Wed, May

Downtown’s Worst Developer is Working on His Biggest Fauxtalian Fortress Yet


GUEST COMMENTARY-Just west of the site by the 110 Freeway where he's still rebuilding the part of his Da Vinciapartment complex that went up in a tremendous blazelast December, prolific fauxtalian fortress developer Geoff Palmer is starting work on what would be his biggest Los Angeles project yet. (Which is really saying something considering the awful buildings in his Renaissance Collection  —the Pieros, the Orsinis, the Lorenzo, Medici, etc. are hulking behemoths.) 

Eastsider LA reports that he's now planning a 1,500-unit mixed-use complex for a 9.6-acre site south of the intersection of Temple and Beaudry. In terms of the sheer number of units, that's roughly two Medicis and a Visconti (those ones on Third Street), according to Palmer's own tallies. 

A City Planning case summary shows Palmer hopes to build all those hundreds of units, plus 30,000 square feet of retail space and "associated parking" in seven-story building on what amounts to an entire block (now occupied by office buildings). The project has been in the works for a while; a corporate entity that Palmer controls bought the parcel for $61 million back in 2013. It's listed on Palmer's site as "under development," but without any dates for construction or completion. 

While they add a lot of units, Palmer's projects don't help much with LA's housing problem—the rents are high and the buildings are known for being popular with rich USC students. They also don't benefit their communities particularly, since their amenities—which can include libraries and soccer fields—are all completely private, and the street-facing retail is often left unfilled. 

Some official city documents have referred to the project as The Ferrante, which is the best name thus far in a chain of kind of weak nods to Italy as it is most associated recently with either pseudonymous Italian literary ‘s Gotti pal who got caught, tried to exonerate himself by rapping, went to jail, successfully appealed his conviction, then turned it around to become a motivational speaker.

Maybe not what Palmer was going for, but definitely the pnemonic we'll be using to remember the name of the place.


(Bianca Barragan writes for the excellent LA Curbed … where this commentary originated. )






Vol 13 Issue 48

Pub: Jun 12, 2015

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