Late last year, the Wilshire Galleria in Koreatown sold to the Harridge Development Group, which spent $49 million on the half-occupied mall, with plans to adaptively reuse it, maybe as a hotel, maybe as some kind of multi-family project.
Now the plans have expanded: It seems like the Galleria, a former department store, is going to be part of a much larger project, one that would stretch from Wilshire south to Seventh Street along New Hampshire and take up half the block, says Urbanize LA. The new plan, suggested by filings with the Department of City Planning, involves the construction of a new "high-rise mixed use building" on the parking lot behind the Galleria.
The building of undetermined height would hold 545 residential units (11 percent reserved for very low-income households), plus retail storefronts and a hotel with a restaurant. (No mention of how many rooms the hotel might have.)
Future hotel guests and residents of the complex will be just a block away from Wilshire and Vermont, where there's a subway stop for both the Red and Purple lines and a wealth of bus connections.
As ULA notes, "Information from real estate services firm CBRE indicates that the approximately two-acre property's zoning carries no height limit. Thus, the proposed development would not require a general plan amendment." (Amendments and exceptions like that are guaranteed to be targeted by anti-development groups; they're at the heart of a proposed ballot measure that would stop a lot of development altogether in LA.)
Koreatown is getting a lot of new, tall, fancy projects that many residents worry are going to end up pushing out the people who already live there. In the case of one 27-story tower near Eighth and Catalina, some residents have united to ask that the developer include more affordable units in the project. Whether the affordable component of this project will help it win over the neighbors remains to be seen.