There are two signs that construction is well underway on developer Gerding Edlen's apartment project at 5th and Rose in Venice: There's a big pit in the ground, and per a visit yesterday, the RV contingent that used to line this block was gone (perhaps they've just moved on temporarily). The Portland developer recently bought this site and is now in the process of putting up a 70-unit building, which will have 10,000 square feet of retail (including space for a restaurant). Yes, the Venice restaurant craze is spreading. Maybe it'll hop Lincoln Boulevard and all hell will break loose.
Designed by local firm Killefer Flammang, the project is essentially broken up into three different parts (design-wise, the goal is to avoid a massive, uniform look). So, there's the restaurant area (which will have a brick facade), the private lobby court (which will have large oak trees and an outdoor fire pit) and the retail component, which has a glass look.
As for the look, today the Urban Insight blog posts some thoughts on an elevation for the project (they hadn't get received the rendering) noting the building "could provide the missing ingredient to draw additional pedestrian activity into this area." But, they're also concerned: "On the other hand, the saw-tooth building façade, with its jagged relationship to the street line, seems like a throwback to ’80s architectural design and is less than encouraging."
Meanwhile, Rose Avenue will be opened up (seats could go outside of the restaurant, for instance), while extensive landscaping is also planned. There's no immediate word on what trees will go up, but it's a bet that they won't be planting any ficus. Kelly Saito, managing principal at Gerding Edlen, says the project will be done by late 2012.
· Development Watch: 512 E Rose Ave [Urban Insights]
· Evo Developer Buys Vacant Rose Site [Curbed LA]