Crescent Heights’ apartment highrise would preserve historic facade

Nearly 300 units would be grafted onto the backside of Koreatown building from 1939

Crescent Heights' Russell Galbut and a rendering of 3100 Wilshire Boulevard
Crescent Heights' Russell Galbut and a rendering of 3100 Wilshire Boulevard (Crescent Heights)

Crescent Heights aims to plant a 34-story apartment highrise atop a historic retail building in Koreatown.

The Miami-based developer has filed plans to redevelop a 39,000-square-foot office building by adding a 297-unit tower at 3100 Wilshire Boulevard, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

Plans call for preserving much of the two-story building, built in 1939 on three-quarters of an acre at Wilshire and South Westmoreland Avenue. It’s next to the historic Bullocks Wilshire, now Southwestern Law School.

Crescent Heights wants to preserve its facade and angled roof, plus nearly two thirds of its interior, while razing the back portion and an adjoining parking lot.

A rectangular glass tower, designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture of Chicago, would soar 393 feet from the rear of the property with studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It would include balconies at either end and a rooftop deck.

A parking garage of six underground levels and seven above-grade stories would serve 410 cars.

The rest of the 84-year-old building would be turned into 7,100 square feet of shops and restaurants, plus a leasing office and a lobby.

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Crescent Heights wants to employ the city’s Transit Oriented Communities incentives to allow a bigger building than zoning rules allow in exchange for 33 affordable units set aside for extremely low-income households.

The World War II-era commercial building, now slated for adaptive re-use, in turn replaced a mansion built in 1908 by British native Reuben Shettler, inventor of the automotive friction clutch.

The proposed tower is the latest in a recent series of highrise buildings in the works for the blocks surrounding Wilshire between Lafayette Park and Wilshire/Vermont Station, according to Urbanize.

Koreatown-based Jamison Services plans two podium-type apartment complexes along the same stretch of Wilshire, while Hankey Capital and Jamison Services already built a 23-story highrise with 644 apartments at 2900 Wilshire.

Holland Partner Group is now building a 38-story highrise with 375 units at 696 South New Hampshire Avenue, near Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.

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— Dana Bartholomew