By Roger Vincent
4:10 AM PST, February 3, 2013
A Canadian developer has started work on a $100-million luxury apartment building in downtown Los Angeles, the first of three high-rise residential complexes it plans to build in the booming neighborhood.
Vancouver-based Onni Group is erecting a 32-story tower on a former parking lot at the northeast corner of Olive and Ninth streets. The site is next door to a well-known 12-story office building that opened in 1926 as the headquarters of Pacific National Bank.
Onni’s building, to be known as 888 Olive, will have 283 units – each with a private balcony -- over street-level shops and restaurants. It will have a swimming pool and fitness center, Onni said. Completion is set for early 2015.
The wave of commercial development spreading across downtown appears similar to the transformation of urban Vancouver that took place over the last 15 years, according to Apriano Meola, vice president of U.S. operations for Onni.
The company also plans to develop a second residential tower on Olive Street next door to 888 Olive and a third at 12th and Flower streets just west of Staples Center. Onni also bought the Union Lofts, a 10-story office tower turned apartment building at Eighth and Hill streets that opened in 1928 as the headquarters of Union Bank.
Onni is one of Canada’s largest private developers, having built more than 5,000 residences in the past decade with another 4,000 under construction, the company said.
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