The Real Deal Los Angeles

Cimmarusti brothers change plans again for
Chinatown Burger King

Developer filed for plans for a 7-story, 244-unit building
By Cathaleen Chen | June 10, 2016 12:00PM

Ralph and Larry Cimmarusti and the Burger King at 469 North Grand Avenue (credit: Google Earth, Italianhall.org)

Ralph and Larry Cimmarusti and the Burger King at 469 North Grand Avenue (credit: Google Earth, Italianhall.org)

Will they or won’t they?

That’s the question for restaurant property owner Cimmarusti Holdings, who has changed its plans for a corner lot at Grand and Cesar Chavez Avenues three times in the past decade.

Back in 2006, the LLC proposed a 31-story condo tower to replace the Burger King currently occupying the parcel. Nothing happened.


Then, in 2013, Cimmarusti modified the proposal to aim for a seven-story mixed-use building. Still, nothing happened. In February, plans shifted once again to a 22-story residential building. Nada.

And now, the company has filed new plans with City Planning, reverting back to a seven-story blueprint.

The latest documents show that the Chinatown structure would have 244 dwelling units, as well as 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and parking.

Cimmarusti filed the plans under one of its subsidiaries, Lucia Development. Lucia’s portfolio includes both commercial and residential projects in California, including 150 units in Los Angeles.

“It is an ‘A+’ location off the 101 & 110 Freeways, and directly across from a new charter high school, adjacent to 2,000+ luxury apartments, and a block from the Our Lady of the Angeles Cathedral,” Lucia said of the property on its website.

Lucia is also planning a residential complex on the Eastside, close to Griffith Park, on Riverside Drive.

Lucia and the parent company are operated by brothers Larry and Ralph Cimmarusti, who told the L.A. Downtown News in 2006 that they had planned on dedicating the condo tower to the memory of their family. Their grandparents Ralph and Lucia Smaldino immigrated to L.A. from Italy in the early 20th century.

Together, the Cimmarusti brothers own a fleet of Burger Kings across L.A., in addition to chain restaurant Original Roadhouse Grill and others. They have a construction arm called L&R Construction. Cimmarusti nor its sister companies could be immediately reached for comment.