Sapphire Project

Case Number: ENV-2015-3033-EIR
Council District: 1
State Clearinghouse Number: 2016031029
Community Plan Areas: Westlake
Project Location: 1324-1342 W. 5th Street, 1101-1135 W. 6th Street, and 517-521 S. Bixel Street

Draft Environmental Impact Report

Project Description: The project involves the demolition of the existing structures on-site, which includes a three-level parking structure, one five-story commercial office and medical office building, and one four-story commercial office and medical office building, for the development of a residential and commercial mixed-use project with a total of 369 residential units and 22,000 square feet (sf) of ground floor retail use. The Proposed Project would consist of the construction of two buildings (North Building and South Building) that would be connected by a footbridge spanning above the adjacent alleyway. The North Building would include 142 apartment units within seven levels and would front on 5th Street. The South Building would include 22,000 sf of ground-floor retail and 227 apartment units within six levels above the ground-floor retail and would front both 6th Street and Bixel Street. The ground-floor commercial space may include retail, restaurant, coffee shop uses, and/or other uses permitted by the Central City West Specific Plan ("CCWSP"). The unit mix would include 193 studio units, 96 one-bedroom units, 56 two-bedroom units, and 24 three-bedroom units of varying sizes and configurations. Both buildings include seven stories above grade and two levels of subterranean parking. The elevation across the Project Site increases from south to north and west to east. The Proposed Project would provide required on-site vehicle and bicycle parking spaces pursuant to the LAMC. Open space courtyards and landscaping features are proposed throughout the Project Site which would include 16,075 sf of open space within the North Building property and 24,600 sf of open space within the South Building property for a total of 40,675 sf of open space on-site. In total, the Project would contain approximately 348,430 sf of floor area.

Permits and Approvals: Discretionary entitlements, reviews, and approvals required for implementation of the Proposed Project would include, but may not be limited to: (1) Pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code ("LAMC") Section 11.5.7-C, a Project Permit Compliance Approval of the Central City West Specific Plan ("CCWSP"); (2) Pursuant to LAMC Section 11.5.7-F, the Applicant requests the following Specific Plan Exceptions of the Central City West Specific Plan: (a) To allow a (0) zero-foot front yard setback for the North Building, in lieu of the 15 ft. as required by the CCWSP, Section 6.F-2; (b) To allow (0) zero-foot side yard setbacks for the east and west property lines for the North Building, in lieu of the 10 ft. required by the CCWSP, Section 6.F-2; (c) To allow a (0) zero-foot rear yard setback for the seven-story North Building, in lieu of the 19 ft. (15 ft. + 1 ft. per floor above the 3rd floor) required by the CCWSP, Section 6.F-2; (d) To allow a (0) zero-foot rear yard setback for the South Building in lieu of the 19 ft. (15 ft. + 1 ft. per floor above the 3rd floor of the 7 story building) required by the CCWSP, Section 6.F-6; (e) To deviate from the street standards of 5th Street, as required by the CCWSP Appendix C.1.K to be consistent with the newly adopted Mobility Plan; (3) Pursuant to LAMC Section 11.5.7.E a Specific Plan Project Permit Adjustment to average or reallocate the permitted density and floor area within the South Block; and (4) Pursuant to LAMC Section 12.21.G a Director’s Decision to allow a 10% increase in the qualifying area of interior open space up to a maximum of 35%, in lieu of 25% of the total required usable open space. Pursuant to various sections of the LAMC, the Applicant will request approvals and permits from the Department of Building and Safety (and other municipal agencies) for Project construction activities including, but not limited to, the following: excavation, shoring, grading, foundation, haul route, removal of existing street trees, building and tenant improvements. Other approvals (as needed), ministerial or otherwise, may be necessary, as the City finds appropriate in order to execute and implement the Proposed Project.

Anticipated Significant Environmental Effects: Based on the analysis contained in this Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), the Project would result in significant and unavoidable environmental impacts with regard to historic resources, and temporary noise and vibration impacts during construction. All other potential impacts identified would be mitigated to less-than-significant levels. Other issues addressed within the scope of the EIR include aesthetics, air quality, cultural resources (archaeological resources, paleontological resources and native American tribal resources, geology/soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials/risk of upset, land use and planning, noise (operational), population housing and employment, public services (fire, police, schools, recreation and parks), traffic/transportation, and public utilities (water supply, wastewater, energy conservation, solid waste). With implementation of mitigation measures, no other significant and unavoidable impacts are expected to occur as a result of construction or operation of the project.

Document Review and Comment: If you wish to review a print copy of the Draft EIR or the documents referenced in the Draft EIR, you may do so during office hours (between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, at 200 North Spring Street, City Hall, Room 750, Los Angeles CA 90012. The Draft EIR is available online at the Department of City Planning’s website at by clicking on the "Environmental" tab, then "Draf EIR." Digital versions are also available at the following Library Branches:

  1. Los Angeles Central Library - 630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071
  2. Echo Park Library - 1410 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026
  3. Pico Union Branch Library - 1030 South Alvarado Street, Los Angeles CA 90006

The Draft EIR can also be purchased on CD-ROM for $7.50 per copy. Contact Christina Toy Lee, at (213) 473-9723 to purchase copies. The review period for the Draft EIR begins on July 6, 2017 and ends on August 21, 2017. If you wish to submit comments regarding the Draft EIR, please reference the file number above and submit in writing by August 21, 2017 no later than 4:00 p.m.

Please direct your comments to:

             Mail:    Christina Toy Lee, City Planner
                         Los Angeles Department of City Planning
                         200 N. Spring Street, Room 750
                         Los Angeles, CA 90012
             Fax:    (213) 978-1343

Comment Review Period: July 6, 2017 to August 21, 2017