Sky’s the limit with plans for high-rise buildings

| March 2, 2023 | 0 Comments

MIRACLE MILE VIEW WEST on Wilshire shows, from foreground, the proposed new towers: 708 Cloverdale, then Mirabel on the right, and then Wilshire Courtyard.

Several large-scale high-rise buildings are in the planning stages for the Miracle Mile, which is nothing new in the popular area. In days gone by, when the overall height limit in the City of Los Angeles (except for City Hall) was 13 stories, a number of such height-limit buildings appeared in the Miracle Mile, including: Wilshire Tower (Desmond’s), Dominguez Building and, at Wilshire and La Brea, the E. Clem Wilson Building (previous location of the Samsung sign).

Not too many years later, those buildings were followed, in 1960, by Lee Tower (5455 Wilshire Blvd.), the city’s first building higher than the previous 13-story height limit. Soon came the 27-story Cal Fed Building and the 31-story tower across from Hancock Park at 5900 Wilshire Blvd.

More high-rises

Now, with the combination of subway and museum construction already underway, the newest tower projects will reach even further into the sky. For some people, the proposals add to the stress of an already stressed-out community.

“We feel like a target is drawn on our backs. Certainly we’re not alone in that. But there are characteristics that make the Mile a laboratory for the worst planning policies you can possibly implement in the city,” Greg Goldin, president of the Miracle Mile Residents Association, told us.

Given its proximity to museums, DTLA, Hollywood, restaurants and shopping, it’s no wonder the Mile is a popular place to be.

Whether you welcome the changing skyline or not, policymakers have agreed, since the city’s early days, to build up on Wilshire Boulevard. The sky’s the limit.

Developer of the proposed Mirabel at 5411 Wilshire, Wally Marks, is excited about the new developments.

“We’re pleased to see the subway is closer to becoming a reality,” Marks said.

Also, Sony Pictures Entertainment coming to the Wilshire Courtyard is seen as good news. “People will be living closer to where they work.”

Projects moving forward at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the La Brea Tar Pits will also add new energy to the neighborhood, Marks said.

708 Cloverdale

The newest development to be announced is Onni Group’s 708 Cloverdale Project, as it is called, at 5350-5374 Wilshire Blvd. The mixed-use apartment complex is projected to reach 43 stories.

According to city records, the proposed apartment tower includes 419 housing units, including 47 affordable

PLOT PLAN shows Onni Group’s proposed 43-story “708 Cloverdale Project” at 5350-5374 Wilshire Blvd. Note that existing buildings on Wilshire will remain.

units, above 2,700 square feet of retail space. A five-story podium at the base of the apartment tower and subterranean levels will serve 443 cars.

The developer has asked for entitlements to include Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) benefits. The project is close to the Wilshire / La Brea subway station set to open in 2024.

The developer, who did not return calls and emails before publication, seeks TOC bonuses to allow for a larger building on account of the inclusion of the affordable housing units.

The 530-foot-tall Art Deco-style glass building is designed by Downtown-based MVE + Partners.

At the northern edge of its property, Onni intends to preserve 42,000 square feet of existing commercial buildings along Wilshire Boulevard, including one that houses a U.S. Post Office and that inspired the new design.

An initial study for the project is being prepared by the city Planning Dept.

Wilshire Courtyard

Onni also is working to seriously revamp the Wilshire Courtyard complex of offices at 5700 and 5750 Wilshire Boulevard.

Onni’s proposed 2.3-million-square-foot complex on that site features two interconnected glass-clad office towers, 35- and 41-stories high. The latter tower will reach 655 feet and face Masselin Avenue to the east. The shorter of the two buildings will face Curson Avenue to the west.

The towers will stand atop a seven-story parking podium. Two floors can be turned into office space in the future, should conditions warrant. Features include “flexible office space,” landscaped bridges, terraces and, at street-level, a restaurant, and grocery and retail tenants in the design envisioned by Chicago architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz.

The project preserves the southern sections of the existing terraced six-story office structure, abutting the residential area of this part of the Mile, and also preserves the park space on 8th Street. A portion of the existing building’s three subterranean parking levels will be removed, while 2,901 of its parking spots will be retained, for a total of 4,650 auto stalls.

The project is expected to break ground in 2025 and complete construction by 2028, pending approvals by the City of Los Angeles, including a zone change and a master conditional use permit.


Also on the horizon is Wally Marks’ 42-story Mirabel residential tower — designed by Keating Architecture — at 5411 Wilshire Blvd., once the home of the Staples store (now moved further west on Wilshire).

This tower features a glass exterior and has a curvilinear form. There is a rooftop deck and common open space above a parking podium.

If approved, the building will soar to 530 feet. The 477,000-square-foot building is to have 348 apartments, including 38 affordable units. Its design includes 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and total parking for 477 cars.

Under the design, the façade of the historic 1936 Streamline Moderne Sontag Drug Store building at the corner of Wilshire and Cloverdale Avenue will be preserved.

The project’s parking includes an automated, three-level, underground garage modeled after a similar facility at Marks’ Helms Bakery property on Venice Boulevard.

Three vehicle elevators and seven loading bays will keep cars rolling up and down the three levels.

But Marks says many of his new tenants will walk the one block to and from the new subway station. “We think it’s a big deal,” he said of the D (formerly Purple) Line extension.

Marks expects the city to release the Draft Environmental Impact Report this spring, with community hearings to follow. If approved by the city in 2023, the Mirabel could open in 2026.

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Category: Real Estate

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