Hankey and Jamison plan 644-unit tower on border of Koreatown and Westlake

W Scott Dobbins
W. Scott Dobbins and the development site at 2900-2949 Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown

Mid-Wilshire lender and investment firm Hankey Investment Co. and its frequent development partner Jamison Services are planning a 31-story high-rise apartment building on the border of Koreatown and Westlake at 2908 Wilshire Boulevard, W. Scott Dobbins, president of Hankey, told The Real Deal.

The proposed development would have 644 apartments and 13,200 square feet of ground-level commercial space. There will be studios and townhouse units as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, Dobbins said. The tower is being designed by Large Architecture, the L.A. firm that designed Related California’s Emerson project.

Hankey has a 51 percent stake in the development and Jamison has the remaining 49 percent, Dobbins said. Garrett Lee, the son of Jamison’s founder Dr. Lee,  is in charge of the entitlement process.

“We’re looking forward to bringing another high rise to Koreatown, with unblockable views of Downtown L.A.,” Dobbins said. “Dr. Lee and his team are driving the development process, so they deserve a lot of credit in bringing this project forward.”

The development is planned on a parcel of land Hankey purchased in 2009 for $7 million, according to CoStar Group. The property was sold in a public auction and Hankey was the foreclosing beneficiary. It was a lender to the previous owner, David Chang of Right Hero Industries USA.

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The 2.3-acre site — which sits between Wilshire Boulevard, Hoover Street and Sunset Place — is currently home to two commercial buildings and a parking lot.

Ktown has become attractive in recent years to developers looking to build dense projects. Dobbins mentioned the Vermont, a luxury apartment high-rise in Koreatown that TruAmerica sold to Capri Capital Partners for $283 million in 2014, as somewhat of a turning point. It was a sign that investors saw the neighborhood, which suffered after the L.A. riots, as viable for luxury development.

The site at 2908 Wilshire isn’t Hankey’s only Ktown project. The firm obtained permits late last year to build a mixed-use residential tower at 3670 Wilshire Boulevard with partner CityView on land Hankey purchased in 2011 for $21 million.

For its part, Jamison has several office-to-residential conversions planned at buildings it owns in Ktown, where it has long been the dominant office landlord. Its recent projects represent its shift in focus toward residential and toward development. For many years, Jamison only bought and sold office buildings without being involved in ground-up projects.

Jamison is also partnered with Hankey on a massive project in Downtown Los Angeles, the $500 million Circa development under construction at 1200 South Figueroa Street. The project is a joint venture of Jamison, Hankey, Falcon California Investments and Highlands Capital.