Since 2012, eastbound Expo Line passengers approaching La Cienega/Jefferson Station have been greeted by promotional signage for a 17-story office building planned next-door to the elevated rail stop. After five years of advertising what has often seemed like a pie-in-the-sky vision, the project may finally be coming to fruition.
The sign, located at the corner of National and Jefferson Boulevards, has now been stripped away, along with most of an adjoining surface parking lot that will give way for the tower. This unexpected change comes just one month after the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety issued a construction permit for the long-proposed development.
The project - a collaboration between deconstructivist architect Eric Owen Moss and husband-and-wife developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith - will consist of a 230-foot tall structure featuring nearly 160,000 square feet of creative offices above two levels of underground parking. According to a November 2016 report from the Los Angeles Times, the building is expected to command a monthly rent of $4 per square foot.
Dubbed (W)rapper, the tower is unique amongst Los Angeles high-rise buildings in that it will be supported by a weaving skeleton of curved, steel beams. Plans for the tower date back to the late 1990s, when the project was initially approved as a two-tower development.
Though (W)rapper has previously been marketed as the tallest building in the surrounding Baldwin Hills community, it may not retain that title for long. Almost directly across the street, developer Carmel Partners has proposed an 11-acre mixed-use complex on that would include a 29-story, 323-foot tower.