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Astani's 8th and Grand Set to Move Forward as Scaled-Back Project

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, December 12, 2011, at 02:13PM
8th and Grand Astani Enterprises [8thandgrand.com]

The original design for Astani's 8th and Grand project featured wavy lines and towers rising from a 15-story base.

Unveiled during the height of Downtown's residential boom, Sonny Astani's 8th and Grand project would have been massive, with 875 condos housed inside buildings of 38, 22 and 15 stories.

The project is again moving forward as the dust from that boom settles, but this time its specifications are much more modest.

On Thursday, the Community Redevelopment Agency's board is set to vote on a revised project that would place 700 units inside a two-phased, seven-story project on the large site that fronts 8th, Grand and Olive.

240 units would be built in the first phase, which would be on the Grand Avenue side of the site. According to the agency's report, the developer hopes to break ground in early 2012 and include a "small neighborhood-serving grocery market" in the ground-floor retail.

The remaining 460 units would come later, in a second phase on the Olive Street side. The project would contain 567,630 square feet in all, with roughly 30,000 square feet devoted to retail.

The redevelopment agency has a long history with the 8th and Grand site, having first entered into an agreement with then-owner Pacific Atlas Development Corporation back in 1990 when it proposed to build a pair of office towers.

Astani is best known as the developer of Concerto, a condo project one block away at 9th and Figueroa. In February, Astani settled with the company that had bought the loan to his 271-unit project after a drawn-out bankruptcy battle. The building, now owned by ST Residential and rebranded Apex, remains empty.

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