As Los Angeles County continues to densify, it will also lose some of its distinctly regional low-rise building types. As one of many agents of this transition, the Culver City Council has recently approved plans to transform a strip mall on the southern edge of Culver City into a hotel called “The Jeff,” with a remarkably streamlined facade that will tower 56 feet over its one-story neighbors.
The project will transform the block of nondescript storefronts into a five-story boutique hotel, complete with 175 guest rooms, a ground-floor restaurant, and a two-story subterranean parking garage. Designed by Downtown Los Angeles-based firm Nakada Partners, The Jeff resolved its close proximity to the 405 and 90 freeway intersection by partially covering its facade with carbon offsetting greenery and turning rooms inward toward a five-story courtyard, or what the architects call an “oculus.” Its top floor will include a bar and pool deck that similarly turn away from the freeway to provide a sense of quietude in the otherwise bustling neighborhood.
Led by local investment company Sandstone Properties, Inc, The Jeff was first revealed to the residents of Culver City in early 2019 and was initially met with criticism that the neighborhood would be better served with an affordable housing development than a hotel. As the project developed, however, the developers argued that The Jeff is an opportunity for the neighborhood to capitalize instead on the recent outgrowth of tech industry businesses in West Los Angeles, including Google, Snapchat, Hulu, and Facebook, that has led the area to be locally referred to as ‘Silicon Beach.’ The concerns raised by residents of the neighborhood led to minor alterations to the project, which the company now argues “will integrate itself into the fabric of the neighborhood and cater to both hotel guests and the community.” The revised version of the plan was passed by the city council on July 12.
The Jeff is expected to begin construction at the start of next year and conclude in 2024.