Much has been said about the departure of corporate headquarters from Downtown Los Angeles in recent decades. Likewise, much has been written in recent months about the ongoing struggle's of the neighborhood's office market, and the possibility of converting millions of square feet of unused space into housing. Now, watch as those two narratives collide.

Just west of the US-110 Freeway stands a 33-story, approximately 600,000-square-foot office tower completed during the late 1980s office boom. While the building was once named ARCO Tower for the oil and gas company that once called it home, the property has gone by 1055 7th Street since the departure of its namesake tenant more than two decades ago. It most recently housed offices for Los Angeles County's L.A. Care health plan, which will be relocating into a 370,000-square-foot space at a neighboring building in 2024.

Landlord Jamison Services, Inc., faced with the daunting task of leasing a large high-rise in an era where such buildings have fallen out of vogue, will instead pivot. The Koreatown-based firm has submitted an application to the L.A. Department of City Planning seeking approvals to convert the upper floors of 1055 7th Street into housing. Plans call for a total of 691 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 538 to 1,304 square feet in size, as well as nearly 48,000 square feet of amenities such as theaters, fitness rooms, lounges, and business centers.

The proposed project, as an adaptive reuse development, is not required to incorporate affordable housing. Likewise, no additional parking is required for 1055 7th Street, which is already served by adjacent garage with capacity for more than 1,100 vehicles.

Street-level view of 1055 7th StreetWikimedia Commons

Plans included with the entitlement application show that the exterior of the tower, which was designed by Gin Wong Associates, would be retained in its original state, although inset balconies replace some windows along the exterior. The tower, which rises approximately 464 feet in height, is characterized by stone veneer cladding and a hexagonal footprint on its upper levels.

While adaptive reuse is responsible for much of the residential community that now exists in Downtown Los Angeles, it had mostly been concentrated in historic bank buildings along corridors such as Spring Street and Main Street. However, there is already a track record of such projects in newer high-rise structures on the west side of the 110. Existing towers to the north at 1010 Wilshire and 1100 Wilshire have already been transformed into apartments and condominiums, respectively.

The City of Los Angeles, as part of its efforts to provide capacity at least 255,000 additional homes by 2029, has looked to expand adaptive reuse to other neighborhoods as well. Jamison Services has long been active in that arena, converting numerous office towers along the Wilshire corridor into housing within the past decade.

The conversion of 1055 7th Street could help to jolt a number of stalled projects to life in the surrounding area. Neighboring parcels to the west have been approved for redevelopment with high-rise residential buildings, but have yet to move forward.

Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn