Noted fauxtalian monstrosity-builder Geoff Palmer (the Orsinis, the Pieros, etc.) is planning on bringing one of his creations to the heart of Downtown, but don't completely panic yet--it's not Tuscan-style. Whereas all of Palmer's earlier works have been built along Downtown's western border, his new, two-building 686-unit complex will straddle Olympic Boulevard at Broadway on the South Park/Fashion District border and at the southern end of all the pending Broadway action. One 10-story building could rise on the north side of Olympic--across from the under-development Ace Hotel--and a six-story structure is planned for the south side, according to Downtown News. The two buildings would be connected by one of Palmer's signature pedestrian bridges.
But that may be where Palmer's signature look ends. Because the northern half of the project falls in the zone governed by the Broadway Design Guidelines, the building will have to meet certain requirements to preserve the character of the neighborhood (huzzah!!). And the office of Jose Huizar, whose district covers the project, sounds intent on enforcing those requirements. Buildings in the zone must be at least 100 feet tall, and the early designs for the project "appear to take inspiration from the district's older stone buildings. They depict structures clad in a red brick veneer, with off-white colored podiums and crowns."
DN says the neighborhood is largely behind the project. Steve Needleman, who owns the Orpheum Theatre and other nearby buildings, told them that "It's maybe a little larger to scale than what I might want, but overall I'm excited." Incredible!
The project will be built mostly on empty lots, but will take out a small building on the south side of Olympic. Also threatened by the project? A mural by street-art darling Banksy on the side of jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino's Sparkle Factory. Current plans call for the project to be built right up against its neighbor to the north, which means it would obscure the mural. But even that doesn't sound like it's riling anyone up: Tarantino's husband and business partner says Palmer's people seem open to protecting the Banksy somehow. Whether or not the love-in continues as the project steams along, it could be a gamechanger for the redevelopment of Broadway.