Jamison plans another apartment complex in Koreatown

The neighborhood’s preeminent force envisions a seven-story building across the street from another of its properties

Jamison's Garrett Lee and rendering of 730 S. Western (Getty, Linkedin, City of Los Angeles)
Jamison's Garrett Lee and rendering of 730 S. Western (Getty, Linkedin, City of Los Angeles)

Koreatown’s development boom isn’t letting up.

Jamison, a firm that already owns nearly every large office building in the neighborhood and has recently been on a development tear with major residential projects, filed plans to build a seven-story apartment complex that would replace a two-story strip mall.

Garrett Lee, who leads the family run company’s development arm, filed the application earlier this month, and it was scanned into planning department records on Wednesday.

The project site is located in the 700 block of Western Avenue, in a heavily developed corridor in western Koreatown. It’s also located across the street from another relatively new Jamison building — a seven-story apartment complex called the Audrey that opened in late 2019, where a 900-square-foot one bedroom is currently available for $2,950.

The latest project, for now labeled in planning documents as “730 S. Western,” would span 109,000 square feet and include 125 units, as well as nearly 4,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

Jamison is seeking Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) incentives, under the City of L.A. program that allows density and other zoning exemptions for projects located near public transit; in line with TOC requirements the complex would also include 13 units for extremely low income tenants.

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The project’s design matches the contemporary, higher-density apartment projects that have been sprouting throughout Koreatown from Jamison and other developers: Plans show a modern-style white, gray and red building surrounding a second floor courtyard with a pool and firepit, among other amenities.

Jamison bought the property through an LLC in 2019 for $12.6 million, according to property records, and recently received $7.5 million in financing. Before construction begins, it would first demolish the strip mall, which catered largely to Korean customers and where tenants have recently included a shoe repair shop, dentist and dry cleaning business.

The firm, which grew into a commercial real estate behemoth under the leadership of Garrett Lee’s father Dr. David Lee and is currently helmed largely by Garrett’s sister Jaime Lee, has long ranked among Southern California’s largest landlords but has recently also emerged as one of the region’s largest residential developers, with projects in Koreatown, Downtown L.A. and elsewhere.

And it continues building: Just in the last few months Jamison has filed plans to convert Koreatown’s Pierce Life National Building, on Wilshire Boulevard, into 176 apartments and build a 188-unit complex at another Wilshire Boulevard site a mile to the east.

A representative for Jamison did not respond to a request for comment on the Western Avenue project.

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