Seattle Developer Plans 151 Micro-Units in DTLA Opportunity Zone

Construction would begin in 2021 near the Los Angeles Convention Center

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New multifamily development will continue to rise in Downtown Los Angeles after Housing Diversity Corporation submitted plans on Monday to build 151 micro-units near the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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The Seattle-based firm, founded by Brad Padden, develops micro-housing communities in a partnership with OZ Navigator, which is an opportunity zone fund.

The eight-story property will include 57,000 square feet at 1317 South Grand Avenue, at the intersection of West Pico Boulevard in the South Park neighborhood. The site, which is adjacent to Dignity Health California Hospital and is located in a federally designated opportunity zone, traded hands in October for $5.4 million, records show. 

Construction is expected to begin in 2021, with lease-up in 2022. The micro-apartments will average 325 square feet, and the property will contain more than 10,000 square feet of common areas, including a rooftop deck and more than 4,000 square feet of work and recreation space. The units are described as “workforce housing” and will have market-rate rents, according to OZ Navigator’s website.

The development will be constructed by L.A.-based STS Construction Services, which is also a partner on the project. It will rise across from the OLiVE DTLA Apartments and the WREN Apartments, which were both completed in 2017.

The project is designed by L.A.-based architecture firm Steinberg Hart, which is behind other residential communities like Vision on Wilshire, 3033 Wilshire Tower, and AMP Lofts

Residential development in Downtown L.A. has been expanding for years, and it has persisted through a new wave in the South Park area near the Convention Center, which is set for a $1.2-billion renovation. Last week, Greenland USA completed its massive Metropolis development with more than 1,500 residential units a few blocks north from Housing Diversity’s project.

More major development projects are on the way in South Park. Mack Urban and AECOM Capital are working on two tall towers less than a mile from Housing Diversity Corp.’s new project at 11th and South Olive Streets that will add more than 1,200 units. City Century is also planning a project along Grand Avenue that would add up to 1,000 hotel rooms and more than 850 residential units.

The opportunity zone program, which allows investors to put capital gains back into real estate projects, comes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It has encouraged more development in places like Downtown L.A., West Adams and other lower-income areas in Southern California.