If at first you don't succeed, then try, try, try, try, try and try again. That is the lesson to be learned from Colony Holdings LLC, the relentless developer of a proposed residential-retail complex in Koreatown.
For nearly six years, the Beverly Hills-based company has attempted to obtain a zone change and general plan amendment which would allow for the construction of a high-rise apartment tower at the intersection of 8th and Catalina Streets. However, the project has been rejected on multiple occasions by the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, which has argued that the proposed development is incongruent with the Wilshire Community Plan. Under designs from Oakes Architects, the Catalina Apartments would rise 27 stories, featuring 269 residential units, 562 parking spaces and 7,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. At 300 feet tall, the proposed building would easily dwarf its neighboring structures, all of which range from one-to-six stories in height.
Despite these past setbacks, Colony Holdings' diligence may have finally paid dividends thanks to a powerful new ally: Mayor Eric Garcetti. According to a city memo issued earlier this month, Garcetti has disapproved the City Planning Commission's earlier decision and thereby granted the discretionary approvals necessary for the Catalina Apartments to move forward.
The project is to be further discussed at next week's meeting of the Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Committee.