The New Pearl on Wilshire Is Helping Transform L.A.’s Koreatown


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The New Pearl on Wilshire Is Helping Transform L.A.’s Koreatown

High-End Apartment Complex Features Coworking Space, Bocce Ball Courts and a Pet Spa


A newly constructed, high-end apartment building in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, popular for its karaoke and Korean barbecue venues, was built to attract millennials.

The Pearl on Wilshire, a 364-unit multifamily project at 687 S. Hobart Blvd., aims to cater to the generation born in the 1980s through the mid-1990s with a number of amenities from a dedicated coworking space on site to a gym filled with luxury equipment including Peloton spinning bikes.

The development is the fastest leasing project in the history of CityView, said Sean Burton, whose firm developed the property and owns it in a joint venture with Los Angeles’ Hankey Investment Co.

More than 240 units, which consist of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, have been leased since the early summer. The six-story building is now around 76 percent leased with rents ranging from $2,001 to $3,191 a month, according to the company. Burton said he doesn’t think their success has happened by accident.

“Every project we have is very local, very contextual to the neighborhood, and we really work to make it a fabric of the community,” said Burton, chief executive of Century City, California-based CityView. He added that the location, in the center of Koreatown only a block from the Metro subway, has been ideal too.

The Pearl on Wilshire boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center with Peloton bikes, which can provide group fitness classes on a screen; a cycle and yoga room; a swimming pool with on-site outdoor grills and Korean barbecue; a rooftop lounge with an outdoor fireplace and a pet spa; dog run and bocce ball courts.

There is coworking space as well that Burton said feels similar to shared office space provider WeWork.

“You have a lot of people that tend to be consultants or are self-employed or work part-time from home, and we try to provide a great place where they can hang out and get WiFi and do their work,” he said.

The property, which was designed by Santa Monica-based architectural firm VTBS Architects and Burbank-based design firm Nadia Geller Designs, has 8,300 square feet of retail space on the ground level home to sandwich shop The Carving Board and coffee shop Alchemist Coffee Project.

Peter Strauss, co-founder of Encino, California-based commercial real estate brokerage Iconic Investments, said the Pearl on Wilshire is just one example that shows the demand for more upscale living in Koreatown.

“Everyone is upping their game when it comes to building in Koreatown,” said Strauss, who was not involved in the Pearl on Wilshire project. “I think this becomes the standard of what other people are going to do going forward on new projects.”

Other multifamily projects to open in recent years in Koreatown include Next on Sixth, at 620 South Virgil Ave. that opened last year and has Koreatown’s first Target on the ground floor, and the Vermont, a 464-unit building at 3150 Wilshire Blvd.

Peter Paik, president of Koreatown-based commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm GMC Realty Advisors, said all the new multifamily projects are transforming the landscape of an area that has been slower to gentrify than neighboring downtown Los Angeles.

“It’s really changing the whole look and face of Koreatown,” Paik, who grew up in Koreatown, said.

Another advantage Koreatown has is it is still affordable compared to other parts of the city, including downtown Los Angeles and West L.A., according to Paik, who was recently reelected as the president of the Korean Real Estate Brokers Association Southern California, which has about 5,000 members.

While he is not sure how quickly the area will be able to absorb all of the new development, Paik said, “I think the potential and the future is great in Koreatown.”

Author: Karen Jordan

Originally published in CoStar News