One year after announcing ambitious Downtown expansion plans, Barry Shy is officially putting his money where his mouth is. Over the past several weeks, SB Properties has filed plans with the city for four new residential developments, including multiple high-rise towers and an adaptive reuse project. The four mixed-use complexes are being designed by Los Angeles-based DT Architects, and will invigorate current pedestrian dead zones along Broadway, Main and Hill Streets with approximately 1,000 market rate apartment units and street-level commercial space.
First up are two properties along Broadway, purchased by Shy as a component of a $30 million transaction last summer. 939 Broadway, a vacant 12-story commercial building built in 1924, would be converted into a 160-unit residential complex with seven ground-floor retail stalls. 955 Broadway, now a surface parking lot at the street's intersection with Olympic Boulevard, would become a 15-story, 185,000 square foot mixed-use tower. Although the mid-rise project's case filing gives no mention of an exact unit count, earlier reports from the Downtown News have indicated that the developer is planning for approximately 250 apartments.
The two residential projects would sit on the current periphery of the resurgent Broadway shopping district, where a cluster of new stores and eateries have set up shop near the popular Ace Hotel. This recent trend, coupled with the possibility of the Downtown Streetcar, has prompted other developers to zero in on the surrounding blocks.
Directly cross the street from 939 and 955 Broadway, G.H. Palmer Associates is planning a mid-rise and low-rise complex containing 649 apartments and 35,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space. Further south, a development team lead by the Kor Group hopes to transform the former Case Hotel into a four-star, 152-room boutique inn.
Just around the corner, Shy also proposes a high-density mixed-use development for a half-acre parking lot behind the Ace Hotel. As first reported last month, plans for the property at 920 Hill Street call for a 32-story tower containing 239 residential units, a parking garage and five ground-floor commercial stalls.
Adding to the aforementioned projects on Broadway, 920 Hill Street is surrounded by an impressive array of development activity to the west. Currently, four low-rise residential-retail complexes are under construction along Olympic Boulevard, including one directly across the street from the proposed tower. One block north at the corner of 9th and Olive Streets, work is underway on a similar 32-story building. Other nearby parking lots are also slated for high-rise developments from the Vancouver-based Onni Group and San Francisco-based Carmel Partners.
The largest of the four developments would rise from a one-and-a-half-acre parking lot that Shy has owned for several years. Located at the southwest corner of 6th and Main Streets, the project is a retooled version of a longstanding proposal known as SB Omega. The new tower at 601 Main Street would rise 38 stories, containing 452 condominiums, an 858-vehicle parking garage and 15 street-level retail and restaurant stalls.
Preliminary designs for the project received mixed reviews at a meeting of the DLANC's Planning and Land Use Committee last December. Although the tower proposal has since been redesigned, some of the elements from the presentation may shed light on further details to come. Older plans called for the tower's upper levels to be set back from the street, allowing for height while also providing the illusion of a low-rise street wall. The earlier version of the project included over 25,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space, a substantial portion of which was intended for a small, neighborhood-serving market. Plans for the vehicular garage provided approximately one space per unit, with surplus stalls reserved for other nearby buildings that lack dedicated parking.
Another investor also harbors mixed-use ambitions for a nearby property. A half-block north, Fashion District landlord Jade Enterprises is well into the planning stages for Topaz, a seven-story building that would erect 159 apartments and 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The Tate Snyder Kimsey-designed project spans between Main and Los Angeles Streets, and is highlighted by an iconic urban window and light curtain. A spokesperson informed the Downtown News this past May that the project is on pace to break ground before year's end.