Next week, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission is scheduled to take up consideration of College Station, a proposed mixed-use complex which would rise from a long-vacant site at the intersection of North Spring and College Streets in Chinatown.
The project, which is being developed by New York-based Atlas Capital Group, would replace 4.9-acre dirt lot with a seven-story structure featuring up to 725 residential units and 51,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Plans call for a collection of five-level wood-frame structures above a two-story concrete podium, which would stretch across the triangular property, offering commercial uses including restaurants, retail, and a 37,600-square-foot grocery store.
Johnson Fain is designing the project, which at 80 feet in height, would be similar in scale to other nearby developments such as Blossom Plaza. Above grade parking levels - with capacity for up to 907 vehicles - would be masked from view through landscaping and other building materials, as well as the street-fronting commercial space.
Studio MLA is serving as the landscape architect for College Station, which would feature large plazas facing both the Chinatown Metro Station and the neighboring Los Angeles State Historic Park. Open space for the project would be concentrated atop the podium deck, with amenities such as swimming pools and courtyards. The private space would be accessed from street level by stairs leading up from the plazas.
Architectural plans also indicate that an adjoining City-owned property at the corner of Spring and Roundout Street could provide an opportunity site for a new park.
Construction is anticipated to occur over 43 months, though a groundbreaking date for College Station has not been announced.
In addition to discretionary approvals, the City Planning Commission will also consider three appeals of the project's tract map by several construction labor unions, all of which allege inadequacies in College Station's environmental impact report. A staff report recommends that the Commission should deny the appeals and approve the project.
College Station originated in 2012 under EVOQ Properties, itself the successor to defunct developer Meruelo Maddux, which sold its entire portfolio to Atlas Capital in 2014. Originally conceived with a pair of 20-story towers, the project was reduced to its more squat profile after Johnson Fain as design architect in 2015.
It is one of a handful of development proceeding around the perimeter of Los Angeles State Historic Park, including a proposed development on a narrow strip of land which overlooks the 32-acre green space from Broadway.
Save for these projects, development has been slow to arrive in the neighborhood surrounding the park, prompting a recent effort spearheaded by Councilmember Cedillo to update the Cornfield-Arroyo Specific Plan.
- College Station Archive (Urbanize LA)