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What is Meruelo Maddux Up To in South Park Now?

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A sea of parking...and more parking coming?
Following the fascinating news that developer Meruelo Maddux was approved to build a 19-unit, 21-story tower comes this bit of goodness: The developer has filed an application for a five-story parking garage--with a rooftop health club and lounge--at 1114 S. Grand, right across the street and down the block from the site of the tower. You can see the application here.

"One of the plan checkers was told by the Meruelo folks that the garage was intended for the [new] building across the street," says David Lara, spokesperson for the Dept of Building and Safety. But the Dept of Building and Safety also has completely conflicting information: Lara says another plan checker was told by the developer that the 11th and Grand Ave tower would have a robotic parking garage on the site itself, one of those fancy self-parking garages one sees in cities like New York. The parking garage would essentially rise next to the tower and be located in a space in the alleyway on the site.

Meanwhile, back to the details of that 1114 S. Grand garage: It's not clear yet how many spaces the structure would contain, but the garage would have ground floor retail, and as noted, a rooftop health club/lounge. It would rise on the developer's South Park group of holdings, a large sea of parking lots that has long been talked about as a site for development.

The permit for the garage hasn't yet been approved and is still in the early stages of the application process, according to Lara. He also notes that if Meruelo Maddux intends to use this garage to park cars for the tower at 11th and Grand, the developer will have to file for a variance, meaning the City Planning Dept will have to approve the project.

"He can’t do it by right," says Lara, explaining that the city doesn't allow off-site parking for residential uses.

So to recap: Meruelo has filed for a tract map change to make the building a condo building. The developer has suggested using an automated parking structure on the 11th and Grand site. The developer has also submitted an application for a new parking structure.

It's not entirely clear yet how many parking spots Meruelo will ultimately need for the 11th and Grand site, according to Lara. And it's not even confirmed by the developer himself that this garage is definitely intended for the new tower. A rep for the company didn't immediately return calls. And the mystery continues....

· 1114 S GRAND AVE 90015 [Permit LA]