Category Archives: Adaptive Re-use & Renovation



Santa Monica, CA


VTBS Architects


0.54 Acres

Commercial Area:

28,000 sf

2009 PCBC Gold Nugget GRAND AWARD
Outstanding Adaptive Reuse Project

The innovative new design studio for VTBS Architects is the result of the adaptive re-use of this 2-story warehouse with rooftop parking.  The design takes advantage of the existing 1960, brick-and-concrete warehouse characteristics by exposing the structure to reflect mid-century design elements.  The results include a dramatic 32’-high atrium and multiple work areas that provide open ‘creative office’ space that is at heart practical, as well as warm and comfortable.  The 17′ ceiling height on the ground floor allowed for the construction of a mezzanine level for an increase in usable area.

Committed to sustainable design, VTBS has incorporated ‘green building principles’ into the renovated building.

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630 “I” Street

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630 “I” Street

Sacramento, CA 


Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency 

Gross Commercial Area:

22,000 sf

Gross Residential Area:

74,000 sf


108 Affordable Units


Completed & Occupied 2012

Owned and operated by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, 626/630 ‘I’ Street was an existing mixed-use building comprised of office and residential uses.  The ‘Tenant Improvement’ of this structure updated the 12-story reinforced-concrete building constructed from 1972-1974 with deferred maintenance, repair and waterproofing of the overall existing building shell and roof, and the maintenance and repair of the building MEP systems, the replacement in kind of all exterior glazing and glazing systems and new exterior ‘skin’ cladding improvements for the existing building pursuant to an updated and freshened project identity.

There was no change of use for the project  and the ground level, designated ‘630 I Street,’ continues to be devoted to building entry, public and common uses with City Agency offices occupying a portion of the area, as well as the second and third stories.

Designated ‘626 I Street’, the HUD-funded residential living units on floors four through twelve required deferred maintenance (‘repair’), rehabilitation and interior decoration.

Flower Street Lofts


Los Angeles, CA


The Lee Group

Lot Size:

1 Acre


155,000 sf


91 Luxury Condominiums

Unit Size:

1,300 sf – 2,250 sf


3.5 FAR – 91 du/ac

Contemporizing, while preserving its original 1930’s art deco flavor, was VTBS’ goal in renovating this former UPS freight transfer and truck maintenance depot. Now a modern and up-scale condominium, the building contains 91 luxury lofts in 1 and 2-story configurations. A 30’-wide, naturally-lit central court was created by moving sections of floors between beams and purlins.

The Lee Group, a developer of a variety of for-sale residential projects, led the for-sale loft market in downtown Los Angeles with the FLOWER STREET LOFTS. In 1999, the city adopted an ordinance enabling the conversion of under-utilized office and warehouse buildings in the urban core for residential use. The “Adaptive Reuse Ordinance” has been expanded to include areas outside the urban core, and is seen as a vehicle for urban revitalization in the city.

The existing structure was designed and built by UPC in the mid 1930s for use as a freight transfer and truck maintenance depot.  The 3-story cast-in-place concrete structure had its floors interconnected by a vehicular ramp.  The facade is characteristic of the art-deco style pervasive at the time in Los Angeles.

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Summit on Sixth

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The Summit on Sixth

Los Angeles, CA


Apollo Real Estate

Lot Area:

1.8 AC-78,000 sf


23,000 sf


209,000 sf


82 Luxury Condominiums


45.8 du/ac

2010 Gold Nugget Award of Merit
Best Adaptive Re-use Project

The adaptive reuse of a vacant 1960s office tower provides ninety-six condominium flats, as well as ground floor retail, a block from a Metro subway station in a revitalizing neighborhood west of downtown Los Angeles.

The deep floor plate of the lower five levels accommodates one-bedroom units with high ceilings and generous dens near their entries. These levels are expressed with balconies and individual windows set deep into thick walls, relating to the predominantly lower-scale surrounding urban fabric, while a new curtain wall, relating to the sky,  encloses the stepped-back, slender upper story tower. Here, wider two-bedroom units with bedrooms on both sides of living-rooms, and generous terraces, are accommodated in the shallower floor plate.

An existing garage under the building, extending to a partly-subterranean three-level structure north of the tower, accommodates resident and retail parking. Along a side street, planters screen the above-ground garage, whose low massing ensures preservation of spectacular Hollywood Hills views for north-facing units.

A gym and lounge for residents are tucked under first floor retail. The building was upgraded for accessibility, seismic, life safety and energy performance.

Sky Lofts

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Sky Lofts – 801 Grand

Los Angeles, CA


CIM Group/Lee Homes

Lot Area:

1.35 Acres / 59,000 sf


230,000 sf

Loft Condominiums:

232,000 sf


462,000 sf


232 Stalls Required
599 Stalls Provided

2007 PCBC Gold Nugget Award of Merit
Best Adaptive Reuse Project

The top half of a 1980s Los Angeles office tower has been converted to Live/Work Condominium, Commercial, Recreation Room and Parking, creating the first hybrid high-rise in downtown Los Angeles. All the existing structures on site were demolished and removed except for the existing high-rise building and a portion of the subterranean parking garage. This renovation/adaptive reuse project consists of 12 units per floor at varying sizes to total 132 units. There was a modification to the low-rise elevator to accommodate the use of group separation. The rear/west side of the ground floor was separated for the lobby/entrance of the new residential use, along with a gym and lounge.

Latitude 33 – Sky Tower

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Marina Del Rey, CA


Lennar & Sunbrook Partners

Lot Area:

.58 Acres

Building Area:

101,000 sf


45 Tower Condos

Unit Sizes:

1,278 to 3,140 sf


302 Stalls


77.6 du/ac

2012 Gold Nugget Award of Merit
Best Adaptive Re-Use Project

This adaptive re-use project includes the demolition of all structures occupying the site, with the exception of the nine-story office tower located at the northeast corner of the site. Work included structural upgrades as well as replacement of the exterior curtain wall and window system.

The tower’s ground floor now accommodates a porte cochere entry and guest parking, lobby with concierge services, gym and luxury amenities, as well as retail space lining Washington Boulevard, one block from Venice Beach. Parking capacity was increased with a new adjacent structure whose roof became the podium for a stacked townhouse project.

Forty-five flats occupy levels 2 through 9 of the tower: four penthouses at each of the top levels, six units per floor in the middle stories, and nine including designated affordable units on the second floor. Over 70% are corner units and the spectacular views are fully delivered by a new curtain wall which provides floor-to ceiling windows, drawing in the coastal milieu and sea breezes. Unit plans emphasize large rooms, informal layouts with open kitchens and dens. Hallways are generally omitted, or widened to furnishable proportion.

655 Hope

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655 HOPE

Downtown Los Angeles, CA


Seck Group, LLC

Lot Area:

22,000 sf

Total Area:

116,000 sf

Total Units:

80 Live/Work Condominiums


84 Stalls

A 17-story office building in downtown Los Angeles is renewed as a Live/Work environment providing 80 condominiums within the top 11 floors, ground-floor retail and indoor parking.  Rehabilitation work includes replacement of exterior walls, complete reconfiguration of all floors and interior upgrades including floor-to-ceiling windows and 11′-0″ foot ceilings in each unit. The roof-top star-gazer entertainment deck and helipad overlooks the panorama of Downtown Los Angeles.

9920-9922 JEFFERSON

9920-9922 JEFFERSON

Culver City, CA


Abraxis Bioscience, LLC


55,509 sf – Building 1 / Existing
17,000 sf – Building 2 / New Construction

Total Lease Space

72,509 sf


8,250 sf

Total Project Area:

80,759 sf


213 Stalls

9920 Jefferson has provided Culver City, CA with much-needed ‘creative office space.’ Dating from 1962, this steel-framed, reinforced masonry manufacturing building has been renovated and designed for re-use as professional offices. VTBS provided Architectural Services to include the design for upgrades, alterations and improvements to the existing building, one element of which, involved removing areas of the second floor framing to allow a natural light atrium at the first floor level.

Taking advantage of the balance of the existing lot, VTBS has conceived a radiant new office building, designed to complement the existing structure yet vitalize the project with a modern image. The new building is four stories in height with a usable roof terrace and constructed with a cast-in-place concrete first floor with three steel frame floors above.

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Marina 41 Apartments

Marina 41 Apartments

Marina Del Rey, CA


Archstone Communities

Completion Date:


This project involved the renovation of an existing residential rental community in Marina Del Rey, California. The work included interior renovations and modernization of building exteriors. New window and wall systems, balcony guardrails and other added building details unify the different buildings on site that range from three story garden apartments to high-rise towers with commanding views of the Marina.

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St. Andrews Grand

St. Andrews Grand

St. Andrews, Scotland, UK


Wasserman Real Estate Capital


23 Luxury 4-bedroom Condos


1,400 – 1,930 sf per unit

The former Grand Hotel commands a prominent view of the Old Course at St. Andrews, known to many as the birthplace of golf. The design involves a careful conversion of this historic building into twenty-three luxury condominiums with full-service health club and exceptional services. An essential goal of the design team was to create a state of the art residence facility wrapped in a richly embossed historic envelope. The individual unit-plans range from 1,400-1,900sf and generally provide four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The concept here is to provide luxury accommodations for the traditional foursome. The two primary facades, classically detailed in Dumphries red sandstone will be shored in-place, while the balance of the structure is demolished and re-constructed. The renovation called for the two primary facades, classically detailed in Dumphries red sandstone, to be shored-in-place, while the balance of the structure was demolished and re-constructed. The work also maintains, in situ, the grand stair and several ground-floor public rooms.

“At St. Andrews Grand, I saw the talents and skill of VTBS as essential to the mix of world-class Architects and Designers in this most significant and historical building. They represented the ‘across the pond’ view of western sensibilities and expectations applied to a project occupied by world leaders in business, entertainment and sports.”
~ David Wasserman, Principal
Wasserman Real Estate

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Glendon Manor – Palazzo Westwood

Glendon Manor – Palazzo Westwood

Westwood, CA


Casden Properties

Lot Size:

0.3 Acres

Residential Area:

14,000 sf

Health Club Area:

7,000 sf


11 Luxury Lofts

Unit size:

800 sf – 1,550 sf


1.6 FAR – 36 du/ac

Embracing the architectural traditions of Westwood Village, the mixed-use development of Palazzo Westwood fits comfortably into the village environment with themes inspired by the world-famous Alhambra in Grenada, Spain.

Incorporated into the newly designed community, on the southerly edge, is a 1920s vintage apartment building that has been preserved and re-imagined as a world-class health spa and gym facility featuring a state of the art fitness center, exercise studio, celebrity trainers, and a 30 foot rock climbing wall.

Eleven luxury townhouses and flats overlook the edgeless infinity pool, unique fountains with custom, hand-painted tiles imported from around the world, and lush courtyards featured throughout the community.

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Hollywood, CA


DS Ventures, Inc.


2.1 Acres

SITE A:  Metropolitan Creative Offices

Lot Area:

1.0 Acres


44,000 sf



SITE B:  Metropolitan Apartments Tower

Lot Area:

.05 Acres


52 Units, 46,000 sf


2.2 – 104 du/ac

SITE C:  Metropolitan West Apartments

Lot Area:

.6 Acres


79 Total Units, 87,000 sf
5 Live/Work
74 Apartments


3.3 – 132 du/ac

Located on historic Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood, VTBS is renovating an existing 1971, 2-story commercial building consisting of 38,000 sf with the addition of 14,000 sf by adding third and fourth floors.  The building exterior shall be renovated to include new store frontage and cladding while the interior takes advantage of an open office plan with exposed structure throughout.

The project also includes two additional phases entailing the conversion of the 12-story Metropolitan Hotel Tower into 52 open-plan loft apartments as well as the construction of a new 5-story, Type-III, 29-unit apartment building over Type-I parking on the neighboring site.

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