Yesterday news emerged that developer Casden is eyeing the Ross Dress for Less store on 3rd Street---right across from the Grove--for a 300-unit development. Here's a rendering of the project, which is being designed by LA-based architects Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, the same firm behind Casden's proposed Movietown Plaza. Howard Katz, vice president of community development for Casden, provides some color commentary and an explanation of what we're looking at: There are four buildings, and the yellow-building on the far right is the planned rental building (for seniors), while the rest of the project, which'll be 13 stories at its tallest, would consist of market-rate housing, including condos reserved for seniors. Basically it breaks down to 150 units for the older set and 150 condos for everyone else. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times covers the story today, reporting 662 parking spaces spread over three parking structures are planned. Not surprisingly, neighbors are worried about traffic, and while eventually there'll be a subway stop on Wilshire and Fairfax (about 10 blocks away), it may finally be time for Grove developer Rick Caruso to start laying more trolley track. UPDATE: This 2006 Los Angeles Times story provides more history on the development of this site.
Asked about the traffic issue, Katz responded: “We have a letter from the Department of Transportation that states we don’t significantly impact traffic intersections in the area. According to Katz, AM trips will increase by 48 trips, while PM trips will decrease by 77 trips. (Differing options about the potential traffic impact related to development is also going over at that Bundy Medical Plaza project.)
But the bigger question may be the fact that some community members say a different project was originally promised. Jeff Jacobberger, chair of the Mid-City West Community Council tells the Times: "Why do they get to put more density, more height on the parcel rather than honor the original agreement to build a lower-density senior center?"
While agreeing the project had evolved, Katz defended the development given the increase in the number of senior units, and stated Casden had configured the development in a way that was more appropriate for the site in terms of design.
· Proposal to build 13-story tower next to the Grove raises traffic concerns [LA Times]