After Thousands of Apartments, Condos Come to South Park

DTLA – In the summer of 2005, a developer called the Kalantari Group secured city approvals to construct a sleek 25-story, steel-and-glass building at the northeast corner of 11th Street and Grand Avenue. There was a bubbling residential scene in the Historic Core at the time, and some momentum was carrying down to South Park. The project, known as the Glass Tower, was slated to house 128 live-work condominiums.

The Glass Tower, like so many other projects broached in the years before the recession, never happened. Instead, the economy nosedived, lending for big developments dried up, and the property stood as a parking lot, often used by people attending concerts or games at Staples Center.

Finally, residential units have come to the site. Some things are similar to what was originally planned, and others are completely different.

Last month, the $125 million Ten50 condominium complex opened. Named for the address of 1050 S. Grand Ave., it holds 151 residences.

The developer, San Francisco-based Trumark Urban, bought the property in 2014, with the aim of offering for-sale residences in a market in which nearly all of the new stock was rentals. Trumark Urban hired the Downtown-based architecture firm Hanson-L.A. to spruce up designs for a tower that would remain at 25 floors.

“We’ve got people paying $4,000-6,000 in rent all around us,” said Trumark Urban Managing Director Arden Hearing. “It’s an amazing opportunity to get ownership, in effect.”

The building is more than 60% sold, said Hearing, with condos ranging from roughly 679-1,380 square feet. There are also six penthouses, including two two-story homes that run from 1,117-3,575 square feet.

Units still available include a two-bedroom condo on the ninth floor for $879,000. A similar-sized 17th floor residence is priced at $1.1 million. The most expensive units are the penthouses, which go up to $4 million.

Expanding Market

Ten50 is at the forefront of a new wave of Downtown Los Angeles condominiums. Some for-sale residences are now on the market in the first phase of Greenland USA’s Metropolis project. In coming years, thousands of South Park condominiums are expected to be available in later stages of Metropolis, and at the massive Circa and Oceanwide Plaza developments.

The supply of Downtown condominium for resale is low, said Bill Cooper of the Downtown-based realty firm the Loft Expert! Group.

Prices for remaining units in Ten50 average about $1,000 per square foot, which is lower than at Metropolis. Hamid Behdad, the president of the Central City Development Group and a longtime player in Downtown real estate, said that the Ten50 levels are reasonable in part because Trumark Urban was able to buy the land already entitled, which helped keep development costs down.

Hearing said that Trumark Urban is using a hyper-local campaign to market the building, and is not focused on attracting buyers from countries such as China, which has been the case at Metropolis. Some observers worry that a proliferation of foreign buyers will lead to empty units, as many of the purchasers would only live there part time.

Hearing said that Ten50 was built with the Downtown community in mind. He said reaction in the Central City has been strong.

“Most of our buyers already live or work Downtown,” Hearing said. “More than 70% work Downtown.”


Although Ten50 is within walking distance of L.A. Live, the building is on a relatively quiet block. Dr. Fawaz Gailani, who purchased a unit, said the neighborhood appealed to him. Gailani recently retired and was looking to downsize from a 1.3-acre home. He found himself drawn to all the amenities within walking distance of the building.

“I don’t have to drive everywhere, which is a convenience. There are shops, restaurants, it’s centrally located,” Gailani said. “In a way, it’s very convenient for someone who wants things around him. The area isn’t too busy, it’s not too empty.”

Many of the residences include balconies and nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. The condos feature wooden floors (with carpet in the bedrooms) and porcelain-tiled bathrooms. Open kitchens sport marble countertops and stainless steel refrigerators. The building is staffed by a concierge team of seven people.

The interior design from Handel Architects is eclectic, heavy on blue backgrounds and gold patterns. The lobby has both Mid-Century Modern elements and contemporary features such as abstract light fixtures and mirrors. Many upper-level hallways have blue walls. Art hangs near the elevators, including a picture of the artist Salvador Dali.

An amenities deck on the sixth offers approximately 13,000 square feet of space. It holds a large indoor lounge with a kitchen, television, gym and private dining space. The outdoor portion, on the north side of the building, has a pool, hot tub and palm trees.

One unique feature is a sixth floor landing pad for drones to deliver packages; though that doesn’t happen yet, Trumark Urban representatives know it might in the future. The roughly four foot-by-four foot wooden platform is on the edge of the amenities deck.

Cooper, the real estate broker, said that the people considering Ten50 are looking for a strong community to be a part of. They don’t want to be near the freeway and are looking for an active building.

Hearing said that Trumark Urban expects to have Ten50 completely sold by the end of the year.

Los Angeles Downtown News
Nicholas Slayton

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