Long considered one of Century City's last chances to become a little more hospitable to humans, a 37-story office tower developed by JMB Realty and designed by Johnson Fain is now dead in the water. The LA Times says that, given the interest from developers in land to build condos, JMB has decided that it might be way more profitable for them to drop the office tower altogether and just sell the site, which has approvals for 483 residential units (in two 47-story towers and a 12-story building) left over from their own pre-economic-crash dreams of a housing complex.
"A new owner could quickly resurrect JMB's plans for the condo development," muses the Times, and that seems a likely, profitable route. Last August, China-based Wanda Group paid $420 million—"the equivalent for $1.7 million a unit"—for 9900 Wilshire, a site with entitlements for 235 condos. That's nearly double the $878,000 a unit Related paid back in 2005 for the land to build The Century, a Century City condo tower that's passed the Candy Spelling test of fanciness. (She owns a $35-million penthouse.) Last June, Miami-based developer Crescent Heights got started on a 283-unit, 40-story luxury residential tower right on Santa Monica Boulevard, and there are plenty of existing condos in CC, so a new residential project would fit right in. (But apparently not be too much.)
The JMB site at Constellation Avenue and Avenue of the Stars is also poised to sit right by a future stop on the Purple Line subway extension, which has really brought out the crazy in anti-subway Beverly Hills. This Constellation Avenue stop would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School, which the overheated school board and other locals have very, very vocally and legally opposed. The opposition groups have repeatedly suggested that Metro wants to tunnel under BHHS and put a subway stop on Constellation purely as a favor to JMB, giving them even closer proximity to public transit. Will the sale quell their fears of foul play? Probably not!
No price has been set for JMB's 5.5-acre property.
· Prime Century City land is put up for sale [LAT]
· Will the Last Buildings in Century City Make it Any More Human? [Curbed LA]
· Latest Subway Conspiracy Theory: Developer Is Behind Route! [Curbed LA]
· Beverly Hills School Board Commissioned High School Kids to Make Anti-Subway Propaganda [Curbed LA]
· Century City Center Planning All Kinds of Purple Line Goodies [Curbed LA]