The Angels Knoll site at the foot of Downtown LA’s Bunker Hill could become home to a UCLA “vertical campus” or a mixed-user with a skyscraper, elementary school, and shops and restaurants.
Those are the visions for the site—now called Angels Landing—as imagined by three finalists vying to transform the city-owned property next to Angels Flight. The finalists unveiled their plans at a public meeting Monday night.
The sloped site extends from Hill and Fourth streets up to Olive, and city officials are looking for a mixed-use development that maximizes density with “the highest level of intensity.”
They asked developers to include mixed-income housing and space for the public in their plans. They also called for integrating the Angels Flight funicular and the Pershing Square Metro station and for creating an active ground-floor that encourages walking.
The winning proposal will be selected in November. Here are the contenders:
Lowe Enterprises with Gensler
Developer Lowe Enterprises, along with project partners Cisneros Miramontes, Gensler, and landscape architects RELM Studio, proposed a “vertical campus” for UCLA on the site. Rising to over 883 feet, the tower would hold 600,000 square feet of classroom and office space for the school and 655 housing units for teachers and students.
The Gensler-designed development would also hold 200,000 square feet of space for public programming.
The project would feature nearly one acre of private open space as well as three-quarters of an acre of public open space, including a “Victorian Commons” planned to link up to the open-air public space at One California Plaza, where Angels Flight ends.
Clad in glass and terra cotta, the color palette mimics the colors and materials used at UCLA’s Westwood campus.
The project would have a direct connection to UCLA and Westwood via the future Purple Line extension. It would also be the city’s first net zero energy skyscraper, says a representative for Lowe.
UCLA hasn’t formally signed on to this project yet, say representatives for Lowe that spoke at the meeting, but the university is not allowed to endorse or participate in the project until the winner has been selected. Lowe has had informal talks with school officials and is confident that the project is aligned with UCLA’s already stated goal of having a campus in Downtown.
Onni and Natoma Architects
Busy Downtown developer Onni wants to build two towers containing 230 hotel rooms, 120 condos, 650 apartments, an elementary school, a museum to honor Angels Flight, and a grocery store. Ten percent of the apartments would be workforce/teacher housing for the elementary school.
The towers would rise to approximately 400 and 800 feet tall with a design that looks like “blocks in the sky,” says Stanley Saitowitz of Natoma, and is specifically designed not to obstruct existing views.
Staircases and walking paths would weave through the development, which would include two acres of publicly accessible open space and plazas named for the two Angels Flight railcars—Sinai and Olivet. Along Hill Street, developers envision an outdoor exhibit about the funicular.
Over the Pershing Square station opening, there would be a trellised public square surrounded by a food court and retail storefronts.
MacFarlane Partners, The Peebles Corporation, Claridge Properties and Handel Architects
The team of Claridge Properties, MacFarlane Partners, and The Peebles Corporation imagines a dual-towered development with towers rising 24 and 88 stories, with the taller tower sitting along Hill Street.
The towers will hold 405 apartments, 240 condos, nearly 500 SLS and Mondrian hotel rooms, an elementary school operated by Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise, and 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Five percent of the apartments would be available to people earning between 80 and 120 percent of the area median income.
The Handel Architects-designed buildings would be set back off the corner of Fourth and Hill streets, leaving open space over the Pershing Square station (save for a canopy over the station entrance itself). The buildings would be clad in champagne-colored materials, which would make them light buildings in a city of dark, glassy towers, says Glenn Rescalvo of Handel.
The project would offer more than one acre of public open space, including a 13,700-square-foot plaza along Hill Street and something called “Angels Terrace”—a roughly 25,000-square-foot plaza at the core of the development. Outdoor spaces are designed by landscape architect Olin.