Onni Group clears major hurdle in plan to redevelop Times Mirror Square

A City Council committee rejected an appeal by preservationists to save one of the buildings, which Onni wants to demolish in its mixed-use megaproject

Nov.November 28, 2018 12:00 PM
Onni Group President Rossano DeCotiis and the Art Deco portion of Times Mirror Square that a city committee approved for Historic-Cultural Monument status

Onni Group’s massive plan for the redevelopment of a Downtown complex that includes the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Times has taken a major step forward.

A City Council committee rejected an appeal by preservationists to designate all of the 750,000-square-foot Times Mirror Square property as a Historic-Cultural Monument. That would include a mid-century office building that the Canadian firm wants to demolish to build a pair of high-rise residential towers, according to Urbanize.

Instead, the Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee voted to designate only two older structures dating from the 1930s and ’40s as cultural monuments, both of which Onni already has said it will maintain and incorporate into the development. The company intends to refurbish those buildings to create 285,000 square feet of office space and ground floor retail.

The L.A. Times had its offices at Times Mirror Square from 1935 until earlier this year, when new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong moved the newspaper to El Segundo. Onni purchased the property in 2016.

The two buildings Onni will replace are a parking garage and an office building that was added to the site in the 1970s, which was designed by celebrated architect William Pereira. Onni’s planned towers are being designed by Los Angeles-based AC Martin artchitects, to have 1,127 residential units.

Onni’s plans were challenged in September after the city Cultural Heritage Commission recommended the entire complex be designated a Historic-Cultural Monument because of the Periera structure’s significance to history of the L.A. Times and the city.

The full City Council will now vote on the measure, and usually sides with committee decisions. Onni also needs the Council to endorse its redevelopment plan for it to move forward. [Urbanize]Dennis Lynch 

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