Ventus Group revamps plans for housing near USC

New version called Exposition Point would scrap hotel to build more apartments

Ventus' Scott Galewith rendering of 3900 South Figueroa Street (Ventus Group, Ankrom Moisan Architects)
Ventus' Scott Galewith rendering of 3900 South Figueroa Street (Ventus Group, Ankrom Moisan Architects)

Ventus Group has twice gone back to the drawing board for its block-long student housing development near USC – and now expects a third time to be the charm.

The Irvine-based developer has once again revamped plans for its Exposition Point complex at 3900 South Figueroa Street, across from Exposition Park, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

The overhauled plan would ditch a 252-room hotel approved in June 2020 in favor of more housing on a 4.4-acre site at Figueroa and West 39th streets.

Ventus now proposes building 435 apartments — including 348 units of student housing and 87 units of affordable housing, according to a new environmental study.

The new project would include nearly 23,700 square feet of shops and restaurants — down from 73,000 square feet of stores and eateries and 23,000 square feet of offices approved in 2020.

The Ventus project, in the works since 2016 and once slated to cost $455 million, has been called Exposition Landing, The Fig and Exposition Point. It has shrunk from 620,000 square feet in the original plan to 577,000 square feet.

For this reason, parking has been cut from 900 slots in the original plan to 734 spaces.

One sticking point, apart from former plans to build a 21-story hotel opposed by neighborhood groups, has been a row of century-old apartment buildings lining the east side of the property on Flower Drive.

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Ventus, then-called Spectrum Group, originally planned to relocate eight of the buildings that make up the Flower Drive Historic District, which contain 32 apartments.

Its latest plan calls for preserving two of the buildings at the corner of Flower and 39th Street. A third building would be relocated next to the two buildings. Two others would be moved off-site on Flower Drive to the south of the development site.

It’s unclear what will befall the three remaining historic buildings.

The new Exposition Point project, redesigned by Ankrom Moisan Architects of Portland, Oregon, would keep the contemporary look of the approved plan, while toning down its facades and colors.

Its seven-story buildings would now be clad in beige, gray and powder blue, while adding more open space, an expanded courtyard on Figueroa Street and terrace decks on upper levels of the complex.

Construction of Exposition Point is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year and be completed by the end of 2024, according to the environmental impact report.

— Dana Bartholomew

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Ventus Group Executives Scott Gale and John Booty with the site (Credit: Google Maps)
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