A 1960s parking garage near Whole Foods and Bottega Louie in Downtown Los Angeles could be cleared for a new data center, according to an application submitted earlier this year to the L.A. Department of City Planning.
The proposed project from San Francisco-based Digital Realty would rise from an approximately 39,000-square-foot mid-block site located at 727-737 S. Grand Avenue. Plans call for a 13-story building which would include nearly 486,000 square feet of floor area, most of which would be dedicated to computer servers and supporting equipment for private clients. Although few employees would work in the building, plans do call for parking to be located on the second and third floors, and approximately 13,300 square feet of offices.
While the building is not expected to include windows, findings include with the entitlement submission indicate that the project would feature "a playful system of angled panels" that provide articulation and break up its facade. The height of the proposed building is estimated at just over 279 feet.
While most of Downtown's growth and construction in the past decade has consisted of hotels and housing, data centers are not without precedent in the area. A former department store located to the north on 7th Street currently functions as a data center, as does the One Wilshire high-rise at 624 S. Grand Avenue. Likewise, the former Post Office Annex near Union Station has been converted into a data center, and newly built facility recently replaced a surface parking lot next door.
The project at 727 Grand is surrounded by the fruits of Downtown's recent boom, in close proximity to Whole Foods, the Bloc, the Atelier apartment tower, and the new Freehand hotel. The site also sits directly north of a development site on 8th Street where Mitsui Fudosan America has proposed the construction of a 50-story, 580-unit apartment tower.
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