John Safi plans 264-unit project in Westlake

Active LA developer has been expanding the project over last few years

West 8th Avenue on South Park View Street (Credit: Google Maps)
West 8th Avenue on South Park View Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Developer John Safi wants to build a 264-unit mixed-use complex in Westlake, and is seeking incentives through the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program.

Safi filed updated plans Thursday through the entity Pacific Parkview LP, records show. The project has been a few years in the making and is near a couple of other residential properties he is developing.

The complex would rise seven stories on a series of lots extending toward MacArthur Park, from the corner of West 8th Avenue on South Park View Street. The site includes a large vacant lot and a church building.

The units are planned as a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedrooms with 27 reserved for low-income renters, Safi said. There would be around 6,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

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Safi — who controls investment firms Pacific Apartment Corp. and Safco Capital — started working on a smaller version of the project several years ago, and has expanded the scope of the project twice, he said. That included acquiring neighboring properties for a larger development and incorporating TOC entitlements.

The city’s TOC program allows developers to boost the size of their project in exchange for reserving a percentage of units for affordable housing. Popular TOC entitlements include waiving setback restrictions and reducing open space requirements.

It’s not the first time Safi has redrawn plans to pursue TOC entitlements — in February 2019 the developer scrapped plans for a 44-unit development a few blocks away on South Coronado Street to pursue a 77-unit project. Safi is also working on a 130-unit project on nearby South Burlington Avenue.

Safco made a pair of large retail investments last March — a leaseback deal in West Hollywood with the owner of Gelson’s Market and the $29.5 million purchase of a South Gate retail complex.