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Old July 9th, 2005, 04:13 AM   #1
LosAngelesSportsFan
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Downtown LA - 50 story residential

This area around the project has plenty of potential for many new highrises and i really think this is only the beginning for Hill Street. the 1.2 billion dollar grand ave plan (with 5 towers from 30 - 45 stories) is up the street, the Subway is right there and there are parks, markets and plenty of activity is the area.

Zen' Tower Could Dominate Historic Core

Kawada Group Plans 50-Story, 300-Condo Structure Near Grand Central Market

by Kathryn Maese

A 50-story residential high-rise, 20 floors higher than the Transamerica Building and nearly as tall as the Wells Fargo Tower, is being planned at the northeast corner of Third and Hill streets.
This parking lot at Third and Hill streets could feature one of the tallest residential towers in Downtown, creating more than 300 condos in a slender high-rise overlooking the Historic Core and the Civic Center. Photo by Gary Leonard.

The Kawada Company of America, which also owns the Kawada Hotel on the northern end of the same block, is in the conceptual design phase for the 302-unit condo tower and 10,000 square feet of retail. If built, it would become a dominant landmark on the Downtown Los Angeles skyline and would further the rush of high-rises expected to be part of the Grand Avenue plan.

The Kawada group will seek city entitlements in the coming months, and has hired Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Design as the architect of the Asian-inspired project dubbed "Zen." Construction is anticipated to last 18 months.

"It is near the historic Broadway core so we certainly will have a style that's compatible, but we will not mimic a historic theme," said John Bowman, a land use attorney for the project. "As it is proposed, it would include a podium level with a taller, slender tower on top of that."

The immediate area around the proposed project has become a mini residential hub wedged between the Civic Center and the Historic Core. Nearby projects that are open or under construction include the Pan American Lofts, Grand Central Square apartments, the 50-unit Douglas Building and the 135-unit Higgins Building. The Victor Clothing Lofts is in the planning stages.

The 26,400-square-foot site of the future development is currently used as a Joe's Parking Lot and neighbors Grand Central Market and the senior housing complex Angelus Plaza. The project is being touted by Kawada as the first new mixed-use high-rise in the district.

Bowman said the podium level would include a ground-floor sports-themed restaurant and lounge, and an upscale mini-market, amenities lacking in an area surrounded largely by office buildings that shut down after 5 p.m. He would not reveal a proposed price for the project.

A 576-space parking garage would rise on seven floors above the podium, and would be topped by a two-story, 50,000-square-foot fitness center and indoor pool. According to the design, the developer is offering a heliport and signage rights on the building for a major advertiser.

In keeping with the Zen theme, each condo will feature a private garden or sunroom. A large roof garden will overlook the Downtown skyline. Pricing has yet to be determined for the units, which will range from 500 square feet to 1,800 square feet. Each of the four penthouses will span 2,300 square feet. High-end Sub-Zero and Wolfe appliances will be standard in every unit.

Bowman said the Kawada Company held a community meeting last month allowing local stakeholders to view the tower's early design and comment on the project.

"We got good feedback from the public and are moving forward with getting entitled," Bowman said. "We had quite a cross section with people in the development community, Angelus Plaza senior complex, people from the city and other agencies. They seemed to be favorably impressed by the project."

For one neighbor, however, the Zen could leave a less than peaceful impression. Urban Pacific Builders' 40-unit Pan American Lofts at 249 S. Broadway - which are scheduled to open early next year - bumps up against the future site, and would essentially lose its skyline views if the tower is built. The developer of the $16 million condo project did not return calls for comment.

Zen would not be the first new housing development to go high-rise. At least a dozen condo towers are in the works or planning stages throughout Downtown, including several in South Park near the Staples Center. Just two blocks away from the proposed Zen site, New York-based Related Companies is planning three condo and apartment towers with a total of 1,000 units along Grand Avenue and Olive Street as part of the $1.8 billion Grand Avenue plan. The latter high-rises would range from 22 to 45 stories.

"Certainly the fact that [Zen] is near those uses is a plus," Bowman said. "I would add that we've got excellent access to transit, the Red Line and it's also in close proximity to the Civic Center, the federal courthouse, and the various cultural attractions."

Though Kawada has other real estate holdings in Japan, this would mark the company's first residential venture in the U.S.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 11:16 AM   #2
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this is an interesting project, id like to see some renderings...
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Old July 9th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #3
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yes comon, up with the pics already thats what we all want to see
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Old July 9th, 2005, 06:30 PM   #4
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Sounds awesome. Can't wait to see the renderings!
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Old July 9th, 2005, 08:20 PM   #5
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mmm, interesting, has anyone renderings or pics?
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Old July 9th, 2005, 08:26 PM   #6
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As soon as the renderings are out, ill post them here. supposedly, he showed some renderings to the nieghbors that live around the site, so they are out there.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #7
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As of 4/06, 9 months later than the last post, everything is still the same. There is only a small rendering, but doesn't show much. Everyone says it is still developing, but I wouldn't doubt if they drop it dead, like its neighbor Cal Plaza 3.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #8
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Is there a reason why you brought back a year old thread?

For one, Zen is still proposed. That small rendering is more of a rough draft than anything.

Secondly, I heard from a friend of mine that Cal Plaza 3 is rumbling back. It might look a bit different from CP 1 and 2 and might make use of the Civic Center subway station.

Thirdly, LA has very strict building codes. You can't propose a building and expect it to win approval within weeks. Can take months or years. Why do you think it took Metropolis 20 years to get approved?
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Old April 11th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #9
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I brought back the thread, and just now we get new info. Cal Plaza is maybe coming back, I don't think any of us has heard of that.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #10
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Sound great for LA. Any renderings?
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Old April 14th, 2006, 04:09 AM   #11
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LA is booming right now
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Old April 26th, 2006, 10:57 PM   #12
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Maybe will LA get a real downtown any day? I've had heard of this process "gentrification" of downtown LA
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #13
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ckm, downtown LA has had a real downtown for years, it's a matter you waking up.
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