Rendering: Breakform Design

Lined with upscale boutiques, farm-to-table restaurants and hip coffee bars, Abbot Kinney Boulevard is one of the most eclectic shopping districts in Los Angeles. While often brimming with tourists, it’s a hotspot among locals too, making the surrounding area a prime location for new rental housing.

A development application recently submitted to Los Angeles City Planning calls for a three-story apartment building containing 26 compact units, 31 subterranean parking spaces and a 1,400-square-foot outdoor amenity area. The property at 522 South Venice Boulevard is currently occupied by a triplex that operates as a co-working space.

Seven of the units would be set aside for very low-income households in exchange for a density bonus and a reduction to side yard setbacks under the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Incentive Program. All of the units would feature one bedroom, one bathroom and a 100-square-foot balcony with floorplans ranging from 477 to 495 square feet.

The objective of the proposed development, according to a findings document included in the application, is to diversify Venice’s rental housing stock by “providing smaller, well-designed units” that would have “drastically lower market rents” than the neighborhood’s typical single-family homes and luxury condominiums.

Future residents of 522 South Venice Boulevard would also benefit from a landscaped courtyard featuring raised planters, a bocci ball court, outdoor furniture and a barbecue area. To keep base rents lower and encourage transit use, parking would come at an additional cost. However, lockers for 42 long-term bicycle spaces would be provided.

Conceived by Breakform Design, a local architectural, building and specialty fabrication office, the proposed rental residence would consist of two linked forms positioned in a sideways “V” shape, allowing for a central greenspace.

The exterior would be clad in whitewashed cedar planks, standing seam metal panels and white stucco. Sloped rooflines and an exterior staircase with cable railings would lend a coastal, modern edge to the design.

The proposed site sits at the corner of Venice Boulevard and Mildred Avenue, across from the Venice-Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library. If approved, residents of the apartment building would be just a four-minute walk from a bustling stretch of Abbot Kinney Bouelvard. Highlights include Erewhon Market, The Tasting Kitchen, Huset, The Butcher’s Daughter, and Salt & Straw.

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