Eight months after announcing the acquisition a 1.9-acre property in Chinatown, local real estate development firm TRJLA, LLC is moving forward with plans to redevelop the site with apartments.

View of 717 N Hill Street looking southwestAC Martin

The project, which would replace a surface parking lot at 717 N. Hill Street, calls for clearing the property of asphalt to make way for the construction of a new eight-story, 366,000-square-foot edifice featuring 411 rental units and 17,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Plans also call for 314 parking stalls to be located within two subterranean levels.

TRJLA's requested entitlements include Transit Oriented Communities affordable housing incentives, including a reduction to require side yards and on-site parking, as well as an increase in allowable floor area and density. In exchange for the bonuses, 42 of the proposed studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments would be set aside for rent by extremely low-income households.

AC Martin is designing 717 Hill, which would consist of five floors of wood-frame construction above a concrete podium. Architectural plans show an exterior of fiber cement panels facing Hill Street, with white cement plaster along the rear property line and facing external amenities. A wedge-shaped carving into the building would provide room for an amenity deck, and street-level open space to the west, while a second podium-level deck is also planned to the rear of the site.

“We are evaluating strategic alternatives to develop the project," said TRJLA's chief financial officer Joseph Chang in a news release. "We look forward to completing a transaction to enable the transformation of the underutilized site into a contemporary mixed use project with affordable housing.”

View of courtyard at 717 N Hill StreetAC Martin

The proposed project is among the largest new housing complexes proposed in Chinatown, eclipsing only by the 725-unit College Station development near Los Angeles State Historic Park.

The site also sits in close proximity to several new and proposed additions to Chinatown, including a terraced pocket park at the intersection of Yale and Ord Streets and a similar housing and retail project slated for the former site of the Velvet Turtle restaurant.

TRJLA's chief executive officers is Kevin Chen, the president of the Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the manager of Arts District Development, LLC, the company behind plans for a housing and hotel complex at 445 S. Colyton Street. TRJLA purchased the Hill Street site for more than $19 million, according to city records.

Aerial view of 717 N Hill Street looking southeastAC Martin