Lifan Group secures key approval for 29-story Westlake apartment tower

Chinese developer needed density bonus for the 306-unit project

A rendering of Lifan Tower (Credit: the Department of City Planning)
A rendering of Lifan Tower (Credit: the Department of City Planning)

A Chinese developer has secured a density bonus it needed to move forward on a 29-story Westlake project.

The Department of City Planning approved a 35 percent density bonus for Lifan Group’s Lifan Tower. The 306-unit tower planned for 1247 W. 7th Street, at the corner of Witmer Street, would be one of the larger Westlake developments in recent years.

It will include 5,700 square feet of ground floor commercial space and 34 units will be set aside for “very low income” renters.

Nearly half of all units will be one-bedrooms, but there will also be studio, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

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A pool deck is planned for the sixth floor. There will also be a gym, rec rooms, and meetings rooms. MVE + Partners is designing the tower.

Lifan Group, which is primarily a motorcycle and auto manufacturer, purchased the roughly one-acre parcel in early 2016 for $19.1 million through an entity based at Lifan motorcycle dealership in Ontario, Canada. At the time, the property was entitled for a 33-story condo tower with 200 units. It demolished a 21,000-square-foot low-rise office building there shortly after.

Lifan Tower would be one of the larger recent developments in Westlake. The City Council approved a plan earlier this year for a large mixed-use project with 478 units near MacArthur Park. Newport Beach-based PacTen Partners is also looking to build a 140-unit condo tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Lucas Avenue.

Lifan Group is privately owned and one of the largest automakers in China. It delivered 133,000 vehicles in 2017 and has a market capitalization of $870 million valued in Chinese Yuan.