About a month ago, plans were unveiled for a redevelopment of Downtown Car Wash in South Park, which has been looking increasingly out of place in the booming Downtown neighborhood that's the future home of multiple luxury megaprojects. Those plans weren't coupled with any kind of renderings until now—Urbanize LA has found what seem to be plans for the "Olympic Tower," as it's called on the architects' site, and based on this first glimpse of what the mixed-user-with-hotel might look like, it's instantly clear that the new project is going to fit right in among the glitzy neighboring towers. These first renderings show a 60-story tower with LED signs and live plants adorning its exterior, and a rooftop garden.
The plans laid out last month call for a development with 374 residential units, 33,500 square feet of office space, a 10,800-square-foot conference center, and more than 65,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. There'd also be a 373-room hotel, because in Downtown hotels are the hot thing right now.
But the renderings, from architecture firm Nardi Associates, show how all of that's going to look together. The outside of the tower features a "structural grid" that kind of makes it look like the building is wearing a fishnet stocking; woven into that grid would be LED signage as well as live plantings, which is fitting as Nardi's site describes the whole structure as "a gigantic urban tree."
Atop this urban tree would be "an open-air atrium encased by a metal structure with a sloping roofline," says Urbanize. In an older building, the roof would have had to have a helipad, but the rules on that were pretty recently relaxed; this will be one of the first buildings to challenge LA's flat skyline.
Inside the building, the hotel segment of the structure would have a lobby and amenities on the fourteenth floor, and feature two atriums. A parking garage with multiple levels both above and below ground would be split between the residents, who would park underground, and retail customers, hotel guests, and office workers, who would share above-ground parking.
Not bad for a car wash from the '80s. Former owner Robert Bush bought the property and built the carwash in 1980, when Downtown was definitely not a happening nightlife spot and certainly not a cool place to live. He paid just $525,000 for the parcel. By the mid-2000s, the land was worth $2.4 million, but Bush didn't sell. When he eventually parted with the car wash corner in 2014, developer Ben Neman bought the place for $25 million.