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SAN PEDRO, CA
BEVERLY HILLS, CA
Commercial Real Estate Direct Staff Report
July 2009 (pdf)
The Gentleman of Gentrification
Developer shares Beacon Street plan
By Megan Bagdonas, More San Pedro
The gentleman of gentrification, developer Raffi Cohen, displayed his most recent vision for a 134-unit residential project in San Pedro at a Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council Land Use Planning Committee meeting last week.
Blueprint designs showed a six-story modern building with lots of glass that would take up the entire city block between 13th and 12th streets and Beacon and Palos Verdes streets.
Cohen, who is a developer on the 16-story Vue condo project in downtown San Pedro, said he doesn't own the 168,400-square-foot parcel of land that is proposed as the site of the new project, but he does have an option to buy it.
The prospective site of the project, which is known only as "Beacon Street Development" at this stage, is occupied by 66-units in two-story apartment buildings and an empty lot.
Designs for the project call for five stories of residential apartments and three stories of parking. There would be 315 spaces in a parking lot that is mostly underground.
Acknowledging that the Beacon Street Development would more than double the current occupancy on the site, architect Kobi Moses, said the project's aesthetics make up for its bulk.
"We are coming with high density, but we're giving something back. This high-quality housing will replace the mishmash of apartments that are there now," Moses said.
"I didn't know that is was going to take up the whole block, but I'm happy because the whole block looks awful now," said Sue Castillo, communications officer for the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.
Castillo expressed concern over the project's proposed vehicle entrance on Palos Verdes Street. She thought the parking entrance would be better suited on ocean-facing Beacon Street so as not to disturb the neighborhood behind it.
"Just imagine 300 cars a day going in and out right across the street from you," she said.
Cohen said he had not yet submitted plans to the city. But if granted approval by the city and he is able to get all the necessary permits, which would include a change in zoning, the apartment building would take between 12 and 14 months to construct.
"I'm ready to go, I just need the entitlement," said Cohen. "But we wanted to come here to the community early to see how people react."
Castillo said she appreciated Cohen's gesture of community outreach.
"We usually never get to see the plans or get to comment on what we would like to see -- for instance making sure that they use high-quality materials -- until it's too late," she said.
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