Development in the Mile is really high — sky high!

| March 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

MIRABEL features a 42-story apartment tower and close proximity
to the future Wilshire / La Brea subway stop.

The sky’s, well, the limit for four mixed-use projects in various stages of development in the Miracle Mile area.

The tallest among them is the Mirabel Residences, 5411 Wilshire Blvd., which will stand a formidable 42 stories.

“It’s tall,” admits the developer and owner of the property, Walter Marks III. But, he adds, the 348-unit apartment building with 39 affordable units will be innovative. And, he hopes, something the neighborhood will be proud of.

“I have every intention of building something wonderful,” said Marks.

The Art Deco-inspired design by architect Richard Keating features a sleek, curvilinear, 530-foot-tall tower, tweaked in its design to avoid shadows on neighboring streets.

It’s forward thinking, says Marks, with an automated parking garage for 477 slots and electric charging stations. The sophisticated “WELL” building will offer clean circulated air and water and views. (In addition to air and water, a WELL rating measures noise and light in the built environment’s overall impact on health. Local retailers will be sought for the 15,000 square foot ground-floor space, Marks said.

But last month his plans hit a snag that will push groundbreaking back by more than two years. Marks had been preparing a SCEA (Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment), but the city is now requiring an Environmental Impact Report. It’s because of the Sontag Drug Building, Marks said.

CIRCA 1936. The Sontag Drug Building on the northwest corner of Wilshire and Cloverdale avenues is being considered for a Historic-Cultural Monument designation.      Courtesy of

The two-story Sontag building at 5401-5405 Wilshire Blvd., built in 1936, is considered an “excellent example of the Streamline Moderne style,” according to historic consultant Architectural Resources Group.

Marks bought the Sontag Building — which has been the home of Wilshire Beauty Supply and other tenants — two years ago, and he planned to renovate and incorporate it into the Mirabel project.

The Cultural Heritage Commission voted last month to consider the proposed Historic- Cultural Monument designation sought by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.

The Commission is scheduled to tour the Sontag building March 24 and make a final determination May 6. If approved, the nomination will go to the City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Marks submitted a letter against the designation, claiming the property is already listed in the California Register as a contributor to the Miracle Mile Historic District, and is protected, whereas this designation will impede moving forward with building “much needed housing, including affordable housing in the project area.”

City plans for a subway stop at La Brea Ave. — a mere two blocks “and 650 feet” from his block-sized property — inspired Marks, also the owner of Helms Bakery District in Culver City, to step up his vision for the Mile.

“To me, owning real estate is a privilege and not a right, and if you have property as key as this one, you have an obligation to society,” Marks added.

The Mid City West Community Council approved the project in August, but opponents voiced concerns about the building’s height, traffic and parking impacts, and they raised doubts that the tower’s residents would walk to the subway.

WILSHIRE COURTYARD re-imagined includes two high-rise towers at 35 and 41 stories.

The Wilshire Courtyard, at 5700 and 5750 Wilshire Blvd., was purchased last year by Canada-based Onni Group, and a major redevelopment project is in the works for the property.

Two high-rise office towers — at 35- and 41-stories tall — with connector bridges, terraces and street-level retail, are envisioned on the northern portion of the site by architect SCB.

The new project would triple the current property’s square footage build-out to approximately three million square feet. An Initial Study of the project is under preliminary review by the city Planning Dept.

The current six-story, two building office property on almost nine acres was built in 1987 by the late Jerry Snyder and was remodeled recently by previous owner Tishman Speyer.

The new project would retain and renovate the southern portion of the existing buildings. The new project will include 4,650 parking spaces in seven above-grade parking levels.

HOTEL and residential complex is planned on La Brea Ave., immediately north of
the subway station opening in 2023.

A hotel / residential complex is planned at 629 S. La Brea Ave., just north of the Wilshire / La Brea subway station. The eight-story, 200,000-square foot building is a CGI Strategies project, under applicant La Brea Bliss LLC.

It includes 121 apartments plus a 125-room hotel designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, partnering with Togawa Smith Martin.

Among the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units, 20 percent are affordable units, and there is 13,000 square feet of commercial space planned above a two level, 185-car parking garage. Amenities will include a rooftop lounge and pool deck.

Because of its affordable housing units and its location within walking distance of a subway station, the developer received an 80-percent density bonus under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program.

The project is expected to open concurrent with the subway station. The project was conditionally approved by the City Planning Dept. Jan. 21. A conditional use permit for alcoholic beverages was also approved in January.

The project is pending an appeal filed with the City Planning Commission tentatively set for a hearing April 22. Unite Here Local 11 and Fix the City are among the appellants.

HOTEL and residential complex is planned on La Brea Ave., immediately north of the subway station opening in 2023.

The Town & Country on Third St. at Fairfax Ave. is poised for a major uplift with a new, eight-story mixed-use complex of housing units over retail space, pedestrian-only walkways and bike paths. The 490,682-square-foot Regency Centers development includes 331 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, new commercial space and two levels of subterranean parking. There are 996 car spots with 350 above ground. The project includes a new space added to the existing Whole Foods market and CVS pharmacy on the western portion of the block, which will remain open during construction.

A draft Environmental Impact Report for the project was released Feb. 11. Public comment on the draft EIR will be accepted through March 29 by 4 p.m. Visit and enter ENV-2018-2771-EIR. Community briefing webinars are Thurs., March 4 at 6 p.m. and Sat., March 6 at 10 a.m. Visit to RSVP and for more information.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *