Onni Group is on pace to break ground in two years on a mixed-use tower complex at the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Times, according to a presentation posted by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council.
The project, now called Onni Times Square, would rise along Broadway between 1st and 2nd Streets, replacing a 1970s expansion of the Times Mirror Square complex. Plans call for the construction of two towers - rising to heights of 37 and 53 stories - featuring 1,127 apartments and 34,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space above a 1,744-car garage.
The historic Times and Mirror Buildings - which opened in the 1930s and 1940s along Spring Street - are to be retained and rehabilitated as 307,000 square feet of commercial office space lined by 70,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Plans also show that rooftop levels would be reactivated as tenant amenity spaces.
The new construction and historic buildings would be divided by a pedestrian paseo cutting north-to-south between 1st and 2nd Streets. Commercial space would line either side of the passageway - including a 26,000-square-foot grocery store at the foot of the towers.
Should the project remain on schedule, Onni expects to break ground on in the fourth quarter of 2021. Completion is expected in the fourth quarter of 2024.
The proposed development has been staunchly opposed by local preservationists, who object to the loss of the William Pereira-designed office building which stands at the corner of 1st and Broadway. Though the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission pushed to designate the full block as a Historic-Cultural Monument, the City Council only granted landmark status to the older Times and Mirror Buildings, which were designed by Rowland Crawford and Gordon Kaufmann.
Another property formerly considered part of the larger Times Mirror Square complex - a parking lot across 2nd Street - is currently serving as a construction site for Metro's Regional Connector subway. Upon the completion of a new station at 2nd Street and Broadway, owner Tribune Real Estate Holdings intends to redevelop the lot with a 37-story apartment tower.
Onni Group, based out of Vancouver, has invested heavily in existing buildings and ground-up construction in Downtown Los Angeles. Among its latest projects is a proposed 60-story tower at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Hill Street.
- Times Mirror Square (Urbanize LA)