It’s long been accepted that the Purple Line subway station at Wilshire and La Brea will be just the start of a major transit-oriented re-development of the area, and we now have some idea of what at least one other part of that process will bring.
On January 10, real estate development firm CGI Strategies announced that it is planning a new 12-story development just behind the new Purple Line station at the NW corner of Wilshire and La Brea. In an announcement on its website, the company acknowledged that it is “in escrow to purchase 627-667 S. La Brea Avenue, an approximately one-acre site on La Brea Avenue, just north of Wilshire Boulevard. The site will be adjacent to the new La Brea/Wilshire Metro Purple Line currently under construction. ”
The announcement went on to say the project will be “a seminal mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented project including 160 residential units and featuring an urban market hall with an open floor layout, public dining, and ground-level retail shops.” Also, after construction on the Purple Line station is complete, “CGI will transform the southern portion of the site, currently occupied by Metro construction staging, into a public plaza adjacent to the Station, providing much needed community open space for all to enjoy.”
Quoted in the CGI announcement, CEO Gidi Cohen said, “This stretch of La Brea Avenue, just north of Wilshire Boulevard, is an exciting, burgeoning corridor of arts, culture, fashion and dining for Los Angeles, and we’re fortunate to have assembled and acquired this site to bring a fresh, residential and community-focused project to the area.”
Although no illustrations were provided by CGI, the project is being designed by Killefer Flamming Architects of Santa Monica, which is also working on another project near Larchmont Village, as well as one near Wilshire and Ogden. According to CGI:
“…the proposed design references the art deco themes of the 1920s woven throughout the Mid-Wilshire and La Brea corridors. Like other mid-rise buildings along Wilshire Boulevard, the proposed project will feature a 12-story tower as an architectural anchor, with the market hall on the first two floors and a rooftop restaurant and observation deck providing a spectacular 360-degree view of the Los Angeles skyline and San Gabriel mountains. The tower will be flanked by a 7-story component that will house pedestrian-scale retail shops on the ground floor and residential units above. Fourteen of the 160 residential units will be designated as affordable for low income households. A three-story subterranean garage will provide a minimum of 233 parking spaces for residents, employees, and commercial visitors. CGI is currently in the entitlement and outreach phase of project planning with approvals anticipated in late 2017.”
As promised above, CGI yesterday filed an entitlement application with the city, giving a primary address of 639 S. La Brea, for the project as described.
With the old E. Clem Wilson building still anchoring the NE corner of the Wilshire-La Brea intersection, the newly-built Essex Wilshire-La Brea development on the SE corner, and the new CGI project on the NW corner, it leaves only the SW corner of the intersection, now cleared and being used as a staging area for subway construction, as a big question mark regarding its next incarnation. What is nearly certain, however, is that it, too, will become another large-scale transit-oriented project.