Two months after acquiring San Pedro's Topaz Building for nearly $44 million, a local developer is now seeking to convert the mid-rise office tower into housing.

Yesterday, an entity affiliated with Long Beach-based Harbor Associates filed plans with the City of Los Angeles to transform the interior of the 12-story building at 222 W. 6th Street into 228 apartments and live/work dwellings with 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.  

Plans also call for retaining an existing seven-story parking garage which is also lined with approximately 15,000 square feet of street-fronting commercial space.

According to the Daily Breeze, the Topaz Building opened in 1990 for defense contractor Logicon, and later house offices for Northrop Grumman, which acquired the property in 1997.  After Northrop vacated the facility 15 years later, it sat mostly vacant for two years until being purchased by Jupiter Holdings for $21.5 million in 2014.  It is currently 67 percent leased.

The proposed adaptive reuse project represents new territory for Harbor Associates, which bills itself as a "value-add office investor."  The company's past projects include the restoration of a 33,000-square-foot office building on Pico Boulevard that was once the headquarters of the Los Angeles Rams.

Nonetheless, the developer would follow in the footsteps of several investors that have recently infused new housing into the Downtown San Pedro area.

Directly across the street from Topaz, Holland Partner Group is now in the final stages of construction at a 375-unit residential-retail development.

Other investors - including Urban Stearns and Galaxy Commercial Holdings - are planning similar mixed-use buildings on Harbor Boulevard.

Other large commercial and residential developments in the San Pedro area include the $150-million San Pedro Public Market project and the pending redevelopment of the Rancho San Pedro housing complex.