Promenade West is a 135 unit 6-story midrise condo building in the Bunker Hill neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles. Built in 1982 by Goldrich & Kest and Shapell Industries at an original cost of $26M, Promenade West was promoted as business condos targeted to commuters from the suburbs who worked downtown. Some of the original advertising campaign slogans were “Make Downtown your Hometown” and the poignant “Suburbia. The good life?” with a picture of bumper to bumper traffic on to 101.
Promenade West offers a “Hotel like” experience with a full-time front desk and cleaning staff and cushy luxury services.
The Promenade (121 S Hope St) across the alley from Promenade West, is its sister building and was built by the same developers two years earlier. The two buildings are remarkably similar and can be used interchangeably for comparable sales purposes.
During the mid-1980’s when Promenade West condos were finished the US Economy was going through a downturn. Sales were slow, and it took 9 years in total to sell out. During that time, the city of LA gave the developer permission to use some of the condos for business use to spur sluggish sales. Some of those condos are still used for business purposes such as law offices, CPA firm, or small businesses. The HOA’s policy has been to sunset the business use over time. Once the businesses are converted to residential they cannot be converted back. There are only a handful of condos used for business purposes left.
One of Promenade West’s more notable residents in Opera impresario Placido Domingo who owns a few condos there. It’s a convenient place for him to stay when he is performing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. If it’s good enough for Placido Domingo- then it’s good enough for me.
The closest shops are in Promenade Plaza at the corner of W 1st St and Hope St. Promenade Plaza offers a small-scale retail experience, with a Bar, restaurant, yoga spot and a coffee shop. The Café puts on a weekly Jazz Night every Saturday. In addition, there is a small grocery store, Bunker Hill Market, in bunker hill Tower.
With this location, there is no shortage of sophisticated cultural entertainment from the High Arts. Balet, Opera, Art, Symphony, are all within five minutes. The Bunker Hill neighborhood has the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall (a piece of artwork in itself!), The Broad Museum, and MOCA, Colburn School of Music. No other location in LA has this concentration of classical entertainment.
I am personally a big fan of the redo of Grand Park- one of my favorite fountains in the city is there. China town for art galleries, great street food, and Chinese new year celebrations, Little Toyko, and Dodger stadium are also local attractions.
With Promenade West’s close proximity to City Hall and Hall of Justice means that you are close to many of the movers and shakers who run the city.
Go a little bit farther down the road and there is the Grand Central Market, and some neighborhood restaurants (Mendocino Farms (their very first location!), Otium, Vespoid.)
Floorplans are both Townhouse and single story. The condos on the lower floors, the first floor and 2nd floor, are townhouses and the condos on the 3-6th floors are single level. There is a mix of 1BR, 2BR, and 3BR floorplans with SQFT ranging from 1,000 to 1,800. The majority of the floor plans are 2 bedrooms.
Sqft 1000 sqft
Sqft 1200 – 1450
1500 sqft 1800sqft
One of the unique features of Promenade West is that each condo has an ample balcony with greenhouse arch glass. This lets in a ton of natural light to the living rooms and is great if you have a green thumb for growing all sorts of varieties of houseplants, like succulents, ferns, orchids, and flowers.
The building allows Hardwood floors throughout, so you can do your whole unit in hardwood if you like.
The Kitchens are right off the front entrance, well sized, most have been completely remodeled, and they open to the living room which is combined with dining room for a very large room. The kitchen has electric stoves. Master bedrooms have thier own master bath and walk-in closet. Bedrooms are split between living room. Central HVAC inside.
Lobby w/ 24-Hour Front desk
Olympic Size Pool, with Spa, and BBQ
Conference room (up the stairs) + Rec Room
Parking & Laundry
Laundry is community Laundry. There is a laundry room on each floor in each building with 2 washers and 2 dryers. Guest Parking?
Eastern Columbia Lofts
849 S Broadway Los Angeles CA 90014
Eastern Columbia Lofts is a Historic High-rise in the financial district of Downtown. Built in 1930, Eastern Columbia has a rich history. If you dig Eastern Columbia lofts you might also want to check out nearby Historic Highrise Rowen Lofts.
Eastern Columbia is easy to spot- with its bright jewel tone Turquoise and gold leaf terra cotta exterior. Talk about Opulent! Eastern Columbia is one of the finest Art Deco buildings in all of Los Angeles, and the only one that you can own as private residences.
The high-rise art deco tower is 13 stories tall, providing gratifying views of the downtown skyline from inside and from the rooftop deck and pool area. The building was converted to Condos in 2006 by Kor Group. There are 147 condos total. Kilfer Fleming was the architect for the project and Kelly Wearstler did the interior designing. $80 million dollars was spent modernizing and upgrading the building. The renovations restored original elements and infused them with modern amenities. I think the developer did a good job of harmonizing the renovations with the overall spirit of the building.
Today, Eastern Columbia lofts dazzles anew and offers owners a unique downtown living experience.
Eastern Columbia lofts is located at the corner of Broadway and W 9th St. It’s on Broadway. When Eastern Columbia lofts opened, buyers came for the building, but now the neighborhood is becoming the selling point.
Downtown’s Broadway has had its ups and downs.
7th and Broadway 1920
7th & Broadway 1928
In the 1920s and 30s, Broadway was in its halcyon days. You didn’t see horse drawn carriages anymore, the traffic had mechanized. Pedestrians, motorcars and electric streetcar shuffled passed each other between gridlocks. The Broadway theater district was the entertainment center of the city. There were twelve grandiose theaters on Broadway between 3rd street and Olympic boulevard:
Million Dollar Theater – 307 S Broadway (open)
The Roxie (closed) 518 S Broadway
Cameo (closed) 528 S Broadway
Arcade (closed) 534 S Broadway
Los Angeles Theater(open) 615 S Broadway
Palace Theater (open) 630 S Broadway
State Theater (closed) 703 S Broadway
Globe Theater (open) 744 S Broadway
Tower Theater (open) 802 S Broadway
Rialto Theater (urban outfiiter) 812 S Broadway
Orpheum Theater (open) 842 S Broadway
United Artist Theater (open ACE HOTEL) 929 S Broadway
These theaters attracted millions of visitors each year. Like its new York city namesake, LA’s Broadway was jumping with vaudeville acts, plays, musical performances and later black and white movie screenings.
However during the great depression Broadway fell on hard times. Downtown Los Angeles went into a steady decline and by the 1950’s the city had moved West. Century City and West Los Angeles in the 1960’s took many businesses away from downtown’s business district. Westwood Village and the Beverly Center attracted shoppers away from Downtown. Chinese Grauman Theater and Hollywood took away traffic from the theaters.
7th and Broadway 1956
7th and Broadway 1958
In addition there was a real smog problem in Los Angeles from 1960 -1980 that was especially bad downtown. By the 1980’s beleaguered and blighted Broadway was downright dangerous and scary. The once beautiful theaters were either closed, demolished, or converted to other uses like flea markets, discotechs or churches.
Picture taken in front of the State Theater, 703 S Broadway
In the past 10 years downtown has made a real comeback. But the dream of making it big on Broadway has remained elusive. This is somewhat on an enigma when the surrounding areas on Spring and Main in Downtown have improved much faster.
The City Council passed the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, reinvesting $40M into Broadway. But if you walk on Broadway today, you will see that many buildings are boarded up, have broken windows, and graphitti still remains. The street level vendors are low income electronics, clothing, and jewelry stores. In an La Times article interviewing one of the local small business owners on broadway about the recent changes, he remarked that he thinks the changes are good, however the new crowd that’s moving in probably doesn’t want his business.
There are rumors floating around that a streetcar will return to broadway, but I don’t expect to see one anytime soon, because the cost estimate to build one is around $350M.
The biggest story is the neighborhood is the Ace Hotel that opened in 2014. It took over the old United Artists theater. This hipster hotspot is making Broadway feel young and cool again! They restored the 1,600 seat theater, which now has regular performances, and have a rooftop pool and tasty restaurant.
The Orpheum theater underwent a $3.5M renovation in 2001 and now has regular shows of things you’d actually want to see. The lineup is totally eclectic so it will always keep you guessing who might play there next. I love the Neon Billboard on it’s roof. It’s right across the street from Eastern Columbia so you get a very good view of this attractive building.
Urban Outfitters moved into the old Rialto theater. They totally gutted the inside so the walls are exposed brick, and the ceilings are exposed wood rafters. The lifestyle brand has a very hip clientele and has a reputation along with the ace hotel for being a Pioneer, opening up stores in edgy up and coming neighborhoods. UO sells records, clothing, and shoes.
The long awaited reopening of a downtown classic, Clifton’s, finally happened in 2015. The new owner spent $10M on renovations and it took him 5 years to finish. Clifton’s is not your normal restaurant- it has a giant faux redwood tree INSIDE and a waterfall. It’s a must see for anyone spending the day Downtown. Grab something from the deli counter!
Opened 2015 at Grand and 8th. Property values always go up when whole foods moves in. Now you’ve got another grocery shopping choice in addition to 7th and Fig
Yes Broadway still has some rough edges, but change is happening. Some day all the old theaters will be reopened and Broadway will be back.
The Vertical Lines typical of Art Deco make Eastern Columbia appear taller
close up of beautifully patina copper spandrels
Mr. Sieroty wanted to make a statement with Eastern Columbia and he certainly did. This project was the crown jewel in his 29 store department chain, and the culmination of an entire career. Eastern Columbia opened in 1930, when Mr Sieroty was 54. He passed away just seven years later in 1937.
Sieroty hired local architect Claud Beelman to design his new flagship store. Beelman might at first glance seem to be a strange choice, because Beelman’s previous projects were all Beaux Arts commercial buildings (Barker Bros. Building, Roosevelt Building, Elks Lodge, Pershing Square Building). By the early 1930’s downtown was getting overrun by Beaux Art buildings and they were all starting to blend together in a muted putty symphony of stone. I think Beelman was just as sick of Beaux Arts as Sieroty was. Beelman had already started experimenting with Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
Eastern Columbia Lofts has an “East Coast” kind of vibe. In 1929, Sieroty sent Beelman on a field trip to the east coast to search for ideas. Beelman traveled to New York, Boston, Detroit and other Eastern cities to come up with ideas for a new distinctive building. I have no evidence that Beelman visited Radiator Building (1924) in New York by Raymond Hood, but I can see a strong resemblance with Eastern Columbia.
Radiator Building NY
Beelman designed a handful of other art deco buildings during this time. The Garfield Building (1928), the Jewelry Center (1931) and 9th & Broadway (1930). Eastern Columbia is his finest Art Deco design.
Eastern Columbia Lofts is a personal statement from Mr Sieroty. Mr. Sieroty was a shrewd business man, and was constantly thinking of new ways to promote his brands: Eastern Outfitting Company (Furniture Sales) & Columbia Outfitting company (Clothing Sales). I think he understood that building a store that was bold and daring would attract customers- at the time there was local competition from bigger brand-name’s like May Co., Desmonds, and Bullocks.
The most noticeable feature of Eastern Columbia is its brilliant and colorful Turquoise and Gold facade. Sieroty had guts to approve this bold color. It must have caused quite a stir when it finished. Eastern Columbia is frequently photographed and is one of the most adored buildings in Los Angeles.
One of my favorite features of Eastern Columbia is the two story arcade at the entrance. Adolph Sieroty name is proudly placed on the lintel above the doorway. He was proud of this building. The Golden Sunburst, zigzags, and chevrons at the entry give me the feeling that I am entering some sort of temple whenever I go in.
Eastern Clock Company, Adolph is young man on Far Right
Sieroty’s retail empire had humble beginnings. It started from a single Clock Shop on Spring Street in 1892 called ‘the Eastern Clock Company”. One of the most striking features of Eastern Columbia design is the Clock Tower. Sieroty pays homage to his first clock shop with the Clock Tower on top of Eastern Columbia.
Tower Theater 1927
Sieroty may have taken notice of the clock tower from Tower Theater (1927) just up the street, which was completed 3 years earlier. However, Sierotys Clock is on a completely different level, literally. Some wonder how Sieroty pulled the clock tower off. Los Angeles had a 150 feet height restriction on all buildings downtown, until 1956. Eastern Columbia lofts is 264 feet above the street, 114 feet above the height limit.
Sieroty must have known the right people in the right places to get around the height restriction. He was a socialite and booster. He was a member of the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles Club, Wilshire Country Club, and Los Angeles Country Club. You can bet he had connections at city hall that allowed him to surpass the pre-war 150 foot height limit with his clocktower, so long as it wasn’t used for livable space. Consequently until the 1950’s Eastern Columbia was one of the tallest buildings downtown, only smaller than city hall (454 ft).
I’m a Huell Howser fan, and he did a wonderful tour of this Eastern Columbia when the conversion was completed in 2007. Worth a watch:
Eastern Columbia condos are true lofts. They have no wall or door on the bedroom. Some owners install dividing walls to define their bedroom space and create privacy. Condos originally sold with exposed concrete floors. You can customize the look and feel of the flooring by choosing a custom stain or acid wash.
Some owners have instead installed wood floors. Layouts are almost all single story, so no stairs. Square Footage is at a premium downtown, so the majority of the condos in Eastern Columbia are 800 sqft-1,200 sqft that are ideal for a 1 bedroom layout. Prices go up as you go higher, and by the size of the condo. Condos are selling between $700,000 and $1,000,000. The Larger condos are 1,200-1,600 sqft, there are about 40 of them of the 147 so they come up less often. There are 5 penthouses with average size of 2,500 sqft. A celebrity bought all the Penthouses from the Developer. Penthouses have a townhouse style layout.
Galley Style Kitchen
The Developer did a great job on the Kitchens and Bathrooms. Each condo has a Modern kitchen with Quartz countertops and European style cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The Bathrooms are great especially if you like to take baths. There are large soaking tubs with a tub deck that gives you a lot of space for setting candles, bath soaps, reading glasses etc. I love the vintage penny round tile.
This building has so many windows which means great natural light. Many of the original metal casement windows were saved- and what is unique is that they fully open and close, so you can get good air circulation. The condo’s have 11 foot ceilings for plenty of room to think.
Condos that face West or North have small balconies. Most condo’s don’t have a balcony. Washer Dryer in unit. Wired for internet and cable.
Eastern Columbia has some hotel-like amenities that makes it feel like you are on vacation!
By far and away the best amenityis theRooftop pool area!
Great View! Day or Night
The Private Rooftop Pool area, has a big open area with reclining lounge chairs and multiple umbrellas perfect for some sun worshiping or an evening dip. The Pool is 3 feet deep and long enough to swim laps. There is a Outdoor gas fireplace that makes this space dynamic at night. The is also a spa. The best part of the rooftop pool area is the mesmerizing views of Downtown Skyline.
Nothing is more convenient than having a Fitness center on site. There are quite a few great gyms downtown, but if you don’t consider yourself a fitness buff- or maybe you are a fitness buff but sometimes its just good to have a backup, the fitness center has your daily exercise regime covered. All the Equpiment is new and it has a good mix between aerobic elypicals and treadmills and weight-resistance equipment.
For condo buildings, I am big on a lobby. It’s important to make a good impression, especially for Higher price point buildings. An attractive lobby can raise the resale value of the building. The Lobby in Eastern Columbia does not disappoint. The original terrazzo from the sidewalk flows in from the street to flooring of the lobby. Rows of Antiqued mirrors and Gilded ceilings riff on the Art Deco themes of the building. There is a large sitting area that is tastefully furnished with a copious amount of tables and chairs.
These Beautiful etched elevator doors are original
Let’s face it, you can never have enough storage. Each Condo comes with a storage space on the second floor.
Eastern Columbia Lofts is very dog friendly. There are no restrictions on size or breed, the only rule is a maximum of two 2 pets.
Downtown Parking sucks. You have to pay $10 or $15 to park in a private lot, meters are very tough to get, and you have to be careful to watch the time so when rush hour comes and you have to move your car,, you don’t get towed. And with all the parking lots being snatched up by developers lately, parking isn’t getting any easier. Every condo comes with at least 1 parking space, the larger condos have two. The parking is assigned parking in a private garage. The price for the parking spot is covered in the HOA dues. It is possible to rent an extra space at an additional cost.
Eastern Columbia Lofts has a very organized and active HOA. The HOA has their own website:
HOA Dues range from $800-$1,000 a month. Not a bad price for all the amenities. Keep in mind since the building has a Mills Act , you get significant savings on your property tax which lowers the overall cost of ownership.
HOA dues include: Water, trash, A/C and building insurance, Window Washing
Owner is responsible for: Condo Insurance, Electricity, Gas, Internet, Cable
Legal Note: The HOA is currently in mediation with the developer over construction defects. The defects concern only the common areas, and not inside individual condo units. The areas under investigation are the building exterior, the plumbing and electrical. This lawsuit makes it difficult to finance currently until it is resolved. It is important to note that the building is safe, usable and accessible.
HOA Contact Information:
Action Property Management
Phone: (800) 400-2284
Fax: (949) 450-0303
2603 Main Street, Suite 500
Irvine, CA 92614 www.actionlife.com
Rowan Lofts is located in the old bank district of downtown Los Angeles on the northeast corner of 5th and Spring. This area of Downtown is relatively safe and walk-able- there are several great restaurants, bars, and shops within a 5 minutes walk from Rowan Lofts. You have plenty of options for where to grab a bite to eat, or venues to choose if you want to have a night out with friends from the bustling after dark scene. Check out nearby Buzz Wine Beer Shop which has regular tastings, or the last bookstore across the street. Rowan is right in the middle of the action during the monthly downtown art walk.
Spring Street Park is next store! Spring Street Park is 0.7 acres and cost $8M to build. The park includes a walking loop, a grassy lawn, and a kids play gym for local residents to enjoy. Rowan faces its sister building to the north El Dorado lofts. Additionally this location is two blocks from Metrolink and short walk to downtown’s Sunday Farmers Market.
Rowan Lefts is a condo conversion project that transformed office space into residential lofts. The conversion was completed in 2008. There are 206 units on 12 floors.
Circa 1912, Rowan lofts is sure to please buyers looking for a Historic downtown Los Angeles Condo. The original character of the building was kept intact when modernizing it. Units offer all the modern creature comforts we are accustom to –Central heat/air conditioning, New Kitchens with Scavolini Cabinets, in unit stackable washer/dryer (European style ventless machines), Bosch dishwasher with hidden panel, and recessed lighting.
Watch Video of the Restoration work!
Meanwhile, the developers revitalized the copious amounts of carrera marble that festoons the floors and walls of the lobby and hallways. This marble is the same marble in the Vatican!
Rowan Lofts Hallway
Rowan Lofts Lobby
I love the nickel and silver detailed Art Deco Elevator Doors in the Lobby that were preserved! They don’t make them like that anymore.
They kept the copper and brass stair case banisters.
And finally, the Guatemalan mahogany sash windows. These massive 4’x8 ‘ windows were painstakingly restored- this windows cannot be replaced today. The high ratio of window to square footage gives Rowan units exceptional natural light. The sash windows opened to provide natural airflow. Rowan units on high floors facing out have spectacular downtown city views.
These lofts were built with quality. $7,500 worth of sound insulation went into every unit. They have 1 inch of sound proofing in between the floor, insulation in ceilings and walls and there are double walls between units. The building was reinforced with steel and concrete to make the building earthquake safe.
Premier finishes were used. Toto fixtures, rain shower, and deep soaking tub in the bathroom. Scavolini Italian cabinetry and Granite or Caesarstone counter tops in the kitchen. Rich birchwood chocolate or blonde flooring throughout.
Exposed brick walls lay the perfect backdrop for decorating, and preserve an historic urban feel. Ceilings are 10 feet high on most floors, making these units feel extra spacious. The floorplan are true loft style, completely open, the bedrooms do not have walls. This flexible space gives owner total freedom to imagine how they want to arrange their space. Some owners prefer to enclose their bedrooms, they have accomplished this in a number of imaginative ways.
Square footage ranges from 1,200 sqft-1,000sqft for 2brs, 1,000-800 sqft for 1brs, and 750sqft to 450 sqft for studios. There are 6 town house units (101-106) on the ground level, and 8 penthouses. Penthouse have fifteen foot ceilings and skylights.
Spring is one of my favorite DTLA streets. During the first fifty years of the twentieth century, Spring Street was a-chatter with the hustle and bustle of financial boom town- Los Angeles. Rowan Lofts is one of 23 historic financial buildings that are the old bank district. Many of these historic early 20th century commercial building are going through conversions for residential use.
The Rowan building was designed by famous LA architect John Parkinson and G. Edwin Bergstrom. Parkinson designed 10 buildings in the bank district, as well as iconic LA buildings such as the Memorial Coliseum, City Hall, union station, and the Alexandria Hotel kitty corner across the street.
Rowan is a Courtyard style building. There is open space in the center lets light filter in from the sky inside and you get airy feeling halls.
Rowan is a beau arts style building clad in brick and terra cotta facade. The cornices are intricate with floral and egg and dart patterns, and there are ornate cast iron rosettes that hang.
This portrait of Robert Rowan hangs in the Resident’s Lounge in Rowan Lofts
The Rowan gets its name from its famed builder, real estate developer Robert A. Rowan [1875-1918]. Rowan was a second generation developer, his father George Rowan was one of the pioneers of development in Los Angeles. George owned a large portfolio of properties on Broadway which at the time was called Fort Street. Rowan began his real estate career at 22, first working for William May Garland for several years before going on his own in 1901 and later forming R.A. Rowan & Company with a few of his brothers in 1905. Robert came from a family of eight and he had five brothers and two sisters.
R. A. Rowan & Co. did an enormous amount of building downtown. They are responsible for the Alexandria Hotel, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the Rosslyn Hotel, the Security building, Merchants National Bank Building, the Title Insurance building, the Title Guarantee Building and a number of other historic buildings downtown. Rowan also developed the residential community of Windsor Square (approximately 200 acres).
At the time Rowan was built, it was an office building and housed some of Los Angeles’s most prestigious law firms and stock brokerages. Like many buildings in the historic core, the Rowan fell into disrepair. Goodwin Gaw, President of Downtown Properties saw an opportunity to create this unique urban living environment.
Rowan Lofts offers residents some really nice amenities. There is a 24-hour front desk which is great for security, the lobby has a receiving area that is simply jaw dropper! Great for creating impressions. There is a residents lounge with kitchenette, Flat Screen TV, Wifi internet, and Mens and womens bathrooms on the 2nd floor that can be reserved for gatherings and private parties. No comment on interior design choice for the chains hanging from the walls…
And there is a patio area with two built-in gas barbecues, tables and chairs, and a hot and cool spa.
Owners may rent storage spaces downstairs for additional storage at a cost of $65/mo. The storage spaces are 5x5x8
There are few decorating ideas to consider when furnishing your new Rowan loft. The first is in the kitchen. Some owners like to have a rolling island to increase counter space and add extra storage:
while others choose a formal dinning room table.
Many of the floor plans in Rowan have an open bedroom. If you wish to enclose the bedroom for more privacy many owners use a room divider, wall, curtain or other means to do so.
Price Range: $600,000 to $1,000,000
Home owners dues are ~$500/mo (but add $150 or more for parking)
There is No EQ insurance
HOA dues cover- gas, water, trash, insurance + Maintenance (window cleaning included)
HOA do not cover- Elec., Cable, or internet
Parking isn’t ideal (as is often the case Downtown), but it works. Parking is not deeded. Rowan lofts purchased the exclusive right for its owners to park in the garage next store forever. Owners cross an ally that is closed off on both sides to the parking garage. Owners have the choice to rent a Parking space in the garage next store if they want. Parking is additional cost on top of the HOA dues. You may choose to pay $175/ mo. to have an unreserved parking space, or $225 /mo to have a reserved space, or $325 for Tandem reserved.
No Guest parking.
Some general advice, when you are viewing a unit in Rowan or anywhere downtown. Be careful parking on the street! you may get towed if you are outside of the allowed parking hours (even if there is a meter!), parking in a lot ($10-$15) is a small expense, and it can save you from having a nasty surprise when you are done with the showing.
Pan Am lofts is a very affordable historical building in a great area of downtown Los Angeles. Located at the corner of 3rd and Broadway, residents are just moments away from Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorthy Chandlier Pavilion, Moca, Bunker Hill, Grand Central Market, Grand Park Tuesday farmers market, and the Finance District. Prices range from $300,000 to $500,000. HOA’s are in the low ~$400’s and cover most utilities: trash, water, cable, gas- electricity is excluded. Unit size varies 700-1,100 sqft. The building is five stories tall, 10 units on each floor.
The units have open floor plans, with updated kitchens, elevator, central heat and air, high cielings (12-17 feet), double pain windows, exposed brick, and in unit stacked washer dryers. Storage space can be a bit limited so bureaus or built ins can add storage. The East, South faces of the building have plenty of windows which let in a lot of natural light. The Beaux Arts architectural style and wrought iron steel fire escapes make a very appealing building facade.
The building is a courtyard style building which can really open up the feeling when walking in the hallways. At only 40 units, the building has a community atmosphere among residents. Owners enjoy tax saving benefits because Pan Am Lofts has Mills Act.
Some Condo’s have parking spaces and some do not. For the units with no parking, owners can rent a parking space in a nearby parking ramp for $80 to $100/mo.
Margaret Byrne Irvine, widow of James Irvine, commissioned the building. Built in 1895, this is the 2nd oldest building in Downtown Los Angeles and sat directly across the street from the old City Hall. The oldest building is the Bradbury building (built 1893) which sits directly across the street.
Picture of Downtown Los Angeles 1899, the same time when 253 S Broadway was built. This building would have looked Martian in the landscape
Designed by Sumner Hunt, the Pan Am Lofts was know as the Irvine Byrne Block and was the first Beaux Arts style building in downtown and inspired a trend of Beaux Art office buildings afterward.
There was a fire at Pan Am Lofts in 1911 and architecht Willis Pok was hired to repair the building after the fire.
Local iconic shop- Giant Penny Stores occupied the ground floor retail from the ’60s until 2004.
Pan Am lofts has Hollywood Cache. The main staircase in the lobby has been immortalized in many of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies.
Brad Pitt’s “Se7en”,”Fight Club”,”Blade Runner”, and numerous tv shows and commercials have filmed inside the historic building.
In 2004 Long Beach based developer Urban Pacific Builders completed a $20,000,000 renovation, condo conversion of the offices and transformed the Irvine Byrne building in Pan Am Lofts (Named Pan American lofts because of Pan American Petroleum?). A new roof was added, the garage ceiling was raised, new elevator, offices were changed into condos.
Flower street lofts are located in downtown Los Angeles in the south park neighborhood. Just a short walk to Staples Center and the new LA Live development, and future site of farmers stadium- Flower Street lofts are located in one of the best areas of downtown.
Flower Street Lofts
West View Flower Street
Flower Street lofts was developed by Cim Group (third street promenade, Gas Company Lofts) and Marina Del Rey based developer the Lee Group (grand lofts, skylofts), which specializes in brownfield loft conversions. They converted the historic United Parcels Service building (UPS) into 91 loft condominiums in 2003. The UPS building was built in 1936- UPS had been doing business in Los Angeles since 1922, in 1916 they started painting their trucks their trademark brown. The site was used for 40 years as UPS’s main distribution center for Los Angeles, as well as a garage for their delivery trucks. As a result of this, the ground water and soil were partially contaminated, probably to a similar degree to an automotive repair shop. The developers spent $600,000 cleaning up the site, and another $37,000,000 renovating the building.
Metallic roofed fourth Floor penthouse level was added in 2003
The UPS building was originally 3 stories tall, but the developers adding a two story 4th floor with soaring 20” ceilings on top to make the building larger.
Flower street lofts features 12 floor plans, one and two bedrooms, sqft from 1,200 to 1,600sqft. Units on floors 1-3 have 15” ceilings. It feels like a cathedral in some ways, when you walk into a unit, there is a long aisle that leads straight to a great open room that is the living room + Dinning Room + Kitchen and has an exterior glass wall.
It is very bright, and has nice views on the North Side and West facing sides. The units have a very industrial feeling with exposed pipes and metallic ducting that occupies the airspace above.
I love the kitchens in these units- they are wonderful. They have an open style with plenty of overhead cabinets, stone countertops, and a four person breakfast bar- which is great for eat in kitchen or having a party.
Some units in the building have installed a loft to take advantage of all the extra air space. The developer did not include these standard- so some buyers negotiated to have them installed while others didn’t. These don’t function great as bedrooms (to make a 2br into a 3br) but make good guest bedrooms. The reason is that the two bathrooms for the unit are all the way on the other side of the units near the entry. They work great as office or studio spaces. These lofts function great for artists.
Even though owner has this divider, since the space isn’t enclosed you can hear and be heard
The bedrooms in Flower Street lofts aren’t the best. One of the difficulties with loft style living is that it is so open sometimes it is difficult to have private space- especially when it comes to bedrooms. Owners have made room dividers to make the bedrooms more private, but I find that for the unit size, the bedrooms are on the smaller size of what you would expect and a little awkward with the overall layout. The floorplans maximize the community living space- but at the expense of the bedrooms.
This is why you live in a loft- look at this space!
Another difficulty with loft style living is very little storage. You just have less closet space in lofts, and less walls to place bureaus, desks, or wardrobes against. Some owners in the building have used their oversized hallways to place rows of shelving to increase storage. The best thing to do is follow the zen belief and keep your personal possessions minimal. There’s no where to put something away outside of view, so whatever you see, works best if it is pleasing to the eye.
Fourth Floor Hallway
First Floor Hallway, when you enter from the ground level, you look down the first floor hallway before taking the elevator or stairs up (if you are on floors 2, 3, or 4) It’s really pretty and very memorable.
One thing I like about Flower Street lofts is that the hallways are in the open air and the HOA has put a lot of greeniery in the hall ways. It’s just a really nice outdoor feeling walking in the halls- some condo building hallways can feel so claustrophobic. And they installed a fountain for good measure
2 bedroom units are selling in between $500,000 and $650,000. 1 bedroom units sell around $400,000. Hoa dues are $700 a month.
A big bonus for Flower Street Lofts is that Ralphs and now Target have moved into neighborhood on nearby 9th Street. Flower is inbetween 11th– and 12th. This makes it really convenient to live here.
All the units have in unit laundry.
Parking for the building is a little bit interesting. The Developer purchased the top floor of a parking garage next store for Flower Street Lofts- each unit has two parking spaces- there are a total of 182 spaces. This is a real plus for the 1br units- it is very rare to get two parking spaces for a 1br. The parking structure is attached to the building by a gated entry skyway on the fourth floor.
Skyway on 4th floor connects to parking garage across the ally on the east side of the buiding.
Each residence has a covered parking spot and an outside parking spot. Spots are a mix of full sized and compact. A few very unlucky units had their parking spots outside of the gate that divides the parking garage from the Flower Streets floor. When there is game night sometimes visitors park in their spots! You definitely want to check exactly where and what kind of spots are with the unit. I have heard from owners that the parking lot management company has been a real pain the past few years, trying to charge the HOA for utilities and water for the restaurant down the street as well as raising the parking rates by 5% each year.
Gated entrance at the end of the skyway, to the left is full sized uncovered parking, and the right is uncovered compact car parking- the garage is covered in the direction of where the pedestrian is walking. Each unit gets one parking spot covered and one uncovered.
The east side of the building is the quite side. You don’t get the great views like the West does but the west also don’t have the noise from the Blue Line and Expo line enter the flower tunnel just after Pico Station.
Flower Tunnel Entrance
The trains run every 10 minutes or so throughout the day. The hours are 6am to midnight. The noise from the train passing by isn’t very loud, even though it is close, and it only lasts for a few seconds as the metro speeds underground to its next destination. The proximity of Flower lots to the metro can be a real plus for access to public transportation. It is really easy to take the metro instead of driving.