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Rents at Bunker Hill's Brand New The Emerson Start at $2,295

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The Emerson luxury apartment building, designed by Arquitectonica, will be the first piece of the long-delayed Grand Avenue megaproject when it finally opens October 19 next to what will soon be The Broad art museum, and it'll be one of very few residential buildings on Bunker Hill. To fit in with the dead-at-night neighborhood, developer Related Cos. is hoping to court a more mature, "grown-up" tenant, who wants to live in a quiet, "high brow" area, says the LA Times; its prices won't guarantee oldsters, necessarily, but they will guarantee richies. We've heard from more than one tipster that rents on studios in the building start at $2,295 and two-bedrooms will run about $4,495. Heartstopping, but true.

Actually, The Emerson's website shows that cheapest two-bedroom currently available is a corner unit that rents for $4,995. The Times says that $4,495 we heard about for a two-bedrooms is "typical" for the building. (By comparison, the median rent for a two-bedroom in Downtown was $2,850 back in June. ) One-bedrooms will rent for about $3,500 when the building opens, though the cheapest one listed now is $3,195, so act fast? As for studios, the least expensive one now listed is $2,395.

For those prices, tenants will also get access to the bevy of amenities The Emerson offers: a library with a fireplace, a gym, a yoga space, a dog run, and a big-screen media room. The ground floor will also have an upscale bar/restaurant, which might also do catering for tenants. It's probably going to be very nice, but one tipster still thinks the rents are nuts: "I can appreciate the higher prices in downtown. But, I've been living on this end of downtown just blocks from the Emerson for 10 years and there's absolutely nothing in the neighborhood to justify these prices."

The Emerson has 271 units, but only 216 will be leased at these wild market rates; the 55 remaining will be rented to tenants who make less than 60 percent of the local median income, which works out to $50,580 for a family of four. One tipster says they read on an application for the Emerson that lower-income renters would not be able to use the amenities without an extra fee, which seems like just the tiniest step above a separate poor door. We've reached out to The Emerson for confirmation of this, but have not yet received a response. Updated 10/3: A rep for Related tells Curbed, "According to Related there is not an added amenity fee charged for affordable tenants."
· The Emerson [Official Site]
· The Grand Avenue Project's First Building Broke Ground Today [Curbed LA]