Art Deco-inspired mixed-use building readies for June opening

| April 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

FIVE-STORY mixed-use building is being developed by Crescent Capital Group and Bolour Associates.

Some in the neighborhood spoke out against it.

It was too tall, they feared, adding that it just would be one more boxy apartment building.

But developer Mishel Mikail of Crescent Capital Partners persevered with his mixed-use project, the Gillis House at 5570 Melrose Ave., (with its residence address at 647 N. Beachwood Dr.).

Responding to the circa-2017 criticism of the proposal’s renderings, Mikail said, “That’s not who we are. We are the owners. We’re the developer, and we’re going to keep this for a really long time.”

During a recent hardhat tour of the property, Mikail enthusiastically showed features of the five-story building with 52 apartments above ground-floor retail.

Designed by Cuningham architects in Culver City, the building is scheduled to be complete June 15.

Before it was approved by the city for construction, Mikail went through half a dozen designs with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council before settling on a design with which stakeholders could agree — a five-story building made to look like an original, historical Art Deco office building. Bronze metal grilles adorn the north and east elevations, and there are bronze-trimmed tall windows that add a presence on the fifth floor, on the Melrose and Beachwood corner.

Not everyone is happy with the finished product, however.

Tracey Clarke, a neighbor a block away from the project who challenged it during the 2017 city approval process, said last month that her biggest complaint at the time of her unsuccessful challenge “was the height and that the units were not going to be suitable for family / work force housing.”

Of the nearly-finished product, Clarke said: “I don’t think the exterior finishes line up with the renderings or the promise of blending in with the neighborhood. It looks like a tired 70s building to me and not a vintage Deco building as intended … the brown is just depressing to me!”

The building’s apartments have their separate entrance on Beachwood; they have patios and are set back further from the street.

All of the units are one bedroom, except for four studios and two units that have two bedrooms.

Five units are low-income. The units average 652 square feet each. Prices have yet to be determined.

DEVELOPER Mishel Mikail, right, with new tenants Stephan Agerman and Jenny Bergland Castro of Yoube, in one of the mixed-use building’s 52 apartments.

Parking, an issue during the approval process, is now 22 ground-floor parking spaces for retail and 47 underground parking spaces for tenants.

Rooftop units and a 5,000-square foot rooftop common dining and barbecue area boast “insane” views of DTLA and the Hollywood sign, Mikail beams. Amenities also include a U-shaped outdoor pool area on the second floor with views of the neighboring rooftops.

Hallways will be lined with French oak walls and cushiony carpets. Units feature a modern vibe with high ceilings, Carrara marble, quartz countertops and black steel staircases.

A Hollywood-inspired mural by Kelsey Montague will cover all five levels at the corner of Melrose and Beachwood.

The fifth-floor rooftop has been set back by two feet to make the 44,000-square foot structure less imposing to drivers and pedestrians below, said Mikail.

After he purchased the property in 2017, he waited two years for the former owner (of 23 years) to find a new location for his auto repair shop.

A new tenant, Yoube, a drop-in co-work office space, has signed a three-year lease for two thirds of the eastern portion of the 5,587-square feet of ground-floor space. Mikail hopes to lease the remaining commercial footage to a grab ‘n’ go type of coffee shop.

Residential tenants will be given discounts at the downstairs co-work company.

It is a “holistic way of life … full stop …

“It’s a positive for us. The tenant can come downstairs and use the conference facility, the printing or coffee shop and outdoor space,” said Mikail.

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