A ‘Grand’ Addition to the Housing Scene
Los Angeles Downtown News
By Nichols Slayton
December 6, 2017

DTLA – In recent years, South Park has seen a wave of either huge towers or multi-phase projects from prominent developers, many with a national portfolio. The Wren apartments is the first part of a five-building, $1.2 billion plan from developer Mack Urban. In the spring, corporate housing giant Oakwood opened a building at Olympic Boulevard and Olive Street. Houston-based Hanover Company has built three seven-story structures in the neighborhood.

By comparison, the 115-apartment E on Grand is just a few drops in the housing bucket. Although developer 4D Development is not a mom-and-pop operation, it lacks the heft of many of the other South Park players. Its project marks the rare case of a smaller firm making an inroad into a quickly changing community.

Move-ins at the project at 1249 S. Grand Ave. started in October. The $35 million project holds studio to two-bedroom apartments.

This marks the first Downtown project for 4D Development, based in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles. It has projects across the Southwest, including in Phoenix, Las Vegas and West Los Angeles.

Company CEO David Pourbaba said that he had been looking at Downtown for some time, and was waiting for the right property. He found the site along Pico Boulevard and started planning E on Grand in 2012.

“As soon as I saw a piece of land with good pricing, we went for it,” Pourbaba said recently during a walk-through of the project. “There was not much going around us when it started. The biggest guys coming in now are the Chinese. L.A. is on everyone’s radar. That wasn’t the case five years ago.”

Designed by AFCO Architects, the off-white building features colorful murals from artist C. Finley, one in the interior courtyard, another on the outer north wall. All units have a washer and dryer, marble showers, hardwood floors and a NEST thermostat system. There are balconies on every apartment above the ground floor.

Pourbaba said the building was designed with an emphasis on taking in natural light. Units have floor-to-ceiling windows.

Studios in E on Grand start at $1,800 for 481 square feet of space. Two-bedroom apartments go up to $4,250 for 1,185 square feet. Pourbaba said prices average roughly $3.20 per square foot.

E on Grand is a needed addition to Downtown, according to Alex LiMandri, a residential real estate agent and a principal partner at DTLA Life. He said that the amenities and features hit the right price point and help residents feel they are getting their money’s worth.

“I think they did a great job to create a lower entry cost. The majority of people contacting us now are looking for leases at or under $2,000,” LiMandri said. “People want to try Downtown Los Angeles first and know it’s for them. They don’t want to spend too much money right now.”

LiMandri noted that Downtown has a strong market for luxury buildings, but said there needs to be more options for people seeking units below $4 a square foot.

He praised the project’s floor plan and the number of common areas. The balconies, he said, also help it stand out. Pourbaba said they are intended to tie the units together.

“From day one, the goal was to create a small community where people get to be friends with each other. The balconies kind of face each other,” Pourbaba said.

The building has two lounges, one outdoors, and one inside with large televisions. There is a fitness center as well as a dog run. E on Grand has two floors of underground parking.

E on Grand is on a busy stretch of Pico Boulevard, just a short walk to L.A. Live. Across the street on Grand Avenue is the Wolff Company’s OLiVE DTLA project, while the same developer’s G12 residential complex is at the southwest corner of 12th Street and Grand Avenue. A block east on Olive Street is Mack Urban’s Wren.

Colin Korbelas, a digital video producer who came to E on Grand from the San Fernando Valley, said he wanted to move to Downtown Los Angeles to get a more urban living experience, but struggled to find a space.

“For me it was about finding the right place with the right amenities and what I wanted. I looked at a bunch of other places. I wrote down everything I wanted, which others couldn’t provide,” Korbelas said. “I’d go see other places and they would have 80% of the list. These apartments had everything on my list plus more.”

E on Grand is currently 50% leased, with a target market of professionals looking to move to Downtown. Pourbaba said he expects the building will fill up quickly.