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First look: 200 apartments to rise next to Tom Bergin’s in Miracle Mile

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The eight-story project would spare the landmarked Irish bar—but raze rent-controlled apartments

A rendering of an eight-story building with ground floor retail.
800 South Fairfax would replace two apartment buildings at Eighth and Fairfax and also take out the Tom Bergin’s parking lot.
Rendering by Reed Architectural Group, courtesy of Department of City Planning

Los Angeles landmark Tom Bergin’s is slated to get an eight-story neighbor that would replace the bar and restaurant’s parking lot.

A developer filed plans with the city on Monday to build 800 South Fairfax, a 209-unit apartment complex at the corner of Fairfax and Eighth Street in Miracle Mile.

The majority of the development would rise on a parcel that is occupied now by two apartment buildings. The buildings contain 40 apartments, at least some of which are rent-controlled, city records show.

When developers demolish rent-stabilized units to build new rentals, they’re required by the city to either make the new building rent-controlled or incorporate a certain number of affordable units for low-income tenants.

800 South Fairfax is incorporating affordable units—and it’s using at least some of those units to qualify for the city’s transit-oriented communities program. The program gives developers the ability to add density when building near public transit hubs, if they include affordable units.

A couple of Los Angeles City Councilmembers have called the practice of using the replacement units to qualify for density bonuses “double dipping,” and have introduced legislation to stop it.

800 South Fairfax will ultimately set aside 28 units for tenants with extremely low-incomes.

Designed by the Venice-based Reed Architectural Group, 800 South Fairfax would include an amenity deck, some balcony units, and a small paseo with trees that would run between Tom Bergin’s and the development. Parking for the project would be provided in three levels, two above ground and one below—with a combined 239 spaces.

The house-like structure that holds Tom Bergin’s is sandwiched between two apartment buildings.
Tom Bergin’s is visible between an older building and the new one.
Rendering by Reed Architectural Group, courtesy of Department of City Planning

A walkway with trees between the new building and the older restaurant.
A slim paseo is planned between the existing Tom Bergin’s and the new building.

The owners of both the existing apartment buildings and the Tom Bergin’s property are LLCs, which makes tracing exact ownership difficult. But, in state records, they all list the same manager: Chris Clifford, vice president of the Las Vegas office of Colliers International, a real estate management and investment company.

Public records show they paid $4.6 million for Tom Bergin’s in July and $15 million in April for the two apartment buildings.

The sale of Tom Bergin’s closed one month after the city landmarked the Irish tavern.

The owners were opposed to the landmarking, and, at the time, were in talks to sell the site to a unnamed developer for a mixed-use project. After pleas from the owners, the landmarking exempted Tom Bergin’s’ parking lot, which will now give way to the apartments.

Eater LA reports today that Tom Bergin’s, which was spared from the new development plans, will reopen as soon as this weekend.