A series of industrial buildings in El Segundo's Smoky Hollow district that were once used for semiconductor manufacturing could make way for a new office campus, per an newly published environmental report.

View of the South CampusEYRC Architects

Griffin Capital, an El Segundo-based investment firm, is seeking to build on two sites at the northeast and southwest corners of Grand Avenue and Kansas Street - one block north of Chevron's massive oil refinery.  The project, called Catalyst, would involve the preservation of one existing structure and the addition of two new office buildings, resulting in more than 243,000 square feet of office space and an 886-square-foot cafe.  Plans also call for 286,479 square feet of new parking, offering space for up to 858 vehicles.

A team consisting of EYRC Architects, Ware Malcomb, and LRM is designing Catalyst, which would include three- and four-story office buildings, as well as two six-story parking structures.  The new construction is described as having an "industrial aesthetic," with exposed steel frames and exterior finishes such as weathered metal panels and polished concrete, arranged to reference the flaps of an aircraft's wing.  Two painted murals are planned for each site.

Plaza with stairs overlooking outdoor seatingEYRC Architects

Plans call for approximately 55,000 square feet of publicly-accessible open space - including landscaped plazas and paseos - as well as private spaces for office tenants, such as balconies and rooftop patios.  While Catalyst project is bisected by Grand Avenue, plans call for adding decorative crosswalks and paving materials to link the two sites together.

According to the project's initial study, construction of Catalyst is expected to occur over an approximately 21-month period, starting in late 2021 and concluding in mid-2023.

Rendering of north campusEYRC Architects

As that current plan would require deviations from certain zoning rules relative to building height and density in the Smoky Hollow District, Griffin would be required to provide community benefits in exchange for the concessions.  These include the public art and crosswalks, as well as the provision of 250 excess parking stalls, a requirement to underground utility lines, and the inclusion of public wi-fi and street furniture.

The Smoky Hollow District, which was named for the smoke that once billowed into the area from the neighboring oil refinery, was originally developed with businesses that support the operations of the refinery, and later evolved to host companies in the aerospace industry.  The neighborhood was more recently rezoned by the City of El Segundo to promote the construction of new offices and retail uses, while retaining many of its existing brick structures.  A handful of similar office projects are currently planned or under construction nearby.

Connections between north campus and parking garageEYRC Architects