Several years after finalizing entitlements for a mixed-use project containing 57 live/work lofts, Hillcrest Company has begun its redevelopment of a roughly 100,000-square-foot building in the Arts District.
The father-and-son company, led by Fred and Ryan Afari, acquired the 1921-built building in 2013 for $6.5 million from Yuval Bar-Zemer’s Linear City, records show. Construction began this week, and is expected to be completed within 12 months, Ryan Afari told The Real Deal.
Hillcrest will determine what exact percentage of the property at 1745 E. 7th Street is dedicated to retail, creative office and lofts based on leasing activity over the next few months, he said.
Hillcrest tapped John Zanetos and Andrew Turf of CBRE to lease the office and retail portions, respectively.
Hillcrest plans to make some major changes to the building — the former headquarters and distribution space of the California Walnut Grower’s Association. It will buildout two rooftop decks, expose interior brick, open floorplates, add underground parking and create balconies, Afari said.
The property could be surrounded by new developments, if all planned projects work there way through the city and an increasingly challenging lending climate.
The north side of Hillcrest’s redevelopment faces the lot where AvalonBay is planning to build 475 live/work units and a 1,000-vehicle parking structure. Its frontage on Mill Street is near SunCal’s site, where the developer is planning a massive 1,736-unit project with two hotel towers and a school.
Hillcrest also has a 122-unit ground-up development in the pipeline across the street at 1800 E. 7th Street.
The news that construction commenced was first reported by Curbed.