Documents submitted to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council offer a look at developer Nick Hadim’s plans to finally convert the sealed-off wing of Downtown’s Alexandria Hotel into apartments.
The eight-story structure, located at 218 W. 5th Street, was built in 1905 as an annex to the Alexandria Hotel. However, its developer William Chick constructed the addition without elevators or stairs, instead relying on existing infrastructure in the main hotel. That decision ultimately proved to be a mistake when in 1938, the owner of the Alexandria closed off all access to the annex during a business dispute. It has remained as such for the succeeding eight decades.
Hadim intends to reactivate the long-empty space through a development called The Annex, which is described as part adaptive reuse and part reconstruction. Citing seismic issues that prevented a full adaptive reuse of the building, Hadim is instead planning to preserve the primary historic elements of the building – specifically its eight-story street facade, one-story alley facade, and its street-facing ground floor. But behind the historic face, plans call for constructing a new building which recreates the existing footprint while expanding it into an 11-story, 151-foot-tall structure.
The Annex, which is being designed by Steven Fader Architects, would feature 31 studio, one-, and two-bedroom dwellings, in addition to 2,689 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a rooftop amenity deck, and a basement recreation room.
The development application also comes with a request to build the apartments sans on-site parking, citing the project’s slim footprint and densely-built surroundings. Letters of support from neighboring property owners were attached.
Hadim’s proposal is the second recent example in Downtown of a “facadectomy,” a practice in which a historic building’s exterior is preserved while its interior is either fully or entirely rebuilt. Skid Row Housing Trust New Pershing Apartments kept the exterior of a 125-year-old Victorian building at 5th and Main Streets while constructing a five-story, 69-unit apartment building within its shell.
Source: Urbanize LA