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Developer Looks at Converting Shopping Center at Third and Fairfax to Mixed Use

Repositioned Shopping Center Could Receive Residential, Retail Renovation
May 18, 2018
Courtesy of MVE Architects
Courtesy of MVE Architects
A mixed retail and residential development may replace an aging shopping center at Third and Fairfax across from the Grove.

The project would include partially demolishing an existing retail building in what is now known as the Town and Country Shopping Center in order to build a mixed-use project with up to 381 residential units over 81,321 square feet of retail space, according to documents filed with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. The 65,964 square feet of existing retail there would also be renovated.

Renderings of the project drafted by architects, MVE + Partners, show a tall glass and steel-framed tower on top of a podium and set behind ground-level retail.

Bryan Shaffer, principal/managing director at George Smith Partners, knows the area well. Not only did he used to live near the proposed project site, he also financed two multifamily developments nearby last year.

"Overall, this is an amazing location for both retail and multifamily," Shaffer said. "You are near the Grove and great shopping, several museums, Hancock Park, Mid-Wilshire, so the multifamily project will attract affluent renters who will pay attractive rents."

The property is owned by the Arba Group, according to CoStar data. The existing center consists of three properties totaling 276,292 square feet at 6310-6330 West Third St., according to CoStar research. Whole Foods Market and CVS Pharmacy are also on site.

It would not mark the first time a similar project was eyed at the site. Casden Properties twice unsuccessfully proposed a 300-unit condominium project over the past 12 years.

The company sold the site after encountering community opposition, according to Shaffer. He said it is not hard to see why a developer would be interested in the land.

"From a development prospective, this property has a much higher land value than the capitalized value because Kmart and the other retail is not the best use of the property," Shaffer said.

Mehmet Berker, a Mid City West Community Council board member, said the council has tried to work with developers in the past to ensure proposed projects fit the neighborhood and hopes other developers would work with them in a similar manner.

"In my time on the council, we have tried to work with the community and developers to help see that projects integrate well into the existing neighborhood and that the design of projects are aesthetically pleasing and conscious of their surroundings, and also encourage active transportation and an active streetscape," Berker said.

He said the council has also proactively sought to have additional affordable housing as part of the area’s mixed use projects, including working with Caruso Affiliated on its 333 La Cienega project

"In all, over the past two years, we have worked with developers to add 24 extra affordable units between four large projects, resulting in an increase of 2.41 times the total number of affordable units," he said.

No other details are clear yet regarding the Third and Fairfax proposed project, including what affordable housing component could be part of it.

The Arba Group did not return requests for comment.


Karen Jordan, Los Angeles Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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