We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you have ever stood at the corner of 1st and Pine, you’ll immediately notice 110 Pine Avenue. Home to The Federal Bar and former home to the Security Pacific National Bank, the brick’n’stone facade makes for one of DTLB’s most iconic buildings (and oldest, given it was built in 1924).
Announced in August of 2014, architect David Takacs of David Takacs Architecture—the guy behind the 32-story condo tower across from Downtown LA’s Ace Hotel, which is still in the environmental review process—announced the DTLB project will take the Beaux Arts structure and convert the space above Federal Bar (floors 3 through 13) into 118 condominiums.
The issue? The fire escape. Since the building’s purpose switched from commercial to residential, City asked developers to create an entirely new fire escape on the building’s north-facing wall, including the requirement that the stairwell be covered in some regard (because fire departments have discovered that during emergencies, people are less likely to use stairwells that are uncovered and go back in the building rather than trying to escape it). Takacs offered two options—one red, one grey—that both consist of steel mesh and concrete encasings. [Rendering left.]
The Cultural Heritage Commission, the City organization set to oversee historic landmarks throughout Long Beach, reviewed the changes to the building and unanimously approved them, putting Takacs and crew one step closer toward making 110 Pine a residential complex. There is, however, one more caveat: it will have to face Planning, which will surely pass it. (Or so we hope: more housing is the bread to our butter.)
Of course, we’re sure the NIMBYs obsessed with excessive parking requirements will be screaming bloody murder as the development will not be required to create any additional parking spots. Typically, this structure would require 148 parking spaces; one for each unit and one guest spot for every four units. However, the Downtown Plan actually incentivizes developers approaching historic buildings by negating the creation of additional parking spaces should the ground floor be converted to commercial use. (For a two-minute spiel on why parking minimums are horrific, just watch this.)