Development would bring Downtown high-rises to Echo Park’s doorstep

Rendering courtesy 1111 Sunset Boulevard

An approximately million-square-foot development with hundreds of apartments, condos, a hotel and two residential towers rising as high as 49 stories would be constructed on the eastern edge of Echo Park, according to plans unveiled today.

The conceptual plans announced for the approximately 5.5-acre site at 1111 Sunset Boulevard —  the former Metropolitan Water District campus — would dramatically change the eastern gateway to Echo Park and mark the expansion of the Downtown development boom.

The investment group behind the project is trying to move quickly to get it built, projecting the giant complex would be constructed by 2023 if the city grants the necessary approvals, according to the L.A. Times. Already, Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents the eastern edge of Echo Park, has endorsed the $600 million project that is certain to bring more people, traffic and investment to the neighborhood.

Here’s a rundown of the major elements included in the proposed development:

Residential: 778 market-rate and affordable residential units. The residences would be included low-rise buildings as well as high-rise towers, one of which will rise 31 stories, the other 49, said the L.A. Times. 76 of the apartments would be reserved at affordable rates, according to the L.A. Times. The 49-story building would be the city’s tallest skyscraper outside of the Downtown core.

Hotel: A boutique hotel will be the first major L.A. project by noted Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who designed the Tokyo 2020 National Olympic Stadium.

Commercial: “Neighborhood-serving retail” will be located  along Sunset.

Open Space: More than two acres of  terraces, gardens, courtyards, fountains and an overlook views of downtown designed by James Corner Field Operations.  The public will be able to access the site through numerous points located at the perimeter of the oval shaped site.

The proposal is subject to city and public review.

The developer said its concept for  the former water district campus, which sits at the base of the Victor Heights neighborhood, would open the property to the surrounding neighborhood. Currently, the complex, designed by Mid-Century architect William Pereira, sits above Sunset Boulevard, with a retaining wall running along the entire length of the block.

“The design plan activates street life on Sunset Boulevard and integrates with public transit and ride-sharing points along the Sunset Boulevard corridor leading into the Downtown area,” said a statement issued by the developer.

Plans for the giant development were announced soon after Canadian developer Aragon properties filed a final environmental report for a 214-unit apartment complex that would be constructed one block west on Sunset.

1111 Sunset Boulevard project

Rendering courtesy 1111 Sunset Boulevard

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  1. I would like to see a study that says more population growth is a good thing before I gave my support to something like this.

    • Population growth is going to occur either way… we can accommodate that growth next to jobs and amenities or we can accommodate that growth in Palmdale.

      This project would add density not growth, and density has it’s benefits because it puts people closer to “places” not eliminating but certainly reducing the need to travel distances beyond what would be considered walkable, bikable or bus-able. So… while there’s a good chance that most of these people will drive places, there’s a much much higher chance that these people can take the bus or bike or call an uber to get to another place (usually work) nearby. The same cannot be said of those living in Palmdale, which will inevitably be clogging up the freeways and roads as they make the journey anywhere only to get there and also require space for parking.

      Density also supports healthier tax bases, so more people living, earning and spending in that area directly fund things like infrastructure, education, social services for the neighborhood that they live.

    • I agree. Population growth is neither good nor inevitable. These are choices about what kind of neighborhoods and what kind of world we want to live in. Do we want neighborhoods only of concrete and steel, where it is difficult to even find the sun? Do we want a world that only has room for humans, no plants, no animals, no nature? To me this is a dangerous path to follow. While this may be just one project, it is one of dozens planned, just in and near Echo Park. There is no mention of parking or traffic effects. Both of which are becoming huge problems in the area. 78 ‘affordable’ units out of almost 800 is a joke! These projects seem to be primarily about building the wealth of developers and those connected to them.I have been in Echo Park over 25 years. Long enough to know that economic growth is not always in one direction, Downturns will happen, likely soon.

      • Population growth is actually good and it most cases it’s inevitable. If you look at Major US cities with population decline, it reads like a list of most depressing places to ever live.. Camden-NJ, Buffalo-NY, Detroit-MI, Pittsburgh-PA, Indianapolis,IN… these are places infamous for crime and decrepit cities. Population stagnation and decline are objectively BAD in almost every single case, BUT especially for large cities.

        You wax poetic about “finding the sun” in an urban Los Angeles, one of concrete and and steel, the irony is that our city is already one of concrete and steel, so much so that we can not fit and places for PARKS because there is too much demand for PARKING. I’ve lived all over the world and I find it interesting that places like New York or Chicago have way better integration with nature than Los Angeles, with their massive park system, you can be on the 59th floor of a high rise, then step across the street into amazing parks that are leaps and bounds better than anything we have in LA.

        You assume that density means no nature.. when oddly this proposal creates MORE space for humans to interact with plants and other people than the current undeveloped property.

        78 affordable units.. better than 0 affordable units. This project sets aside almost 10% for affordable. I agree, 100% affordable would be ideal, but who’s going to pay for that? Certainly not the city.. Inclusionary zoning has proven to significantly alleviate affordable housing stock.

        I ask that next time you question development, actually weigh the proposal for what it offers vs what the current conditions are. This is objectively better than the parking lot and empty church it currently sits at. YES, there will be added traffic… WELCOME to LA, the city that only planned for car mobility for almost the last 80 years.. we are getting what we planned for TRAFFIC.

  2. I love it! It fits the vibe of the adjacent building, as well. Sunset Blvd around this part of town is so sleepy. I’m really hoping this will activate it while simultaneously bringing much needed housing relief.

  3. Fantastic. This is great news for the neighborhood and for LA. Kudos to the developer for thinking big and sticking to it. That run down part of Sunset is finally turning the corner. 76 affordable units is also a nice plus.

  4. It’s exactly what Garcetti wants , he’s done nothing but entertain big developers that offer no affordable housing , and handing out liquor licenses , that will be his legacy , Gavin Newsom all the way

  5. Grab some popcorn ladies and gentlemen, this should hit 300 comments easy!

  6. I lived in this neighborhood and there is literally no parking ever, lots of break ins and this building is 10x’s larger than anything in this area. This is a REALLY stupid idea. But at least the rich people who’d reside in it could send their assistants to grab their heroine from jack n the box

  7. It’s interesting to see the return of William Pereira’s iconic pierced sunscreens on the low-rise building at the center of the project–screens which the developer removed, we believe, to prevent the compound from being landmarked. We’ll watch with interest, and continue to advocate for a sensitive restoration of the extant Pereira campus, and of the 1960s-era water features and landscaping. For more on our Pereira in Peril campaign, including video of a site visit, see http://esotouric.com/pereira/

  8. Build, baby, Build! Fantastic!

  9. yay..can’t wait for traffic 24/7..this city sucks besides the weather

    • no need to wait, it’s already upon us!

      It’s a shame we didn’t create a city for people so that we could move about without a car, even more of a shame that we won’t even try to embrace walkable density!

  10. I live in Victor Heights and I highly highly approve of this project.

  11. Lets add hundreds of more cars to dodgers season

    • Good call, let’s plan the future of our city based on the 174 hours in a year when Dodger’s traffic is heavy.

      Better yet, scrap this proposal and pave a 10 lane highway straight through the hillside. Wouldn’t want anyone waiting to watch the sports!

  12. wow. great looking project. build it ASAP before NIMBY madness sets in and delays it 5 years and makes it cost 10x more than it should,

  13. Love it. Build baby!

  14. I’m shocked by the comments so far because I expected foaming at the mouth the neighborhood has been ruined fits. It will ruin Beaudry as a short cut to DTLA. Otherwise, build it. It will be interesting to see what it does to EP values and rents.

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