Developers tout approvals for $1.6B Angels Landing

Plan for project on Bunker Hill in DTLA calls for luxury hotels, condos, apartments and shops

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 29, 2022 10:46 AM
Victor MacFarlane and R. Donahue Peebles with renderings for Angels Landing at Fourth and Hill streets in Los Angeles (McFarlane Partners, Wikipedia, Handel Architects)

Los Angeles city planners have approved Angels Landing, a $1.6-billion hotel-retail-housing complex to rise on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles.

Angels Landing Partners, a joint venture between Victor MacFarlane and Don Peebles, received entitlements to build a 63-story skyscraper and a 42-story highrise on what was formerly Angel Knoll Park, the Los Angeles Times and Daily News reported.

The project at Fourth and Hill streets will be the third-tallest in Los Angeles and the tallest in the U.S. developed by Black developers.

The environmental approvals, affordable housing commitments and deals cut with labor leaders could allow the hotel, apartment, condominium and retail complex to be finished in time for the 2028 Olympics.

“This is a bet on downtown Los Angeles,” said Peebles, chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, based in Miami.

Angels Landing would be built on a steep hillside next to the historic Angels Flight railway, which has ferried passengers up and down Bunker Hill since 1901.

The towers, originally planned as an 88-story skyscraper and a 24-story high-rise, were designed by New York-based Handel Architects, which drew up the National September 11 Memorial. 

Each gold-and-silver glass covered building will include a luxury hotel. While operators have not been named yet, developers envision a four-star inn with 255 guest rooms and a five-star hotel with 260 rooms.

And each tower will include 180 deluxe condominiums, set at “aspirational” prices, said MacFarlane, president and CEO of MacFarlane Partners, based in San Francisco. They’ll reflect the enormous cost of building on a sharp slope and excavating for underground parking.

“The gradations require us to remove five stories of dirt,” MacFarlane said. “That’s very expensive.”

The project will be rounded out with 252 apartments, of which 13 will be set aside as affordable for low- to moderate-income tenants. Another 65 affordable units will be subsidized elsewhere.

Angels Landing would include a multilevel pedestrian plaza open to the public, with a privately managed park. The site is near Pershing Square Station in an area serviced by the Metro B (Red) and D (Purple) lines.

The developers said at least 30 percent of the construction work will be awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses, which they valued at more than $480 million. Union labor will be employed to build the project; the hotel employees are expected to be union members.

More than 8,300 temporary jobs will be created during construction. Upon completion, 800 people will be employed at Angels Landing, mostly in the hotels.

To complete the project, Angels Landing Partners will need to buy the property from successor of the city Community Redevelopment Agency. They will also apply for public subsidies, including tax-exempt bond financing, hotel development incentive agreements and relief from paying some transient occupancy or “bed” taxes to the city.
“That makes the project feasible,” Peebles said.

While the Downtown office market remains soft, the demand for housing is strong, and the hotel market has expanded. The Grand, a $1-billion mixed-use complex designed by Frank Gehry across from Walt Disney Concert Hall, is set to open this year with new apartments, a Hilton hotel, restaurants and shops.

[Los Angeles Times, Daily News] – Dana Bartholomew





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