinda in part because both are from the South. Additionally, Lawrence said that like her character, she has had to adapt to changing social paradigms and new norms. Lawrence called that struggle the core of Lucinda’s development, partly because it involves choices made by a daughter she still feels responsible for, and partly because of her own choices. The interactions lead to some to dark revelations about the characters. Still, Egan maintains that The Mystery of Love & Sex is full of humor. While he notes that the dinner provides an opportunity for physical comedy, more often the laughs come from a naturalistic, easygoing approach to real issues. Lawrence said that Doran’s script has multiple levels and a clever approach, and described it as “Bathsheba’s saucy sensibility.” Even in the dark moments, she said, the wit comes through. “In any good comedy it’s the extremes of perspective that end up clashing, so the four

characters all represent a strong point of view. It’s like playing a good doubles match of tennis,” she said. The play also deftly deals with the passage of time. Characters are repeatedly reintroduced at different points in the five-year span, often as changed people. Sometimes that comes across in the verbal exchange, while at other moments it involves backstage work, such as replacing five-year-old songs with contemporary music and some light fashion changes. Lawrence said that as time passes, Lucinda finds greater freedom and embraces a relaxed nature. Again, she found that the growth mirrored her own life. “The women in my generation grew up knowing that we had options, but not really knowing that it’s practical to exercise every option at the same time,” Lawrence said. “We still lived, or grew up, with a belief that our elders held more power than we did. I think younger generations don’t feel that.” Egan hopes that audiences find the play realistic and gratifying, but not depressing. Love & Sex, he said, deals with serious moments and has dark turns, but still offers a hopeful outlook. Doran’s message, he said, is that with the appropriate amount of communication and trust, relationships can flourish. The Mystery of Love & Sex runs through March 20 at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 628-2772 or

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February 22, 2016

A Different Kind of Crying Game East West Players Dramedy Mines a Unique Job, Filipino Culture and Family Dynamics East West Players’ Criers for Hire is built around a group of Filipino women who get paid to shed tears at funerals. Shown are (l to r) Joan Almedilla, Giselle “G” Töngi, and Samantha Cutaran.

photo by Michael Lamont



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references provide a sense of realism that aids both the humor and the drama. The biggest laughs come in the final scene, which leaves a lasting impression. The final production of EWP’s 50th anniversary season will be the musical La Cage aux Folles, directed by company artistic director Tim Dang, who will retire after the show and more than two decades at the helm of the nation’s oldest theater of color. He leaves behind a laudable legacy cultivating Asian-American theater, and Criers for Hire will add to that remarkable resume. Criers for Hire runs through March 13 at 120 Judge John Aiso St., (213) 625-7000 or

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The veteran of several East West shows anchors a pitch-perfect climax that mixes laughter and tears on stage and in the audience. There is one oddity in the show. Ortega and Rivera frame Criers for Hire in the style of a Mexican telenovela, with self-conscious alterations to Christopher Scott Murillo’s fairly bland set, along with actors who go out of character while dealing with stage crew members. There’s also telenovela-style dramatic music by Howard Ho. It is intriguing, but like the entire concept it adds a slight layer of confusion on top of the story. Even if the experimental framing device misses, Ortega’s use of Tagalog and cultural



Barredo) arrives in L.A. from the Philippines. The teenager hasn’t seen her mother in years, because Baby left to find work in America. Like many immigrants, she sent money back home, and Gaya was cared for by her grandmother. What Gaya finds is a near stranger working three jobs and who has little time to be a mother, and even less understanding of what it takes to be one. While Baby, who talks frequently in a mixture of Tagalong and English, has done little to assimilate in her six years in America, Gaya tries to fit in with her schoolmates as quickly as possible. She’s assisted by a new friend, Nacisco (Rudy Martinez), who is from Colombia, and who shares with Gaya his love of new wave music and art house movies. Much of the comedy deals with the funerals and how the women struggle to teach Gaya — who hasn’t shed a tear in years — various physically outrageous and funny ways to cry. Rivera drives the pace hard, with characters frequently talking over each other and trading wicked barbs on a variety of topics. There’s a glossary of Tagalog in the program, and while it’s unlikely you’ll memorize it, the general idea comes across. Also, supertitles are used when the majority of a scene is in Tagalog. The entire cast is likeable, in particular Barredo and Martinez. The chemistry between the young actors is the play’s most realistic relationship. Almedilla also is impressive as Baby.


By Jeff Favre ast West Players’ Criers for Hire may not be meant for everyone, but that doesn’t mean everyone can’t enjoy it. Giovanni Ortega’s 80-minute, intermissionless dramedy likely will connect with Filipinos who understand Tagalog and who know the cultural unease that comes with moving to Los Angeles from the Philippines. Yet plenty of people outside that limited demographic will also grasp what it feels like to be an outsider, and the discord that can erupt between parents and children. The world premiere, directed with a sense of joy and fun by the usually dependable Jon Lawrence Rivera, shows the rough edges of a new work, but its build to an emotionally satisfying conclusion overcomes a few missteps. The show opened last week at Little Tokyo’s David Henry Hwang Theater and runs through March 13. The title refers to the job of crying at a funeral, and yes, in some cultures it’s an actual job. In this case, the weepy women are loving boss Meding (Giselle “G” Töngi), and her employees, the Philippine native Baby (Joan Almedilla) and the Filipino American Henny (Samantha Cutaran). They are paid to attend Chinese funerals and to show off their wailing skills, which they can start and stop on a dime. The crying is more of a backdrop to the primary plot. The show is set in the early 1990s, which is when Baby’s daughter Gaya (Nicole














WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 Dr. Yvonne Cagle at Town Hall-Los Angeles City Club LA, 555 S. Flower St., (213) 628-8141 or 11:30 a.m.: A former NASA astronaut, Dr. Cagle pontificates on the future of space travel and the qualifications that the next generation will have to meet to take the journey. Greg Lynn and Peter Testa at SCI-Arc SCI-Arc, 960 E. Third St., (213) 613-2200 or 7 p.m.: The world of design is due for an outright revolution as machine vision fundamentally alters standards and practices. In their “Duel + Duet,” architectural theorists Lynn and Testa ponder the future. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25 Emergency Break Book Release Party Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., (213) 488-0599 or 8 p.m.: No, your car hasn’t penned an autobiography whining about the time you drove from Long Beach to Tarzana with the parking break on. Emergency Break is a poetry collection from Ruth Madievsky. She and some of her collaborators will do a little reading, a little book signing and a little “refreshing.” Remember, poetry is sexy. Walead Beshty at MOCA MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2766 or 7 p.m.: Perhaps you know Beshty for his work now on exhibit at MOCA, or perhaps you know the photographer because he is our collective Los Angeles neighbor.

photo courtesy Bob Baker Marionette Theater

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 George Saunders at REDCAT REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or 8:30 p.m.: The unlikely titan of contemporary absurdist fiction drops in to share his vision of the bitterly comical free-market dystopia awaiting us in the near future. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 Bob Baker Day Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.: A day-long celebration of the late puppeteer Bob Baker, with help from the gang at the TV show “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Some events are in the theater, others take place outdoors.



Ace Hotel 929 S. Broadway, (213) 623-3233 or Feb. 26, 8 p.m.: What little we know about Melanie Martinez’s music career is irrelevant given the 20-year-old’s chosen Cruella DeVille aesthetic. Belasco 1050 S. Hill St., (213) 746-5670 or Feb. 25, 10 p.m.: “Evactuation” is a dance party, not an emergency preparedness drill. Feb. 26, 12:30 p.m.: The tastemakers over at Perrier present Lunch Break, a lunchtime DJ set from Mayer Hawthorne. Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or Feb. 22: Rebecca Kleinman and Fabiano de Nascimento. Feb. 23-24: Ralph Alessi Baida Quartet. Feb. 25: Yeakley-Smith III-Hamm-Coye. Feb. 26: Eric Revis Group. Continued on next page photo courtesy Jonathan Toubin

Marionette mainstay Bob Baker would have been 92 on Saturday, Feb. 27. Alas, Baker passed away in 2014, but the ultimate string-puller lives on during the second annual Bob Baker Day. On Saturday, First Street will be closed to traffic at the intersection with Glendale Boulevard (where the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre is located) so as to facilitate the fanfare of live music, puppetry, face-painting, food and the ubiquitous bounce house that makes or breaks any Los Angeles party. Inside the theater, special guest DJ Lance Rock joins the “Yo Gabba Gabba” crew for an 11:30 a.m. show (admission $30) before the community celebration at 2 p.m. ($5) and the day-closing Rock-hosted variety show at 5:30 p.m. ($20). Tickets are available online. At 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or




Rock us Amadeus! In 2016, 225 years after its first staging, Mozart’s classic love story-done-fantasy opera The Magic Flute is still quite in vogue. Now the really good news: The version of the opera created by the British company 1927 that thrilled Downtown audiences a few years ago is back at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. L.A. Opera’s own James Conlon leads the production that utilizes a 1920s silent film approach, complete with wild animated projections, to augment a batch of stellar performances. There are shows this week on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. While calling a performance magical is a cliché, this is the rare case where the term qualifies. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or

Postmodernity will be on full display at The Regent on Saturday, Feb. 27, as New York vinyl sycophant Jonathan Toubin shows off his display of rare 45 records at the Soul Clap & Dance-Off. Yes, the preferred method of disseminating ephemeral pop singles grooved into a thick layer of shellac during the late ’50s and early ’60s has become a hot commodity for amateur archivists with a little pocket cash. Does vinyl sound better? If you hear money in a scratchy puddle of mids, then yes, it does. None of the particulars will matter as the slow march of proto-pop channels itself into an all-out, feel-good dance party starting at 10:30 p.m. At 448 S. Main St., (323) 284-5727 or

The sonic scope of the Western hemisphere will sound throughout Walt Disney Concert Hall this week as L.A. Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Phil and pianist Sergio Tiempo in “Music From the Americas.” Think of it as a sampler of fine tunes from two continents including Copland’s iconic “Appalachian Spring” and Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s musical zeitgeist “Piano Concerto No. 1.” Other highlights include a world premiere from Andrew Norman and John Williams’“Soundings,” originally composed for the dedication of Disney Hall. Bask in the glow at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, 11 a.m. on Friday (yes, in the morning), 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. At 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or


Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado began his professional life as an economist working in international economic development. Unlikely roots these are for a four-decade career shooting images of the plain faces and remarkable banality around the globe. Now Salgado himself is the subject of a documentary from Wim Wenders entitled The Salt of the Earth. On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Library Foundation’s Aloud program hosts a screening of the film at the Mark Taper Auditorium in the Central Library. The 7:15 p.m. show is full, but some standby tickets are almost always dispensed at the door. At 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or

Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to

photo courtesy Los Angeles Philharmonic

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Hanya Yanagihara at Aloud Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or 7:15 p.m.: The novelist discusses her much-lauded A Little Life, the tale of four college friends who go their separate ways and inevitably come back together.

By Dan Johnson |

photo by Mark Edward Harris/ Courtesy Peter Fetterman Gallery


Remembering Bob Baker, a Magical ‘Magic Flute,’ a Vinyl Record Fetish and More Downtown Fun

photo by Craig T. Mathew



Downtown News 31


The Don't Miss List

February 22, 2016


32 Downtown News







February 22, 2016






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Continued from previous page Feb. 27: Cameron Graves. Feb. 28: Sheila Govindarajan. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or Feb. 22, 8 p.m.: Looks like the landlord just sent February resident Lena Fayre her oneweek notice. Feb. 23, 8:30 p.m.: There is a certain Tony Manero vibe to Athens, Greece’s Monika. Feb. 26, 8:30 p.m.: Indie licks meet punk American aesthetics with Buckaroo. Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m.: The Cave Singers are a musical tribute to Werner Herzog. Feb. 28, 8:30 p.m.: We’ll bet Halfbluud routinely dream of arriving at the venue only to realize their reverb pedals are missing. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or Feb. 26, 9:30 p.m.: Rapper Tyga’s music is a bit like poison ivy: You don’t know where you got it, but if you can bring yourself to stop scratching it will be gone in a few days. Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.: Every comedian head shot expresses some inner quirk with gleaming eyes and a knowing stance. Anjelah Johnson, why can’t you just stand there all unhappy looking and show us that you understand the spiritual void within our hearts? Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or Feb. 22: When their sponsor found the Jazzaholics unconscious in an alley, the band reeked of sixteenth notes and broken reeds. Feb. 23: Pretty Polly, a band and a promo line for a state university in San Luis Obispo. Feb. 24: Kat Myers & the Buzzards give tribute to America’s raw musical emotion and the bird second most likely to fly into a plane engine, behind a goose, of course. Feb. 25: The Cody Hudock Band is the brain child of Cody Hudock. Feb. 26: Boom Boom Boom return to open things up for Nick Smith and Darkwater Rebellion. Feb. 28: King Corduroy, the regent that the vintage-obsessed Fashion District has long yearned for. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or Feb. 26: Potion features The Magician, amongst others. Feb. 27: After examining the potential truth of the event name, headliner Mark Knight deemed Toolroom Live to be a worthy event. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.: Grammy winner Judith Hill stops by to chit chat. Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.: New York rock figure Dion is here. Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.: Emmit Rhodes took 43 years to release a follow up to 1973’s Farewell to Paradise. He apparently used that time to transform himself into the world’s greatest Kenny Rogers impersonator. Microsoft Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or Feb. 27, 8 p.m.: The hardest working woman in show business is whoever does Paquita la del Barrio’s eyebrows. REDCAT 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m.: In cahoots with The Broad next door, REDCAT presents another installment of the Callings Out of Context experimental music series. This time it’s Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton and Daniel Wohl. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or Feb. 22: Rubber. Feb. 23: Gonzophonic and Slim Zwerling. Feb. 24: Scarlett & The Fever. Feb. 26: Violent Human System, Kent State, Teenage Wrist and Souvenirs. Feb. 27: '80s Night. The Regent 448 S. Main St. or Feb. 26, 9:30 p.m.: Mash-up night pits Drake Vs. Kanye in a battle for the ages to see which celebrity has the bigger ego and the most emotional insecurity. Feb. 27, 8 p.m.: Just because you don’t have to pay to see Natasha Leggero tonight doesn’t mean you also don’t have to tip your bartenders. Feb. 27, 10:30 p.m.: Soul Clap & Dance Off brings a bunch of vinyl classics. Resident 428 S. Hewitt St. or (323) 316-5311 or Feb. 23: Andrew St. James graduated with honors from the James Blake school of promo photos. Feb. 25: Masego, someone’s name or an admission en español. Feb. 26: Alina Bea has a new album for you. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or Feb. 22: Jake Reed of Vibrometers fame. Feb. 23: Things got awkward last week when The Makers’ prison pen pal showed up unannounced. Feb. 24: Ray Brooks first began playing professionally in 1958 at the Cloud 9 club in Corpus Christi, Texas. He’s accomplished almost everything possible in blues, and is in Downtown to share his guitar licks. Feb. 25: The Curtis Perry Jazz Cartel has the distinction of being the only cartel to operate in Southern California without the implicit and unstated approval of the federal government. Feb. 28: The California Feet Warmers are trying to segue into being the Los Angeles Built-In Seat Warmers. Baby steps, boys.

February 22, 2016 Continued from previous page The Smell 247 S. Main St. in the alley between Spring and Main or Feb. 25: The Kids in Detention with Nick Valentini Collective. Feb. 26: Walter, Sloppy Jane, The Paranoyds and Clit Kat. Feb. 27-28: Women [Expletives] Fest 2016. Teragram Ballroom 1234 W. Seventh St. or Feb. 24, 8 p.m.: Escort’s band bio touts the quintet as “big… literally.” It then goes on to mention a world of accolades without diving into the literal physical dimensions of a band that looks, on average, a might tiny.


Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or See website for schedule. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 744-2019 or Journey to Space 3D brings audience members along on an E-ticket ride of exploration to the red planet. Ewan McGregor is the voice of Humpback Whales 3D. Not that the whales aren’t significant enough in their own right, but Obi-Wan narrating means we’re dealing with serious power brokers here. Power brokers who know a good whale story when they see it. Regal Cinemas LA Live 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or movies. Through Feb. 25: Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer (11:40


DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM a.m., 2:30, 5, 7:50 and 10:40 p.m.); Race (12:30, 4:10, 7:30 and 10:45 p.m.); Risen (1, 4, 7 and 10 p.m.); The Witch (12, 2:40, 5:30, 8:20 and 10:55 p.m.); Deadpool (11:35 a.m., 12:50, 1:40, 2:20, 3:40, 4:30, 5:10, 6:40, 7:20, 8, 9:20, 10:20 and 11 p.m.); How to Be Single (1:30, 4:20, 7:10 and 9:50 p.m.); Zoolander 2 (11:30 a.m., 2:10, 4:50, 8:10 and 10:50 p.m.); Hail, Caesar! (12:20, 3:10, 6:20 and 9 p.m.); Kung Fu Panda 3 (3:30 and 8:50 p.m.); Kung Fu Panda 3 3D (12:40 and 6:10 p.m.); The Boy (11:25 a.m. and 2:50 p.m.); Ride Along 2 (10:20 p.m.); The Revenant (11:50 a.m., 3:20, 6:50 and 10:10 p.m.). Union Station 800 N. Alameda St. or online at Feb. 25, 8:30 p.m.: The 1949 noir classic The Third Man screens in Union Station’s historic ticket concourse courtesy of Metro and Zocalo Public Square.


An Act of God Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or Feb. 23-26, 8 p.m. and Feb. 27, 2 and 8 and Feb. 28, 1 p.m.: The comedy Act of God comes from the pen of 13-time Emmy winner (and former “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” head writer) David Javerbaum. Sean Hayes, perhaps best known for his role in “Will & Grace,” plays the almighty himself in this tonguein-cheek divinity play. Through March 13. The Aeroplane or How Low: An Autobiography (sort of) Loft Ensemble, 929 E. Second St., (213) 680-0392 or Feb. 27, 8 p.m. and Feb. 28, 7 p.m.: In Mitch Rosander’s

drama, a plane flight home to cope with family grief turns into a boundless bit of soul searching. Through March 6. Bob Baker’s Sketchbook Revue Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or Feb. 27-28, 2:30 p.m.: The Sketchbook Revue promises a cast of marionettes that will alternately delight and terrify. Criers For Hire East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St., (213) 625-7000 or Feb. 24-27, 8 p.m., Feb. 28, 2 p.m.: Filipino funeral singers form the conceptual basis for this comedic tale. It’s about an unlikely prodigy who turns somber mourners into joyful celebrants. Through March 13. See review p. 30. The Magic Flute Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 9728001 or Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 28, 2:30 p.m.: Multimedia trickery and a 1920s update give this Mozart classic a little panache. Bonus: You get James Conlon’s consummate work in the pit. Manifest Destiny Los Angeles Theater Center, 514 S. Spring St., (213) 4890994 or Feb. 24, 7 p.m.: Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid receives the old recontexualization treatment as the unlikely narrative finds itself placed in early California for this one-night table read.

MORE LISTINGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at

Downtown News 33




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34 Downtown News


February 22, 2016


To place a classified ad in the Downtown News please call 213-481-1448, or go to Deadline classified display and line ads are Thursday at 12pm. FORfor RENT


FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2016019673 The following individual(s) is (are) doing business as: (1) Tiny Bee Cards, 1528 Yale St. #3, Santa Monica, CA 90404, (2) Lemonade Pixel, 1528 Yale St. #3, Santa Monica, CA 90404, and (3) Lemonade VFX, 1528 Yale St. #3, Santa Monica, CA 90404, are hereby registered by the following registrants: Alexis Rawlins, 1528 Yale St. #3, Santa Monica, CA 90404 and Brandon Sachs, 1528 Yale St. #3, Santa Monica, CA 90404. This business is conducted by a married couple. Registrants began to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on 05/19/2014. This statement was filed with Dean C. Logan, Los Angeles County Clerk and by Miguel Macias, Deputy, on January 26, 2016. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 02/01, 02/08, 02/15, and 02/22/2016.


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Downtown Art know what the right. Still, that

Back in 1 ouin guides w drive streets Sure, a lot of people Ba cially visitors). remains an am- West bars, but there thousand to visit the area creative outto check out the lectively dozen ple opportunity populace in a couple March fornia Scienc put of the local The events on of the sc Historic Core galleries. will, as usual, be anMay 14 12, April 9 and 634 S. Spring rah. Comp Walk Lounge at with a scre maps. chored at the Art for freebies and theater. St. Show up there Historic Core or At 7 Throughout the downtownartw


Mayan August 6 » The


4/11 » Club Nokia

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Los Lobos

detta Holmes. hts activcouple company Also on the bill are a premieres: Wheeldon’ Christophe s After Af the Rain r Uprising, by Pas de Deux u and ux choreograp her Hof ter. Four performan apher Hofesh Schecherf erformanc es also hold Schechloved Revelations cces , choreograp the behimself. lf. P lf hed by Plan lan to arrive an hour early Ailey dance talk. f the for At 135 N. Grand nd Ave. or mu musiccente siccenter.or g.

Opening April 10 AAt the nAturAl histOry nA nAtur MuseuM Museu

William Pope.L’s upcoming nex is big in exhibition more ways at than one. WilliamMOCA’s Little Tokyo an approxima antely tinuous beating 50-by-20 foot American Pope.L: Trinket features from four ginormous flag that gets lery, with the a confans set up goal about democratic of creating a fraying around the galeffect curator Bennett ideals and their shortcominthat makes a point Simpson is gs. MOCA will include overseeing other the installation senior claimed “fishermansculptures and performanc , which of social absurdity.” es by the self-prolate 1990s, Pope.L The Great White began a nine-year Need more proof? In the “crawling” installation 22-mile stretch Way, in which he crawled , called of sidewalk on At 152 N. Central on Manhattan all fours across the ’s Broadway. Ave. or

Nokia April 12 » Club



A Rundown of 40 Can’t Miss Concerts, Shows, Events, Exhibits and More Taking Place in Downtown

Club L.A. Fight theater Multiple Dates at the Belasco

spring. His Downtown -ba launching L.A. Fight Club ater, which o normally up in the ornate Hill Str in 1926) will feature up-a debut card will be headlined seph “Jo Jo” Diaz, Jr.,

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Theatre May 1 & 3 » Orpheum


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SIXX: A.M. WITH SPECIAL Nokia STROMAE 4/14 » Club Theater 4/15 » Belasco ACTION BRONSON » Fonda Theatre WATERS 4/28 & 4/29 MATT & KIM WITH 5/2 » El Rey Theatre CLARK WITH TOM RHODES DR. JOHN COOPER Theatre L.A. LIVE CAIFANES 5/29 » Nokia @Goldenvoice


Downto wn News

o As the crow flies, it’s not too far a journey from East L.A to town. But my, The Regent in Downwhat a ride Los Lobos. it’s been for The High School band formed at Garfield four decades by critics and ago is adored fans for embodying tain sound a cerand the two-time style of L.A. On May 5, Grammy-w inning act livers its mix deof of Americana, roots rock with a garnish Tex-Mex and cano flavors. hearty ChiExpect hits from nearly decades of four music, starting album Si Se with the 1976 Puede!, the major label but How Will dethe later and even Wolf Survive eight years 2010’s Tin Can At 448 S. Main Trust. or theregentth St. The creative partnership between dancer and choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey promises to mes merize and provoke. The show at REDCAT stars Scofield and Ar Everyone loves butterflies, but few get to glimpse them from just inches iel Freedman, whose credits include touring with the Batsheva away. That opportunity arrives April 10, when the Butterfly Pavilion Dance Company. Melding arresting moves and balletic whirls returns to the front lawn of the Natural History Museum. The annual with ethereal, wistful music, avant-garde stage design and mul showcase features more than 50 species of butterflies and moths. In addition to ogling their beautimedia visuals, BeginAgain aims to transport viewers to a place ty and marveling at the cocoon process, there will be a “Monarch Waystation” outside the pavilion, where NHM staff will teach visitors how to plant the milkweed that monarchs love to eat. The Butterfly where all is well and the future is open and forgiving. Then again, it might force you, through audio and visual trickery, to Pavilion requires a separate admission than the museum proper. Also, be sure to make reservations in revisit your past by plopping you in the center of it. advance. Former world At 631 W. Second St. or At 900 Exposition Blvd. or champion regular

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14 » Club Nokia Saturday March & 9:30pm 2 shows! 7pm

March 2,

At the CAliforniA SCienCe Center

probably is about, you’re on the secic core Walk any less fun, and doesn’t make it this spring the in the histor of every month (espeond Thursday locals and visitors Multip le DAtes will teem with down



The Dead Sea Scrolls

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at The Aloud series brings Thomthe Central Library Montana to Downas McGuane from author on March 31. The town Los Angeles the acclaimed Gallatin of 10 novels, includinghis latest work, Crow Fair: Stofrom McGuane reCanyon, will read in nearly a decade. weave ries, his first collectionof so-called dirty realism to with lies on the landscape West. He’ll be in conversation it is tales of the American critic David Ulin. As usual, book the seaLos Angeles Times highlights during one of many Aloud events include journalson. Other standout Tolan on April 21 and Sandy ist and author on April 23. Aloud musician Ana Tijoux reservations are albut shows are free, . ways recommended or St. At 630 W. Fifth

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7 and At 1050 S. Hill June 4. St. or goldenb


A massive wood box getting h of the Los Angeles Ph again, Mahler’s Sixth Symp performanc es, tor Gustavo Music DirecDudamel will conduct the Phil through is broadly what considered one of Ma darkest creations. came as directly “Not one of h from his inmost Alma once said Dudamel has about the dramat a particular can expect soft some extra-passio spo baton during nate the At 111 S. Grand two evening and Ave. or

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Will iam PoP e.l: Trin keT


Downtown News 35


March 20-JuN e 28 at the Geffe N coNte

February 22, 2016

36 Downtown News




12:23 PM


February 22, 2016

f k r O o m o C the









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Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.


Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.