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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Olympia’s digital signage and balconies may get the axe at LA City Council

City says balconies facing 110 freeway are unhealthy and the project needs affordable housing
February 21, 2019 10:00AM

Shenglong Group Chairman Yi Lin, a rendering of Olympia and City Hall (Credit: Wikipedia)

City Century will likely be forced to tweak its three-tower Olympia project in Downtown Los Angeles if it wants approval from the City of L.A.

The L.A. City Planning Commission approved the $1 billion project last week but is asking the City Council to require considerable changes to the project at 1001 W. Olympic Boulevard. The commission wants the Shenglong Group affiliate to axe the large digital ribbon signage facing the 110 freeway and make balconies facing the freeway decorative only, according to Curbed.

Commissioners said functional balconies facing the 110 freeway were unhealthy. Commissioner David Ambroz said there was a “cancer” of signage in the city and that the piecemeal approval of large digital signs hasn’t allowed the city to take into consideration their collective effect on the Downtown L.A. streetscape.

Three other projects near L.A. Live have large digital signs — the completed Circa project and the under-development Fig + Pico and Oceanwide Plaza projects, the latter of which is currently stalled.

The commission also took issue that none of the 879 residential units at Olympia are affordable, although City Century is paying $18 million into an affordable housing fund. The project now goes to the City Council for consideration.

As currently configured, the Olympia project includes three towers of between 43 and 65 stories above a four-story podium.

Along with residential units, Olympia includes a 1,000-key hotel, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and 163,000 square feet of open space and amenities. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch