OC developer eyes Uptown Whittier for 52-unit apartment complex

Four-story complex clears design hurdle, but size concerns planning officials

Rendering of project at 12826 Philadelphia Street (City of Whittier, iStock)
Rendering of project at 12826 Philadelphia Street (City of Whittier, iStock)

An Orange County developer has filed plans to build a four-story, 52-unit apartment complex in Downtown Whittier.

MW Investment Group, based in Laguna Beach, has won approval from a Whittier design board to build the project at 12826 Philadelphia St., at Comstock Avenue, the Whittier Daily News reported.

It would replace a shuttered medical office building next to the Extra Space Storage, former home of the Whittier Daily News.

The four-story complex, depicted in a rendering a beige-and-brown building with large bay windows and yellow accents, would stretch a half block down Philadelphia Street

The developer is asking for relief from parking rules that would reduce the required number from 97 spaces to 85. MW Investment Group’s plan calls for 90 parking slots.

The project is expected to go before the city’s Planning Commission in July. Patricia O’Toole, chair of the commission, raised concerns about its hefty footprint and 64-foot height, among the tallest on the street.

“I’m just concerned––the design is well thought out, but basically it will be one of the largest buildings there,” O’Toole said. “To me, it’s very large,”

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Matthew Waken, managing member for MW Investment, said the project conforms with city zoning.

“There’s a range of density desired for the site and to achieve that we need to do a four-story building,” Waken said. “That’s what we’ve done.”

“Working with the specific plan requires a four-story building,” he said. “You can imagine in the future when multiple projects happen in this area to create the wonderful town center you want. It will eventually fit in.”

MW Investment Group, founded in 2009, has built 1,200 residential units with a combined value of $500 million, according to its website.

Early this year, the urban infill housing developer paid $26.5 million at auction for a 12.4-acre federal office complex in Los Alamitos in north Orange County.

[Whittier Daily News] – Dana Bartholomew

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