The Wilshire La Brea area is beginning it’s big boom, with housing projects being close to completion and the “subway to the sea” soon to be tunneled beneath.
The giant BRE project, appropriately called Wilshire La Brea for its cross streets, is scheduled to open its 480 residential rental units at the end of October or early November, a spokeswoman for BRE told the Buzz. Designed by TCA Architects and “pursuing a LEED Gold Certification” (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) the massive hulk on the southeast corner of Mid-City’s most famous intersection has been a bane to many local residents who dislike the size, scale and design of the property which fills the entire block. The Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association has been in constant discussion with BRE over the past year about construction issues and businesses nearby have suffered with street closures.
The building’s facade is a jumble of balconies and discordant frontal planes with the northern and eastern faces designed differently, united by a central tower that seems to lack any elegance or even much design. It’s a shame the design team couldn’t at least try to borrow some of the sleek lines from other streamline or deco architecture still standing along Wilshire Boulevard.
The apartment complex will house two swimming pools (“The Cool” and “The Zone”), two fitness centers (TRX, Pilates and Spin cycles), a Speakeasy trumped as a “moody mezzanine area with bar and outside deck” and a Club Room with kitchen, booth seating and televisions that presumably residents can utilize for parties and NFL watching. The BRE website sells the property to the young and active, and the 997 parking spaces below will no doubt mean a lot more traffic in the neighborhood.
Opening in sync with the hundreds of new apartments at Wilshire, the new Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) at La Brea and 4th no doubt hopes to be the go-to store for new apartment residents who want to decorate, hang shelves and fixtures and need a local hardware store.
Stuccoed in deep brown and serving up “friendly” street frontage with its full sized windows, the traditional OSH gable over the front door reads much like the blah big box shopping center architecture that it is. Let’s hope that its neighborliness outweighs its dull design. Folks next door to the south at Liz’s Antique Hardware are only too happy to have OSH move in next door: a salesperson at Liz’s happily told us that there will finally be a true hardware store to serve the many customers coming into their store for basic hardware needs only to find Liz’s a treasure trove of collectible antique hardware, and not a source for staple guns and cans of paint.
The OSH on La Brea will be opening in November 2013, an OSH spokesperson told the Larchmont Buzz.
Larchmont Buzz: Pouring Concrete at Wilshire and La Brea
Larchmont Buzz: Orchard Supply Hardware Spouting on La Brea