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Over two years after quietly filing for construction permits for a high-rise office building in Baldwin Hills, husband-and-wife developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith expect to break ground on the project within the next four months.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 17-story (W)rapper development is currently on track to begin construction in early 2017.  At completion, the building would offer approximately 160,000 square feet of office space with a monthly asking rate of approximately $4 per square foot.

The proposed tower, designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects, would consist of a 230-foot tall structure wrapped with steel exoskeleton poetically described as "a continuous system of curvilinear ribbons."  As has become an industry standard, the creative building would offer open floor plans giving potential tenants the flexibility to customize their space.

The project dates back to the late 1990s, when the City of Los Angeles first approved it as a larger two-tower development intended to reinvigorate a struggling neighborhood.  However, after a nearly two-decade delay, (W)rapper is emerging into a decidedly different environment.

Across Ballona Creek in Culver City, the Samitaurs and Moss have a longstanding partnership that has transformed the Hayden Tract into a thriving hub for technology and entertainment companies.  (W)rapper is intended an extension of that community.

As of 2016, Metro has completed work on the Expo Line light rail, which has an elevated station nearby at La Cienega and Jefferson Boulevards.

One block south, San Francisco-based real estate firm Carmel Partners has announced plans to transform an 11-acre radio broadcast facility into a 1.9-million-square-foot development with approximately 1,200 apartments and commercial space.

Rendering of (W)rapper from the Baldwin Hills (Image: EOM Architects)
Renderings of (W)rapper from above the Expo Line and from the southwest (Image: EOM Architects)
Renderings of (W)rapper (Image: EOM Architects)
Interior rendering of (W)rapper (Image: EOM Architects)
Interior rendering of (W)rapper (Image: EOM Architects)
Map of project site and surroundings (Image: EOM Architects)

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