Sawtelle gains density with huge Carmel Partners project

Eight-story apartment building would add 136 units to Westside inventory

Carmel Partners CEO Ron Zeff and a rendering of the apartment building in Sawtelle (Carmel Partners, TCA Architects)
Carmel Partners CEO Ron Zeff and a rendering of the apartment building in Sawtelle (Carmel Partners, TCA Architects)

Carmel Partners has filed plans for an eight-story apartment building in Sawtelle, representing another move toward density in the Westside neighborhood.

An agent for Carmel, a San Francisco-based developer that operates in seven of the country’s major markets, including Southern California and New York, filed the plans last week.

The developer envisions a 124,000-square-foot, mostly rectangular building with a total of 136 units, according to planning documents. The apartments would range from 587-square-foot “urban one bedroom” units to 1,034-square-foot two-bedroom units. The building would have 15 units designated for extremely low income tenants, in line with requirements for density bonuses under L.A.’s Transit Oriented Communities incentive program.

The project would also have 93 car parking spaces and 103 bicycle parking spaces. Renderings show a sleek, beige and yellow building with balconies and a curved main entrance. The project, called Bundy Expo, would also have a small amount of ground floor retail space.

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Carmel Partners bought three properties for the assemblage, all single family homes, in late January, according to records. Those deals totaled $7.9 million. The project site is located at multiple addresses on South Amherst Avenue, West Exposition Boulevard and South Bundy Drive, near the Expo/Bundy metro line.

The project will help usher in the ongoing densification of Sawtelle, a neighborhood surrounded by Brentwood, Mid-City and the 10 and 405 freeways that’s known for its pedestrian-friendly streets and large Japanese influence. A section of the neighborhood is frequently referred to as “Little Osaka” or “Sawtelle Japantown.” This spring a local developer filed plans for one 40-unit apartment nearby, and the massive multifamily player Jamison has also been developing a 100-unit complex.

Carmel Partners is also pushing ahead with a 218-unit complex in the Bay Area.

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