Developer Rick Caruso continues to move forward with his plan for a $155-million luxury apartment tower across the street from the Beverly Center.

Last week, the project - which calls for a 19-story building with 154 residential units and nearly 30,000 square feet of grocery and restaurant space - garnered the approval of the Mid City West Community Council's Board of Directors (MCWCC) by a 22-6 vote.  To achieve this, Caruso agreed to a community benefits package which obligates the proposed tower to set aside 10% of its units as affordable housing, in addition to public realm improvements such as painted and protected bike lanes, new crosswalks and landscaped medians.

In documents presented to MCWCC, renderings from design architect MVE + Partners depict new angles of the project, as well as before-and-after looks at various streetscape improvements along La Cienega and San Vicente Boulevards.  This includes a landscaped urban plaza directly at the intersection, featuring grass fields, trees, outdoor seating and water features.  Caruso agreed to explore an expansion of the plaza farther south by reclaiming street space.

Previous reports have pointed to a groundbreaking date for 333 La Cienega in 2017.

The proposed tower is considered a companion development to 8500 Burton Way, another luxury apartment complex which Caruso built across the intersection.  The eight-story building, which opened in 2013, is known for its in-house concierge service and an extravagant penthouse that commands monthly rent in excess of $40,000.

The property is also located just south of the Beverly Center, which is in the midst of a $500-million overhaul intended to open the fortress-like shopping mall with skylights and street-fronting shops.

In addition to Beverly Grove, Caruso is also active in the Pacific Palisades, where he is developming a 116,000-square-foot collection of shops and restaurants.