It’s finally happened—the furious rush of development along Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles stretching from the still-under-construction Wilshire Grand Tower has finally reached Interstate-10.
The highway is Downtown L.A.’s informal southern boundary, separating the increasingly tony central city from starkly less affluent neighborhoods located directly to the south. Over the last year, as the Wilshire Grand Tower has gone up and the city’s transit system immediately below has expanded, a large collection of proposals for a new district of high-rise, residential towers has been gradually unveiled beside the L.A. Live and Los Angeles Convention Center complexes.
The latest proposal, first reported by Los Angeles Downtown News, marks the 18th new tower proposed for the stretch, with at least 17 other new high-rise housing towers currently awaiting approval or actively under construction. Gensler has a hand in several of the projects, including the Metropolis (four towers), 1020 South Figueroa (three towers), and Fig+Pico (two towers) projects. SOM and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S are behind the Olympia development (three towers), while CallisonRTKL is working on the Oceanwide Plaza (three towers) development, and Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA are partway through construction on the twin Circa towers.
Gensler’s latest contribution to the district—1660 South Figueroa—will take over an existing car dealership lot and will contain more than 300 residential units, as well as a 250-key hotel and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor office and retail space. Broken down further, the tower is expected to contain 202 market-rate condominiums and 134 apartment units, including 23 condominiums and nine apartments reserved for low-income households. The project also calls for 499 parking stalls dispersed across nine levels of parking, five of which would be located underground.
In contrast to many of the other projects mentioned above, most of which are articulated as generic, glass-clad mixed-use towers composed predominantly of vertically-extruded floorplates located atop ornamented retail and parking podia, 1660 South Figueroa is articulated as a hodge-podge of typological tower forms. The tower’s tripartite vertical organization exists as a long and narrow, 19-story housing block at its base that features balconies and large-scale punched openings at its upper reaches. That mass is topped by a pair of 20-story glassy condo towers, one canted slightly off-axis, creating a narrow and tall donut hole at the center of the building. Above that? A six-level mass itself topped by a diminutive, multi-story mid-rise mass. Throughout, the agglomerated mass of towers features grassy accretions, vegetated expanses of building mass punctured by horizontal, punched openings.
Details for the project are forthcoming; groundbreaking, construction timeline and budget for the project have not been released.