Canadian Developer Has Sky-High Plans Along LA's Miracle Mile

Onni Wants To Redevelop Coveted Wilshire Boulevard Address

By Jack Witthaus CoStar News May 9, 2022 | 11:06 AM

A wig shop and post office on L.A.'s Miracle Mile may soon make way for a high-rise residential project. It's the latest part of a transformation of an area that's expected to have increasing foot traffic thanks to an incoming transit stop.

Canadian developer Onni wants to redevelop the 1.4-acre site at 5350-5376 Wilshire Blvd. with a skyscraper of an undetermined square footage, according to CBRE, which said in a statement that the developer had acquired the site.

In an email, CBRE's Laurie Lustig-Bower, who with Kadie Presley Wilson represented the seller, said the final purchase price would be determined based on the square footage Onni can get approved. A deed was not immediately available, and the seller was identified as two private families, according to the statement.

The site is along the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, which features museums, shops and other attractions. It's also a block from the La Brea-Wilshire Station of the Metro Purple line extension, a critical rail route now under construction that will connect Downtown, Koreatown, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood.

That proximity to a Metro stop, coupled with a commitment by the developer to have between 11% and 25% of the units be occupied by extremely low- to low-income residents, could allow Onni to build a project of as much as 430,000 square feet of floor area, according to the statement and city documents.

“We took the site to market at the height of the pandemic and generated 20 offers despite rising construction costs,” Presley Wilson said in the statement. “Demand for multifamily housing in the greater Los Angeles area, especially with proximity to mass transit, remains at all-time highs, making development opportunities such as this highly sought after.”

The mid-Wilshire multifamily market features an average asking rent of $2,561 per month, above the greater L.A. average of $2,144, according to CoStar data. The market's average vacancy rate is 3.8%, near the greater L.A. average of 3.5%.

The plan comes amid a severe housing shortage in the Los Angeles region. The county alone needs to add more than 800,000 housing units by October 2029 to meet the goals of the state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment that requires cities and counties plan for population growth. Onni has been buying up retail properties across greater Los Angeles with residential conversions in mind. The Canadian developer bought a Long Beach shopping center, a half-acre West Los Angeles site and the Burbank Town Center between November to December.

A representative with Onni did not respond to a request to comment from CoStar News.

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