Over one year ago, developer PRH LA Mart unveiled ambitious plans to build a high-rise complex on the border between Downtown and South Los Angeles. The project - budgeted at approximately $1-billion - would replace a pair of large surface parking lots with a combination of residential units, hotel rooms and pedestrian-oriented commercial space.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning published a new draft environmental impact report (DEIR), revealing new information about the mixed-use development, which is now called "the Reef."
The completed development calls for approximately 1,664,000 of new floor area, divided between two properties known as the West Block and the East Block. Additionally, significant alterations are proposed for the existing Reef building - a boxy mid-rise structure built in the mid-1950s.
The West Block - 1933 South Broadway
According to the DEIR, as much as 180,000 square feet of space within the 12-story Reef building would be repurposed as creative office space. The building's ground-floor would be redesigned to include a combined 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, while its rooftop would receive an additional 8,000 square feet of restaurant and outdoor event space.
New construction on the West Block would occur on the parking lot immediately south of the Reef building. Plans call for a 20-story, 240-foot tall hotel tower on the Hill Street side of the property, featuring 208 guest rooms and amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool.
A seven-story structure would be built on the Broadway side of the property, featuring 100 rental units, ground-level retail space and seven live-work lofts along 21st Street.
The southwest corner of the West Block would be developed with an eight-story above-grade garage, offering parking accommodations for a minimum 1,158 vehicles, ground-floor commercial stalls and space for outdoor entertainment on its roof level. It is expected that this structure would provide sufficient parking for all uses included on the West Block.
The West Block would also include a mid-block paseo known as "the Exchange," which would provide pedestrian access between Hill Street and Broadway. In addition to shops and restaurants with outdoor seating, the paseo would feature a roughly 17,500-square foot gallery designed to host local, national and international exhibitions.
The East Block - 1900 South Broadway
The East Block, located at 1900 South Broadway, would be developed with low-rise structures featuring rental apartments and a pair of high-rise towers featuring condominium units at the northeast and southwest corners of the block.
The North Tower (32 stories and 388 feet in height) and the South Tower (35 stories and 420 feet in height) would combine to create 895 residential units, while the low-rise buildings of three-to-seven-stories in height would add an extra 428 rental units and 14 live-work apartments. All buildings would be served by residential amenities including multiple simming pools, a fitness center and community rooms.
Like its counterpart across the street, the East Block would feature a mid-block paseo known as "the Strand." The paseo is intended to serve as the Reef development's main gathering space, designed with a public terrace featuring performance space with ampitheater-style seating. In addition to shops and restaurants, the Strand may also include a pharmacy, a grocery store and a fitness center.
Unlike the West Block, parking for the East Block would be situated entirely underground. Plans call for a four-level structure which could accommodate up to 1,354 vehicles.
The project, which is being designed by a collaboration between architecture firms P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S and Gensler, would incorporate a variety of materials and styles.
Artistic renderings included in the DEIR portray the two residential towers with glass exteriors and offset massings. The developer has requested a signage supplemental use district which would allow for both static and animated graphics on the buildings. The signs could be used for advertisements, building identification or even public art.
The Reef development would also result in signficant streetscape upgrades for the surrounding community. In addition to the new gathering space proposed in the East and West Blocks, plans call for a new mid-block crosswalk on Broadway, improved landscaping and better connectivity to the nearby Grand Station on the Metro Blue Line.
The reef project would be built over approximately 60 months.
Groundbreaking on the West Block could occur as early as 2016, with an expected timeline of 30 months. Construction on the East Block - expected to last 32 months - would not begin until the completion of the West Block's parking structure. A small amount of overlap between the two phases may occur.
The Reef project is pursuing LEED certification, with environmentally-friendly features such as drought tolerant plants, deep infiltration wells and low-flow water fixtures.
A full build-out of the Reef development is projected by the end of 2021.
Multiple discretionary actions are required from the City of Los Angeles prior to the start of construction, including a general plan amendment and a zone change for the properties.