Downtown Vitality

High-Rise Towers Breathe New Life into Los Angeles, California

by Matthew McLarand, president & director of design, MVE + Partners

MVE + Partners, an architectural, design, and planning firm based in Southern California, recently celebrated the opening of two high-rise mixed-use developments, The Grace and The Griffin on Spring, in downtown Los Angeles, California. Designed for developer Holland Partner Group of Vancouver, Washington, the towers reached completion in the last quarter of 2018 and both have started welcoming tenants.

This milestone is cause for celebration, not only for MVE, but also for Los Angeles residents, with the towers breathing new life into the community. In the span of two years, from groundbreaking in early 2016 through grand opening in late 2018, the block has evolved from an area in need of major improvements to an up-and-coming neighborhood.

Courtesy of Hunter Kerhart.

The towers infuse a sense of renewed vitality within the local community, with new restaurants and stores opening in the immediate vicinity, helping to bring together other newly revitalized areas of downtown Los Angeles. Notably, Apple® purchased Tower Theater, a historic movie palace located across the street from The Griffin, with plans to convert it into a flagship retail store and an outpost featuring programs, classes, and other special events. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, also have devoted a significant amount of resources to help improve the walkability, bikeability, and overall safety of the neighborhood.

MVE meshed its knowledge of high-rise construction with its 45 years of industry-leading residential design and entitlement expertise to meet the project’s economic requirements and provide unmatched living experiences to residents. With a studio at the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the firm has an intuitive connection to the community, enabling MVE to create a project that delivers on the needs and desires of local urban dwellers who thrive on the vibrant downtown lifestyle.

The 24-story towers include a mix of studios and one, two, and three-bedroom apartments featuring chic and stylish finishes. The Griffin on Spring is comprised of 275 residential units above 9,000 sq.ft. of ground-floor retail, while The Grace on Spring is comprised of 300 units above 7,500 sq.ft. of retail space.

Each tower features luxury amenities including a fitness center with a yoga studio; business center and conference rooms; resort-style swimming pool; and an entertainment lounge with a kitchen, bar, media equipment, billiards, and more. Each tower also boasts an observatory rooftop lounge for residents to enjoy sweeping views of Los Angeles.

MVE’s inspiration for the design was driven by the rich history and vibrancy of Spring Street’s Fashion District and Historic Core, resulting in two notable high-rise buildings that bind function and aesthetic. The Griffin on Spring uniquely marries traditional and modern design, as a symbol of transition from the old to the new world. Drawing on the historic context of the neighborhood, the tower features a 150’ traditional street wall complete with metal and cast-stone elements that parallel the architectural vernacular of the surrounding 1920s-style buildings. Above 150’, the aesthetic embraces modern materials such as glass and steel, offering residents sweeping views of the Los Angeles skyline through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The Grace on Spring also includes a street wall, but with a street façade adorned with a unique weaved-fabric pattern that pays homage to the nearby Fashion District.

As demonstrated by the uniqueness of the new luxury towers, MVE + Partners is committed to shaping and enhancing the cityscape and bolstering Angelenos’ quality of life with evocative designs that are centered around people.

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