After years of no news, it appears that the plan to convert the Historic Core's Banco Popular building, aka the HW Hellman Building, into apartments is rolling once again. (It only took about four years.) The plans are a little different now, though. Urbanize LA (citing a filing with the Department of Building and Safety) reports that the building at the corner of Fourth and Spring Streets will now be renovated to include 188 live/work apartments over commercial space at the street level and a bar in the basement. There are also grand designs to put two more floors on top of the historic structure to make room for requisite resident amenities (gym, pool, the like) and a restaurant.
The project is being handled by developer Allen Gross's real estate firm Standard Development. Gross was the mover back in 2012, when he bought the structure and the last news came that the office building might be making the switch to residential. The architecture firm Omgivning is doing the renovation. The firm is also working on the massive Broadway Trade Center reboot (to turn it into a huge retail/hotel/food hall complex) and the conversion of the former Case Hotel building into a Proper hotel at Broadway and Eleventh Street.
The Banco Popular Building was built in 1903 and designed by Alfred F. Rosenheim, who designed the house in Country Club Park made famous by the TV show American Horror Story. The LA Conservancy says the Beaux-Arts building was originally commissioned by Hermann W. Hellman, a wealthy merchant and banker. The building has some incredible details: a white marble lobby, a curving marble staircase, and a stained glass dome "lit with natural sunlight from the central light well." The building was sold in 1976 to the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, "After years of decline in the 1960s and '70s." The Banco Popular dropped nearly $4 million on renovations of the building.
· Banco Popular de Puerto Rico [LA Conservancy]