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Old September 14th, 2013, 10:42 AM   #1
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LOS ANGELES | The Stationer's Building | 40 fl | Pro


Veteran Developer Planning 40-Story Tower for Historic Core

Joseph Hellen Aims to Get in on the Ground Floor of What He Thinks Is a High-Rise Movement

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 10:23 am | Updated: 5:13 pm, Fri Sep 13, 2013.

Joseph Hellen, a longtime Downtown landowner who in recent years has created nearly 300 apartments by turning century-old buildings into housing, has what he considers to be the perfect addition to the Historic Core: a 40-story residential tower that would rise between his Spring Arcade Building and the Alexandria Hotel.

The concept of erecting a steel and glass high-rise amidst mid-level early 20th structures might strike some as architecturally jarring, but the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor believes this is a defining time for Los Angeles, and if it wants to be considered a “world class city,” he said, it should exhibit world-class high-rises.

During an interview Tuesday in the offices of his Central City real estate and development firm, Downtown Management, Hellen described how he has scrapped various plans for the site that had been considered over the past eight years. In August 2012, he envisioned a 12-story apartment complex on the property in the 500 block of South Spring Street.

Instead, he has hired a new architecture team, Martinez + Cutri Corporation, which has worked up renderings for the mammoth structure that folks are more apt to see in South Park than the Historic Core. “It is a show building for Los Angeles,” said Hellen, who spends most of his time in Melbourne, Australia, and travels to Downtown to oversee his business interests a few times a year.

Preliminary cost projections for the Spring Street apartment project’s basic core and shell are $120 million, with the likelihood of a much higher price tag depending on the quality of the residential finishes, Hellen said. The company is looking to create 252 units, which will be built to condominium specs, though the plan is initially to market them as apartments. Known for financing his buildings out of his own pocket, Hellen said he is not seeking a construction loan at this time, and plans to use existing resources to fund the project.

The high-rise, which Hellen is calling the Stationer’s Building for the former stationery business that once occupied the now parking lot, will offer approximately 12,000 to 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail, along with six levels of parking. The rest of the structure would be residential. A timeline for the project has not been announced. The development needs to secure entitlements from the city. Hellen said he suspects he’ll keep the Stationer’s name for the building, In his past Downtown adaptive reuse projects, the Spring Arcade, Jewelry Trades and Chester Williams buildings, he has also utilized the historic monikers.

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Last edited by desertpunk; September 14th, 2013 at 10:47 AM.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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this is the next evolution of Downtown LA. I hope we see more and propsed highrises for the historic core. I love the juxtaposition of old and new and there are plenty of crap 1 - 3 story buildings in the historic core that can be replaced with modern mid and highrises.

This is now the 3 or 4th modern highrise planned for that immediate area of the historic core. Theres the 22 + story building on 4th and broadway, the Barry Shy 40 story building on 6th and main and i believe there was a proposal for a hotel for a parking lot on the corner of 4th and spring.

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527 s. spring st., downtown la, dtla, l.a., los angeles, the stationer's building

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