The arrival of piling beams and earth movers signals the start of site preparation for Wrapper, an outlandish office tower planned next to the Expo Line's La Cienega/Jefferson Station.

Samitaur, the Culver City-based firm responsible for developing much of the neighboring Hayden Tract, has sought for more than two decades to construct a high-rise office building at 5790 Jefferson Boulevard.  Initially envisioned with two buildings, the project is now moving forward with a single 17-story tower featuring approximately 180,000 square feet of rentable space - including street-fronting retail - and a parking garage.

Eric Owen Moss Architects is designing the 230-foot-tall building, which is highlighted by a "continuous system of curvilinear ribbons," wrapping around its exterior.  The steel exoskeleton allows for an interior free of columns, with floor plates up to 22,000 square feet in size, and double-height ceilings of 24 feet on certain levels.  Renderings also show a roof-level penthouse with an outdoor deck.

Though Wrapper was the only high-rise development pondered for Baldwin Hills area at the time Samitaur initially conceived of the project, it is not the only tower on the horizon for the neighborhood.  Across Jefferson Boulevard, San Francisco-based developer Carmel Partners is in the midst of construction for the mixed-use Cumulus development, which will be highlighted by a 30-story apartment tower.

Just south of the Wrapper site, Samitaur and EOM Architects are also in construction on a 50,000-square-foot office building at 5860 Jefferson.  Sportswear giant Nike, which has leased the property, is reportedly suing Samitaur due to the project's slow build out.