The developer behind a proposed high-rise apartment building at 12th Street and Grand Avenue in Downtown hopes to break ground on the project as early as next year, according to an environmental report published by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.

View of Vara and Arris looking southwest from 12th and GrandMVE + Partners

City Century, the American subsidiary of Chinese real estate firm Shenglong Group, is seeking approvals to raze a 1930s structure at 1201 S. Grand Avenue, making way for a 40-story tower containing 312 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments above a 7,100 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 359-car garage.  The developer's website names the project "Arris."

MVE + Partners is designing the approximately 461-foot-tall tower, which is depicted in renderings as a contemporary glass-and-steel high-rise wrapped in cantilevered balconies.  Plans call for on-site amenities including a rooftop deck, a fitness center, and a swimming pool.  Residential units along the exterior of the buildings podium would mask some above-grade parking from view.

The project, according to a construction timeline included with the environmental report, is expected to be built over a period of 33 months, beginning sometime in 2022.  The tower would be ready for move-ins by 2025, under that schedule.

View of Vara and Arris looking westMVE + Partners

Before that can happen, the City of Los Angeles will complete an environmental impact report relating to potential construction noise and impacts to cultural resources resulting from the project.  One of the issues to be studied is the proposed demolition of the existing structure - a Streamline Moderne building that was once home to the Felix Chevrolet car dealership, and has been flagged by Planning Department officials as a potential historic resource.

The tower is one of a handful of ground-up developments proposed by City Century in the Downtown neighborhood, including Vara, a smaller 21-story tower which would replace a nearby parking lot at 1233 S. Grand Avenue.  That building, also designed by MVE + Partners, would include 161 apartments, parking, and ground-floor retail.

City Century's other projects include Olympia, a proposed residential and hotel complex which would rise just north of L.A. Live, and Nexen, an under-construction apartment complex in Koreatown.

watermark Existing building at 1201 S. Grand Avenue - formerly home to the Felix Chevrolet dealershipHunter Kerhart Architectural Photography

Other projects recently developed near the intersection of 12th and Grand include Mack Real Estate's 37-story Aven tower and twin seven-story apartment complexes built by Wolff Company.