A proposed development which would replace a Big 5 at Wilshire and San Vicente Boulevards with a medical office tower has cleared another hurdle, receiving the approval of the Los Angeles City Council.

On October 28, the Council voted 10-0 to move forward with a general plan amendment and zone change to facilitate Stockdale Capital Partners' plans at 656 San Vicente Boulevard, which call for the construction of a 12-story building featuring approximately 140,000 square feet of medical office space atop podium parking for 418 vehicles and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses.

View of 656 San Vicente from street looking northeastKilograph

Designed by ZGF Architects, the glass-clad building would rise approximately 230 feet in height, and have a Flatiron-like shape at the intersection of Wilshire and San Vicente. Plans call for outdoor terraces to be carved into the San Vicente side of the building.

An environmental impact report circulated by the City of Los Angeles has estimated that the project will be built over a roughly two-year period. Work is expected to commence in late 2023.

The vote to approve entitlements for 656 San Vicente was accompanied by a rejection of two appeals by the union-affiliated organization Supporters Alliance for Environmental Responsibility (SAFER) and the Beverly Wilshire Homeowners' Association. The two appellants once again argued that the environmental study conducted for the project failed to fully consider issues such as traffic congestion or threats to migrating birds, reiterating arguments previously made in a June hearing before the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

650-676 San Vicente BoulevardGoogle Maps

The medical office tower is one of a handful of large new developments in the works along San Vicente to the north of Wilshire Boulevard, including developer (and mayoral candidate Rick Caruso's proposed 16-story apartment tower at the street's intersection with La Cienega Boulevard. A similar 19-story tower is also primed to rise next door to a church at 333 San Vicente Boulevard

Outside of high-rise housing, Cedars-Sinai is also pursuing an expansion on San Vicente which would add a new patient tower to the hospital.

Not to be outdone, the owner of a property across Sweetzer Avenue from the project site is planning its own development - a 20-story, 77-unit apartment tower.