The Bloc could add 53-story tower to DTLA skyline

Shopping center to build 466 apartments above garage

National Real Estate Advisors ceo Jeffrey Kanne with renderings of the residential tower The Bloc at 700 S. Flower St in Los Angeles (Shimahara, National Real Estate Advisors)
National Real Estate Advisors ceo Jeffrey Kanne with renderings of the residential tower The Bloc at 700 S. Flower St in Los Angeles (Shimahara, National Real Estate Advisors)

A national developer has moved ahead with plans to build a 466-unit apartment tower at The Bloc, an open-air mall in Downtown Los Angeles.

National Real Estate Advisors, based in Washington D.C., will present to the city’s parks commission its proposal for a 53-story highrise at 700 South Flower Street in the Financial District, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

The Board of Recreation and Parks Commission, which will review the project on Aug. 4, will likely compel the developer to either dedicate land for public open space or pay a fee to support local parks.

National’s latest plans call for a 41-story apartment or condominium tower to be built atop an existing 12-story parking garage, while adding two new parking levels.

The 495,000-square-foot tower, designed by Handel Architects, will include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with parking for 441 cars.

The rounded highrise with white layered balconies would be topped by a landscaped garden wrapped by walls of glass, according to renderings.

The roof of the garage below would be redeveloped into a landscaped terraced patio deck, designed by Relm, with a swimming pool, fitness center and lawns.

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The developer also seeks to add digital signs around The Bloc garage, and atop the upper floors of current buildings.

The project at 7th and Flower streets would further transform a 49-year-old shopping mall.

Originally known as Broadway Plaza, it was built in 1973 around a now-defunct Broadway department store. The mall became Macy’s Plaza in 1996, anchored by the New York-based retailer.

An affiliate of National Real Estate Advisors bought the Plaza in 2013 for $50 million. 

The Ratkovich Co., a Downtown-based developer known for adaptive re-use, then conducted a $180 million renovation, turning the enclosed mall into an open-air shopping plaza linked to the 7th Street/Metro Center light-rail station.

The Bloc, as it’s known today, includes a flagship Macy’s, plus stores, restaurants and services from from Uniqlo to LA Fitness, from Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to a UCLA Health clinic, plus a Sheraton Grand Los Angeles hotel.

– Dana Bartholomew

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