Fanciful 52-story tower intended as ‘gateway’ to Downtown Los Angeles

Phillip Dane

Bold renderings have emerged for a whimsical 52-story tower proposed for just south of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The tower would hold a mix of housing, hotel rooms, shops, and offices on the site of the Toyota of Downtown LA dealership.

The tower, at 1600 South Figueroa, is intended to serve as a “gateway” to Downtown Joel Miller of consulting engineering firm Psomas tells Curbed.

He said the developer, a parking lot company called L&R Group of Companies, “wanted fanciful designs” for the project because it’s intended to mark the entryway into Downtown from the south. (The site sits just north of the 10 Freeway, widely considered to be the southern boundary of Downtown LA.)

Miller emphasized the renderings are conceptual, but the building is “designed to be a vertical neighborhood,” Miller said, mixing 336 residential units, a 250-room hotel with retail and offices in one visually exciting structure.

According to the Downtown News, the project’s ground level would hold 9,000 square feet of retail space. Above that, there would be 6,500 square feet of office space. The fifth through 18th floors would hold the hotel and its 3,000-square-foot restaurant.

The 19th floor would mark the start of two, separated sections of the project, which would hold residential units. Above that, residential units would continue in the section above those two segments—the part that looks like hanging gardens in the rendering.

Penthouses will go in at the very top of the project, in the section that looks like the structure’s cocktail hat. In all, the tower would hold 202 condos and 134 rental apartments.

Running with the idea of presenting a visual entrance to DTLA, Miller says that the renderings show that the two, distinct residential sections in the project are actually meant to be angled differently than the rest of the building, so they look like a literal door or gate opening into Downtown.

L & R Group of Companies purchased the Toyota lot in April 2016, and filed plans for the tower Wednesday. Psomas is handling the land use entitlements for the project.

A timeline for the project has not been released.

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