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Astani Back With Shrunken Eighth and Grand Mixed-Use Project

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The Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles has two votes on Thursday that could bring developer Sonny Astani back into the fold of Downtown development (he had a nasty bankruptcy ouster from his Concerto project). The votes would cancel an old deal and then approve a new one for his Eighth and Grand residential project. The terms of the old deal, approved by the CRA/LA in 2006, allowed for three buildings (38, 22, and 15 stories) with 875 condos, according to blogdowntown. The staff report (pdf) for Thursday's vote shows that the new deal is one of those post-recession, modest deals (well, comparatively): 700 residential units in a seven-story building with about 30,000 square feet of retail and 737 parking spaces.

The new deal proposes a phased development. Phase I would include 240 units built on the wests side of the site (mostly fronting Grand Avenue), along with 16,085 square feet of "neighborhood commercial retail uses" and about 2,425 square feet of restaurant space. That phase would also include an elevated courtyard and one and a half levels parking (one at grade and one below). The memo says that "The Developer’s goal is to bring a small neighborhood-serving grocery market to the commercial space in Phase I."

Phase II would take up the east side of the site and contain 460 residential units, 13,165 square feet of retail, two elevated courtyards, and three levels of parking.

According to the CRA report, the developer hopes to break ground on Phase I in early 2012. The project website still shows the old designs and the CRA/LA report on the new proposal only includes a site plan, so if there are new designs, they're not out in the wild yet.

The parcel has been slated for redevelopment for more than 20 years: in 1990, the CRA/LA had an agreement with Pacific Atlas Development Corporation that would have brought two office towers to the site. Litigation and the recession of the early nineties killed that project.
· Astani's 8th and Grand Set to Move Forward as Scaled-Back Project [blogdowntown]
· Eighth and Grand Residential Land Use Approval [CRA/LA]

Eighth & Grand

770 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017