Legendary Development wins approval for 18-story LA office building

Arts District project atop shuttered A+D Museum took seven years to get City Council nod

Legendary Group's Dilip Bhavnani and 411 S. Hewitt Street (Gensler, LinkedIn)
Legendary Group's Dilip Bhavnani and 411 S. Hewitt Street (Gensler, LinkedIn)

Legendary Development has beat back an appeal to win approval for an 18-story office building in Downtown L.A.’s Arts District.

The Los Angeles City Council has denied the appeal in approving the 316,100-square-foot tower at 411 South Hewitt Street, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

The Above project, to be developed by the Pasadena-based firm led by Dilip Bhavnani, revises original plans submitted seven years ago that called for an 11-story building at 4th and Hewitt streets. The project, designed by San Francisco-based Gensler, would incorporate the former A+D Museum, built above the 7,800-square-foot museum.

Plans call for an 18-story building with 308,000 square feet of offices above 8,100 square feet of ground-floor restaurants, plus a 660-car garage.

The 297-foot glass building would have outdoor patios and terrace decks for tenants, as well as public open space off the street.

Its design was inspired by the Arts District’s “utilitarian style,” with a concrete podium that’s meant to look like the surrounding warehouses, though masked with murals.

City Council approval was required to grant a zone change and general plan amendment requested for the project.

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The council denied an appeal filed by SAFER, an affiliate of Laborers International Union of North America Local 270, which argued the environmental study conducted for the project failed to consider potential impacts to air quality, biological resources and greenhouse gas emissions. 

In central Downtown L.A., office vacancy was 26 percent in December, according to Cushman & Wakefield, following a broad shift to hybrid and remote work. Office vacancy in non-central Downtown was 33 percent. 

Nonetheless, the Arts District has been attractive to tech and media firms such as Spotify, Honey and Warner Music Group. The district was transformed more than a decade ago from derelict warehouses to a magnet for creative office development.

Legendary Development, sometimes doing business as Legendary Group, joined forces with Brookfield Residential to develop The Aliso,a $215-million, 472-unit mixed-use project in the Arts District.

Other large projects in the neighborhood include the 35-story Alloy development now rising at 520 Mateo Street, and a proposed project from Onni Group, according to Urbanize.

— Dana Bartholomew

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