A vacant commercial building at the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue could soon become the ground floor of a mixed-use development.

Giltner Realty Advisors, owner of the property at 5843 W. Pico Boulevard, is now in the process of securing building permits to four floors of housing atop the single-story concrete structure.  Plans call for up to 42 new apartments - including affordable units gleaned through the City of Los Angeles' Transit Oriented Communities incentives program.

Chinatown-based Scales Lab Architects is designing the proposed development, which is depicted in a rendering as a contemporary low-rise structure lined by cantilevered balconies and capped by a rooftop amenity deck.

The redevelopment of 5843 Pico resulted from the early departure of the property's former occupant - a Walgreens pharmacy - says Giltner Realty Advisors president and owner John Carroll.  The Deerfield, Illinois-based chain had been signed to lease the building through 2032, but approached its landlord regarding an exit in early 2020 - prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giltner, which specializes in retail centers, had originally intended to revamp the property as commercial space.  However, after consulting with City officials and learning about the availability of the Transit Oriented Communities incentives, the company changed its plans.

The redevelopment of 5843 Pico will retain portions of the former Walgreens - including its subterranean parking garage.  However, the existing building will require structural reinforcement to support the new housing planned above.

The roughly 9,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by the drug store is slated to be repurposed as an open-air food hall with up to nine stalls.  Giltner has been approached by multiple firms interested in operating the food hall, according to Carroll.

Construction permits for 5843 Pico are currently being processed by the City's Department of Building and Safety.  Carroll estimates that work will begin in approximately three months, with completion anticipated sometime in 2022.

The proposed development is the latest in a series of similar mixed-use housing projects along Pico Boulevard in the Mid-Wilshire, Mid-City, and Carthay communities.  On the blocks the east, prolific local developer Wiseman Residential is in the midst of construction at two apartment buildings with ground-floor commercial space.  A few blocks west past Fairfax, CityView recently broke ground on a seven-story, 123-unit residential-retail complex.