Rossmore apartment project presented at a ‘town hall’

| September 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

ARCHITECT Lorcan O’Herlihy speaks of his inspiration for the reconfiguration of the historic Hancock Park residential building.

A neighborhood town hall meeting hosted by Atlanta-based developer Domos Coliving attracted more than 30 local residents last month to hear details of plans to renovate the apartment building at 410 N. Rossmore Ave.

Frances Anderton, architecture and design journalist, who formerly hosted the KCRW show “DnA: Design and Architecture,” was the event’s moderator. A panel of guest speakers included the project’s architect, Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA, Carlos Orozco with Morley Builders and Domos director of design and construction, Richard Loring. Domos Co-Founder Daniel Alexander was expected, but he had to cancel due to a family emergency. In his place, Jason Wright, a coliving resident at Hollywood’s Treehouse, was on hand to share his experience.

The project’s architect, O’Herlihy, gave a quick overview of his inspiration for the reconfiguration of the historic Hancock Park apartment building, including stepping-back the massing to allow for density to be focused in the middle of the building. He also noted that all residents currently in the rent-controlled building will return to larger units than they left.

“This is a unique project with a lot of different components to it,” said Carlos Orozco, project executive at Morley Builders, who estimated that both the adaptive restoration and extension of the building would take 23 months to complete, once all necessary permits are received.

Orozco said that his company plans to require workers to park at an off-site location throughout the process.

Domos’ Loring, who has been living in the building, updated the crowd on current resident status and future unit count for the project.

RESIDENTS attend an outdoor neighborhood town hall meeting at 410 N. Rossmore Ave.

“When Domos purchased the building, we had 56 residents living in the building,” explained Loring, who noted that, since then, he personally has negotiated 41 buyouts. The 15 residents that opted to return to the building have had the option to pick their new units and have some customization of the unit. Existing residents will return to units completely renovated with added amenities such as dishwashers, air-conditioning, modern cabinetry and in-unit washers and dryers.

Unit, resident increase

Loring gave a final unit count for the project. Once complete, the building will hold 54 traditional units and 33 coliving units — for a total 87-unit count. Currently, the building has 78 units. That is an increase of 9 units, technically, but it gets complicated because the 33 coliving units might have up to four-or-five leaseholders.

As planned, the reconfigured building will include 11 four-bedrooms, 22 five-bedrooms, 42 one-bedrooms, seven two-bedrooms and five studios. Loring stressed that only one occupant will live in each coliving bedroom.

What exactly does that mean for the resident count? The Chronicle did the math.

The existing 78 units can legally be occupied by up to 156 residents (two per unit), according to one interpretation of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). An alternative interpretation of DFEH code section 503(b) would permit 234 people (three per unit).

The Domos proposed plan can accommodate 208 single leaseholders, according to Loring, who notes that renters in the 54 traditional units will have the opportunity to have up to two people on the lease (unlike those in coliving bedrooms), which could increase the total resident number to 262. Assuming that all of the traditional units have two people on the lease, at capacity, it is a total increase of either 28 residents or 106 residents, depending on the interpretation noted above.


A majority of local residents in attendance voiced concern and opposition to the project. Several homeowners from the neighborhood felt the scale of the project was too large, while others worried that a lack of enough resident parking in the building would inevitably mean that those residents would seek to park their vehicles on nearby streets. Daniel Enzler, general manager of the Wilshire Country Club, located directly across from the project, expressed concern for traffic on Rossmore Avenue, which can already be problematic at times, he said.

Orozco responded to traffic concerns by noting that the City of Los Angeles will dictate what happens on Rossmore: “Morley Builders doesn’t get to decide,” he said. “Currently, the project is in the planning stages, but once it moves out of the planning stage, we would apply for the traffic permit — it is a process that you have to follow, and we are not there yet,” said Orozco.

Loring added that Domos is working to improve traffic on Rossmore once the construction project is complete: “We have applied to the Bureau of Engineering for a street-widening permit for this building,” he said, adding that Domos hopes to add a pullout lane to be used for pick-up and drop-off for residents in the building.

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Category: Real Estate

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