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Planning commission supports 16-story Koreatown tower next to Art Deco landmark

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“There’s no place in this city where housing is more desperately needed”

In this rendering, the new tower is depicted behind the landmarked Wilshire Professional Building.
Via city planning department

The city’s Planning Commission threw its support Thursday behind a 16-story tower that would bring 196 apartments to Wilshire and Western in Koreatown.

“There’s no place in this city where housing is more desperately needed than Koreatown,” said commissioner Dana Perlman. “When we have a project that comes to us on a parking lot where there’s no displacement, which doesn’t happen very often … we have an obligation to lean toward supporting [it].”

The new high-rise, if ultimately approved by Los Angeles City Council, would go up on the site of a parking lot at 640 South St. Andrews Place, behind the landmarked Wilshire Professional Building and across from St. James' In-the-City Episcopal Church.

The city will mandate that the developer, Jamison Services, not make any changes to the historic building, except for at its rear, where a sidewalk would connect the two buildings.

“We’re fully confident that the historic nature of the building Wilshire Professional Building will not be affected by the approval of this project,” said senior city planner Jane Choi.

The new building would come with dog run, pool, and lots of parking, enough for 301 cars. Rents in all of the units—146 one-bedrooms and 50 two-bedroom penthouses—would be market-rate, with none set aside for tenants with low incomes.

“I regret that there’s no affordable housing here. [But] we don’t have the ability to impose that,” Perlman said.