In a vote earlier today, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission greenlit a proposal from BARDAS Investment Group to build new offices on the border between Hollywood and Hancock Park.

Aerial view looking westBARDAS Investment Group

The project, which would rise at the northwest corner of Melrose Avenue and Seward Street, calls for razing a surface parking lot and a 1920s commercial building to clear the way for a new five-story, 74-foot-tall building featuring more than 67,000 square feet of offices atop a small ground floor retail space and a two-level, 168-car subterranean parking garage.

Othersworks is designing the proposed development, named Echelon at 717 Seward, which is portrayed in conceptual renderings as a modern low-rise structure composed of stacked, offset masses. Setbacks at the ground-floor and upper levels would create space terrace decks and patios for use by tenants.

Construction of the project is expected to occur over 20 to 22 months, although a precise groundbreaking date has not been announced.

Seward Street elevationBARDAS Investment Group

While the project was not faced with an appeal, the hearing nonetheless yielded comments of opposition from nearby residents identifying themselves as homeowners in Hancock Park and Hollywood. Complaints lodged by the opponents and their representatives argued that the project is out of scale with the surrounding area, and larger buildings should be located elsewhere in Hollywood. Representatives of Councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell and Paul Koretz, who represent the surrounding area, echoed the concerns raised by neighbors.

Those arguments failed to persuade members of the Commission, who noted that the site was located in a part of the draft Hollywood Community Plan area which is designated for job-creating uses, and pointed to productions going outside of the City of Los Angeles due to a lack of available facilities.

BARDAS, which is based out of neighboring West Hollywood, has looked to capitalize on strong demand for Hollywood office properties with plans for a number of large and mid-sized projects, including new buildings planned off of Santa Monica and Cahuenga Boulevards and the $450-million Echelon Studios complex near the 101 Freeway.

View of outdoor deckBARDAS Investment Group

The project and Melrose and Seward sits just a few blocks west of a similar 30,000-square-foot office development recently approved at 711 N. Lillian Way.