West Hollywood-based developer Metros Capital is planning a rare ground-up development in Hancock Park.

The company, which has largely focused on renovations of existing residential buildings to date, has acquired a small apartment building at 617 N. Rossmore Avenue.  Plans filed with the Department of Building and Safety call for razing the existing two-story structure to make way for an 11-story, 14-unit apartment building which would sit atop two levels of underground parking.

The proposed development, designed by LOHA, is depicted as a slim mid-rise structure with a white exterior and offset windows.

"The default in Los Angeles has been to avoid blocking views in favor of large floor plates that create a horizontal density that is tightly glued to the sidewalk," said LOHA Principal Lorcan O'Herlihy. "We believe that going vertical allows you to provide greater setbacks, which frees up space at the street level and gives opportunities for social and civic connectivity."

"We are incredibly excited about the potential of this project not only for delivering an architectural experience, spectacular views, and unique living spaces, but also for the conversation we hope it sparks within the residential development community in Los Angeles," said Nick Halaris, President of Metros Capital.  "It could really serve as a model for how to think differently about density and verticality. We think this could become an iconic property and the beginning of something new here in Los Angeles." 

Zoning also plays a role in the project's design, according to Halaris.  Though unlimited height is allowed at 617 Rossmore, and additional density is permitted beyond 14 units, the parking requirements for a larger project would necessitate costly below-grade construction.  Building the project as for-sale housing could pose similarly difficulties, due to the more intensive parking requirements for condominiums.

Pending approvals by the Department of Building, construction of 617 Rossmore could begin later this year, says Halaris.