Monday, August 31 2015

LOS ANGELES RE-IMAGINED: THE CAMPUS CHAPTER

Main Graphic 1 V3_LRMayor’s Call for Housing

At the Los Angeles Business Council’s 2014 Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs Summit, Mayor Eric Garcetti challenged the City to build 100,000 new housing units and outlined new strategies to achieve this ambitious goal in an effort to address both population expansion and the increasing housing shortage. With LA County’s population already totaling over 10M people (1/3 of the entire state), the Mayor’s call-to-action is all the more significant as projections estimate an increase of about 634,000 new residents by 2021.

L.A.’s story is one of successive waves of growth spread out over its distinctively vast, open landscape. As we look to the next wave of urban development, it’s clear that significant growth in transportation infrastructure, evolving mobility plans, live/work balance and sustainability are all factors reshaping the ways in which we will inhabit this City.

Campus Projects

This month, KFA spotlights three campus projects currently in design that provide their own uniquely integrated solutions to the Mayor’s request for additional housing. These new developments are reimagining density by offering occupants more than just housing. By taking advantage of urban centers or creating their own, these pedestrian-friendly sites paint an emerging portrait of L.A.

LGBT Center: Urban Mosaic Campus

Welcoming a remarkable 45,000 client visits per month, the Los Angeles LGBT Center is building a new campus in Hollywood that will provide housing and supportive services to the especially vulnerable LGBT community. The Center is partnering with Thomas Safran & Associates to provide 140 housing units for seniors and young adults and 100 beds for homeless youth, creating the first ground up LGBT center in the country. This unique project, centered on providing a holistic approach to homelessness with a combination of housing and support services, explore a concept of community that extends beyond a geographical definition and endeavors to become a prototype for other cause-driven organizations throughout the U.S.

Designed by Leong Leong Architecture with KFA as executive architect, The LGBT Center will weave together multiple sites over a city block into a comprehensive campus that will serve as a focal point for the LGBT Center’s efforts in Los Angeles, and a model for centers throughout the country. Expanding upon the existing arts and cultural Village at Ed Gould Plaza, the new development will include multiple educational and multi-generational transitional and permanent housing programs along with healthcare, family services, and administrative spaces and neighborhood retail.

MGA Campus: Creating a There there?

Call it the influence of the Millennials, or their parents, the baby boomers, the last decade has seen an increasing demand for work­ life balance. Some have even redefined this as ‘work-life integration’ – insisting on flexible programs and culture in the workplace. Coupled with this are the congruent trends by renters for environmental sustainability, increased transit options, and a focus on a localized, walk-able lifestyle. Many developers have picked up on this trend by offering amenity-rich living; and spaces such as dog runs, gyms and roof decks have become a staple for new projects.

When faced with a 24 acre underutilized site of a former LA Times printing plant, the owner of MGA Entertainment looked to the future development potential in the Valley, creating a vision for the MGA Campus by doing away with acres of surface parking and imagining in its place an interwoven campus where the new MGA headquarters and 660 residential units would share over 290,000 SF of open space. Designed with a variety of spaces throughout the site that promote wellness, community and gathering, the pedestrian experience and on-site amenities are anticipated to attract and keep innovative industry talent, while offering a unique and vibrant place to draw local residents.

Bringing higher density to the right location in the Valley, the MGA campus will create a thriving community where acres of surface parking once reined king.

Glendale – Adding to an already thriving urban site

201 Lexington follows a more traditional urban infill approach to development – but on a much bigger scale. Like the MGA Campus project, 201 Lexington promotes a “live-where-you-work” philosophy, acknowledging that shorter commutes are associated with a higher degree of happiness. However, instead of creating a destination, the project uses the City as its amenity, taking advantage of an already flourishing neighborhood and proximity to major employment centers.

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Glendale’s Orange-Central district, Century West Partner’s 201 Lexington development embeds itself into the already existing commercial fabric of the neighborhood, adding 494 units and over 8,000 SF of retail to the area, and offering its residents a pedestrian’s dream-a plethora of retail and dining experiences, all within walking distance.