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Big changes, including 35-story tower, planned for around Koreatown's Wilshire Galleria

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More than 500 condos and a hotel

Late last year we heard that new owners of Koreatown’s Wilshire Galleria were planning to redevelop the historic department store-turned-shopping-mall as either a multifamily project or a mixed use hotel with residential units. Now, an environmental study of the project shows that the Harridge Development Group is going with the latter option, converting the Galleria into a hotel and adding a 35-story tower and seven-story condo structure on the same site.

The high-rise building will also contain condo units—355 to be exact—along with 2,832 square feet of retail space. Another 2,270 square feet of retail space will be located on the ground floor of the seven-story building. Both structures will rise from what’s now a parking lot behind the Galleria.

Meanwhile, the developers are planning to an additional floor to the five-story Galleria in order to accommodate 14 additional rooms and a rooftop pool and barbecue area. The proposed hotel would include 160 rooms total, along with a ground floor restaurant, dining area, two lounges, and a gift shop.

The high-rise tower will include eight stories of above-ground parking, along with two subterranean levels. The 720 spaces in the building will serve the entire complex, including the hotel.

The Wilshire Galleria opened in 1939 as the I. Magnin department store and once served as a major rival to the Bullock’s Wilshire down the block. According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, the store closed its doors in 1990. The elegant white marble building was designed by architect Myron Hunt, who also designed the Ambassador Hotel.

According to the report, the developers are working with a preservation consultant in revamping the building to ensure that its historic features are maintained.

If the project is speedily approved and gets under way by mid-2017, the study states that the development will be complete by 2019 or 2020.