City Century Aims for Olympia to Stand Out in Los Angeles

Mixed-Use Project Would Rise in South Park

Olympia, a more than $1 billion project proposed by the development firm City Century, a subsidiary of China’s Shenglong Group, is in the works in South Park. A draft environmental impact report has just been filed for the project.

The developer is considering the possibility of two scenarios: either a mixed-use development with about 879 residential units or up to 1,367 units, along with a 1,000-key hotel, according to Simon Kaplan, development manager at City Century.

Both options would include 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, Kaplan said. It would be built at 1001 West Olympic Blvd.
A decision will be made within the next eight months regarding which plan the developer will go with, according to Kaplan.

While a number of massive mixed-use projects are going up in South Park, including the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza, from Chinese developer Oceanwide Holdings, and Jamison Services and Hankey Capitol’s $500 million Circa, Kaplan said Olympia is unique in its own way.

“We think the architecture is the biggest differentiator for this project,” Kaplan said.

The project’s three towers are being designed by Chicago-based SOM and Arts District-based P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S and would be 43, 53 and 65 stories tall, featuring stacked terraces on each tower’s facade.

The developer also plans to place an emphasis on making sure the development is beneficial to the surrounding community.

“The thought that went into it, and it’s one of the last opportunities for a project of this magnitude in downtown, so we have to do something special with it for the community and the existing residents and the new residents and be thoughtful about where downtown is headed,” Kaplan said.

Ellen Riotto, executive director of the South Park Business Improvement District, which represents more than 450 businesses, property owners, and trade associations, said the residential housing component would be advantageous for South Park and the entire region, according to Riotto.

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, and the BID has consistently come out and said any housing is good for the market, and market rate will work itself out,” Riotto said.

It would also be ideal if the project included a hotel since “we need as many hotels as we can get downtown,” Ellen said.
She also points out it would come in handy in light of the Los Angeles Convention Center’s expansion plans.

The $500 million plans include adding 90,000 to 100,000 square feet of multi-purpose space, 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of meeting space and a new 180,000- to 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall as well as a $700 million expansion project for the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

Construction could begin in December, according to CoStar research.

The project could take about 48 months to build with a completion date of 2023, according to the City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning. July 3, 2018