Construction will begin Tuesday on Museum Terrace, a $22-million, 212-unit apartment complex at 600 S. Curson Ave. that the developer, Goldrich & Kest Industries, says is the first major new apartment complex in the Wilshire Boulevard Miracle Mile in several decades.
Several other "firsts" result from the project's unusual financing by tax-free, variable-rate, demand revenue bonds.
Museum Terrace is "in an urban setting adjacent to a residential community," Jona Goldrich, president of the developing firm, said. It is across 6th Street from Park La Brea, completed in the 1940s and the only other major apartment complex in the area, and across Curson Avenue from the Page Museum in Hancock Park, which also contains the County Museum of Art.
The 344,771-square-foot Museum Terrace consists of a four-story apartment building with nine interior courtyards, set on top of a two-level, 410-space parking garage. The two-story lobby, designed in granite, marble and stainless steel, fronts the Page Museum.
The building was designed by its architect, McLarand, Vasquez & Partners Inc., to reflect the nature of the surrounding area, with a color scheme incorporating three salmon-toned pastels on a stucco exterior accented by teal-blue exterior handrails.
Apartments will be offered in five floor plans, ranging from one-bedroom, one-bath units of 695 square feet to two-bedroom, two-bath dwellings of 1,130 square feet. There will be 116 two-bedroom apartments. Rents will range from $700 to $1,200 a month, and 20% of the apartments will be reserved for low- and moderate-income families. Prestige Homes, a Goldrich & Kest subsidiary. is interior designer and general contractor.
Museum Terrace's financing resulted from a collaboration between Goldrich & Kest, the city of Los Angeles, which issued the bonds, and Security Pacific National Bank, the bond guarantor.
Those involved said the financing included a number of "firsts": the first time a developer has initiated a bond-financing package for a non-subsidized housing development, the first housing ever financed for a single non-subsidized project, and the first variable-rate housing bond issue ever closed by the city.
The variable-rate demand bonds are unusual in being payable on seven-days demand, in carrying 3% to 4% lower interest rates for the purchaser and in requiring the developer to have substantial financial resources to handle an upward fluctuation in the interest rate.
"Los Angeles is trying to prioritize and encourage developers to do new construction in central city areas," according to Craig Avery, director of the housing division of the city's Commercial Development Department.
"Museum Terrace meets an important need to address the high demand for rental housing and provide a mix of housing opportunities."
One of the interior courtyards will contain a swimming pool and spa, and a separate exercise room is also to be provided. Each apartment will have a balcony overlooking either the street or a courtyard, a dry bar off the living room and nine-foot ceilings.
Landscaping around the building and in the courtyards will feature tropical plants, including palms and multicolored flowers. Tiers of plants will encircle the buildings with a "veil of foliage" at each corner. The landscape architect is Ed Gripp of Oxnard.
"In keeping with Goldrich & Kest's approach to urban development," Goldrich commented, "we found in Museum Terrace the opportunity to introduce contemporary apartment life styles to a revitalized commercial area and help lead the way in the resurgence of residential building in the Miracle Mile area."
(Goldrich & Kest opened the Wilshire Galleria condominiums in 1981 in the Miracle Mile area.
Museum Terrace will be managed by G&K Management Co., a subsidiary of Goldrich & Kest.