Big-time developer CIM Group has certainly been flexible about their plans for the four-block Farmers Insurance complex in Park Mile since they bought it in early 2014. They initially hoped to build a hotel, but neighbor opposition flared up before that plan got its legs. Then CIM considered incorporating 48 small houses into the project. Earlier this month, they switched things up again, says the Larchmont Buzz, offering condos, townhouses, triplexes, and other single-family housing for a total of 87 units on part of the campus instead of the previously proposed 119.
The new plan covers a two-block spread starting on the southeast corner of Wilshire and Rimpau, at the Farmers office tower. The idea is now to use the bottom three floors used as office space, and convert the fourth floor to condos (52 in all). The parking lot that shares that block with the tower would transform into 11 townhouses clustered around a central courtyard.
The next block to the east, which is mostly taken up by a large parking lot now, would have three rows of housing: closest to Wilshire, there would be a row with a total of nine triplex units; closest to Eighth Street, there would be seven single-family "estate" houses that would be two stories tall on 50-foot-wide lots. In between the two rows would be seven more single-family houses that appear smaller in size on the preliminary site plan than the ones along Eighth Street.
CIM is also hoping to shut down Mullen Avenue for a block between Eighth and Wilshire, where it currently and inconveniently cuts between two of the blocks they own. Closing off the street would give CIM "greater flexibility to shift the density on the site and put more housing units in the historic tower," a rep for the developer says. The closure of the street seems to be the most divisive issue among neighbors, since the reduced density of this plan seems to have chilled out many who were worried about the influx of new people and their cars. "They seem to be listening to the community. We have less density now than before," said one satisfied local.
CIM indicated that this would be the first of many community outreach meetings for this plan. They are in the midst of putting together a traffic study to zero in on the effects the project would have on congestion in the surrounding area.
· CIM Group Revises Plans for Farmers Insurance Parcel Wilshire Blvd. [LB]
· Park Mile Fretting Over Plan For 48 Little Houses on Wilshire [Curbed LA]