Status: Planning Review
Completion Date: 2021
The Project involves the rehabilitation and change of use of an existing home for the aged into a mixed-use building with 100 residential apartment units, including 8% (8 units) set aside for Extremely Low Income Households, and approximately 14,717 square feet of commercial space. The existing building has been deemed to be an important contributing feature of the San Pedro historical survey area due to its prominent location and size, and was thereby designated by the City as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1961. The Project proposes to restore many of the building’s historical uses, such as ground floor restaurants and a gymnasium, while maintaining and enhancing its architectural character defining features, as discussed below.
Located at 921 S Beacon, this historical building began it’s life as the San Pedro Army & Navy YMCA. The building was designed in the Mediterranean Revival style by Los Angeles architects Jay, Rogers & Stevens and was constructed in 1925. The building is five stories in height over a raised basement and is of concrete and brick masonry construction. It has a rectangular plan around a central courtyard, and a hipped roof with clay barrel tile roofing and bracketed metal eaves.
Construction of the Army & Navy YMCA was spearheaded in 1924 by a group of 50 leading citizens of San Pedro, who partnered with the San Pedro YMCA to raise funds to construct a joint Army and Navy facility to support sailors on shore leave and benefit harbor-based military personnel. The effort reflected the growing importance of San Pedro as a naval base. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Jay, Rogers & Stevenson and was constructed by Wurster Construction Company. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in August 1925, and the new facility was dedicated in September of 1926.
The building had a tiled main lobby flanked by lounges with fireplaces, a tiled patio, a gymnasium with a suspended running track, a swimming pool, boxing and wrestling rooms, public baths, a library, school rooms, a coffee shop and cafeteria in the basement, four floors of double and triple bedrooms, a 300-room dormitory with 410 beds, and two open-air handball courts on the roof, and later featured a billiards room. In 1935 a lunch counter was constructed by altering some ground-floor spaces. The handball courts were enclosed in 1944.
During World War II, the facility continued to serve as a recreation center for service men. An estimated 4,000,000 men made use of the facility during that time. In 1947 the Army & Navy YMCA was converted from military to civilian use. The building continued to house a YMCA program until 1958. In 1966 the YMCA moved to a new facility, and in 1967 the old building was purchased for use as temporary housing for the homeless. By 1973 the facility was called Harbor View House. Harbor View House has functioned as a senior care and congregate care facility since 1961. In 1982 the property was designated City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #252.
The exterior walls are finished in smooth cement plaster and are articulated in the Classical manner into a base, middle and top. The primary entrance consists of a pair of glazed wood doors with an arched transom light, recessed within a decorative surround of cast stone. Fenestration consists primarily of divided light, wood sash casement and double-hung windows. The interior public spaces on the first story are finished with tile and stamped concrete flooring, plaster walls, stenciled concrete ceilings, and ceramic tile wainscoting.
Many of the above character defining features of the historic building have been adequately maintained in good condition over time. The Project proposes not only to preserve these architectural elements but to enhance, restore, and highlight them as part of the proposed mixed-use building.Harbor View House L.P.
Proposed Building Rehabilitation and Integration of Historic Uses
Harbor House, LP., proposes to rehabilitate and change the use of the existing five-story building currently being operated as a home for the aged into a mixed-use building with 100 residential apartment units, including 8% (8 units) set aside for Extremely Low Income households, and approximately 14,717 square feet of commercial space, with 24 on-site parking spaces which are existing and proposed to be maintained as part of the Project. The building comprises 90,694 square feet, and is 5 stories, and 75 feet 10-inches high, providing four residential levels above one ground floor mixed-use level containing townhouse-style units, a cafe and restaurant, a gymnasium, and residential amenities, and a basement level containing a residential recreation room and additional residential amenities.
The unit mix proposes 63 studio apartments, 26 one-bedroom units, and 11 two-bedroom units, ranging from approximately 315 to 1,390 square feet. An open plan concept will be employed in the common areas of the units to maximize interior space and flexibility. This unit plan layout maximizes the natural light in all common areas offering a visual connection to the outside from the living, kitchen, and dining areas.
The Project also proposes the continuation and restoration of many of the building’s historic uses. These include a ground-floor restaurant, a ground-floor cafe that maintains and refurbishes a classic 1950’s-style diner counter, and the continuation and refurbishment of the existing ground-floor commercial gymnasium that has been utilized and leased out for various recreational activities, according to multiple historic documents and photographs, since the building’s establishment.
The ground-floor restaurant comprises 1,914 square feet and 25 total seats. The abutting cafe encompasses 570 square feet and 25 total seats. Both spaces have historically been operated as food and beverage service areas, currently for the facility’s residents, and previously for guests and visitors of the hotel and YMCA. Each space contains historic architectural elements, lighting fixtures, and furniture, which are all proposed to be refurbished and maintained as an homage to the building’s historic significance and preservation. Both spaces are accessible through the building’s front lobby, as well as via an accessible pathway from Beacon Street. The restaurants will share bathroom, management office, and trash facilities.
There are plans for an underground bar with two lane bowling alley. This will be open to the public and have a separate entrance from the rest of the main building. The developer is working on parking options that may include valet for both the restaurants and the speakeasy.
Pursuant to LAMC Section 12.21.A.4(x}, for any structure designated as a historical or cultural monument, no additional automobile or bicycle parking spaces need to be provided in connection with a change of use.
Nonetheless, to better serve the building’s proposed uses, the Project proposes to maintain 24 existing on-site parking spaces located within a surface lot on the northeasterly parcel of the Property, including two parking spaces that are required to be maintained for use by users of the adjacent property located at 933 S. Palos Verdes St., pursuant to AFF-4384. The parking lot is accessible by two driveways located on 9th Street and Beacon Street. Additionally, although not required, the Project is providing 26 on-site bicycle parking spaces for use by residents and visitors to encourage increased bicycle access to and from the site.
Pursuant to LAMC Section 12.21.A.4(g), open space is only required for new construction resulting in additional floor area and additional units of a building. Because the Project does not involve new construction, and merely consists of the rehabilitation of an existing building and change of use, no open space is required for the Project. However, in order to maintain outdoor and indoor recreational and social amenity space for residents, the Project proposes a total of 19,379 square feet of on-site open space. Open space areas include a ground-floor public courtyard area (4,222 sf), resident lobby (1,641 sf), tenant Wi-Fi lounge (3,433 sf) which also extends into the building’s basement, basement resident game room and lounge (2,961 sf), and outdoor recreational area with seating areas and ping-pong tables (3,574 sf} in addition to private patio areas for select units totaling 3,548 square feet.
The Project also proposes 6,943 square feet of landscaping within the common open space areas. The proposed landscaping plan provides a mix of ground cover and trees to compliment the architecture. Plant material has been selected for temperature hardiness and low water use.
The building will be upgraded to be sustainably designed to meet and/or exceed all City of Los Angeles current building code and Title 24 requirements. As such, the Project will incorporate eco-friendly building materials, systems, and features wherever feasible, including Energy Star appliances, water saving/low flow fixtures, non-VOC paints/adhesives, drought tolerant planting, and high-performance building envelopment.
Source: Developer Application Submitted April 4, 2018