Jamison Files More Office-to-Resi Conversions in Los Angeles

Developments would flip decades-old offices into 141 units near Koreatown, and 210 units near Beverly Hills

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Jamison Services has been turning old offices into multifamily housing in Los Angeles for years — well before the pandemic’s gut punch to in-person work — and now the firm has added two more flips to its pipeline.

The prominent landlord and developer filed plans to convert a 17-story, 144,000-square-foot office built in 1963 near Beverly Hills into an apartment property with 210 units, Urbanize reported. Next Architecture designed the proposed conversion at 6380 Wilshire Boulevard, between Crescent Heights and San Vicente boulevards, with 27,000 square feet of amenities, including a theater, coworking space, a fitness center, a yoga studio, a golf simulator, a sky lounge, and a rooftop pool deck.

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That plan was filed a few weeks after Jamison submitted plans to flip a 1970s office with 95,000 square feet between Koreatown and Westlake into 141 units. Corbel Architects designed the multifamily conversion at 520 South La Fayette Park Place, adjacent to La Fayette Park.

As the city deals with both a crushing housing crisis and record-high office vacancies, officials are working to expand adaptive reuse rules to enable conversions of empty commercial buildings into housing. Currently, only buildings built before July 1974 are eligible for the program, but a draft released last week would expand the rule to include all buildings completed before 2008, as well as buildings between 5 and 15 years old with zoning approval. Any parking garage that is at least 5 years old would also be eligible.

The city’s planning department estimates L.A. has about 44 million square feet of unused office space. Separately, retail vacancy remains 3 million square feet above where it was before the pandemic, with an estimated 17.5 million square feet of empty space.

State lawmakers are also working on legislation to make such conversions faster and less expensive. State Assemblyman Matt Haney introduced the Office to Housing Conversion Act earlier this year to “stop local governments from slowing down or killing office-to-housing conversions by making their approval automatic and imposing strict time limits on all building permits.” The proposal would also establish a fund to provide grants to multifamily conversions.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com