Developer OC eyes Uptown Whittier for 52-unit apartment complex

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Project rendering at 12826 Philadelphia Street (City of Whittier, iStock)

An Orange County developer has filed plans to build a four-story, 52-unit apartment complex in downtown Whittier.

Laguna Beach-based MW Investment Group has won approval from a Whittier design committee to build the project at 12826 Philadelphia St. at Comstock Avenue, the Whittier Daily News reported.

It would replace a closed medical office building next to the Extra Space Storage, former home of the Whittier Daily News.

The four-story complex, pictured in a rendering of a beige and brown building with floor-to-ceiling windows and yellow accents, is said to span half a block on Philadelphia Street

The developer is asking for an easing of the parking rules which would reduce the number required from 97 spaces to 85. MW Investment Group’s plan calls for 90 parking spaces.

The project should be presented to the city’s planning commission in July. Patricia O’Toole, chair of the commission, raised concerns about its heavy footprint and its 64-foot height, among the tallest on the street.

“I’m just worried – the design is well thought out, but basically it’s going to be one of the biggest buildings out there,” O’Toole said. “For me, it’s very big”

Matthew Waken, managing member of MW Investment, said the project is in line with city zoning.

“There is a desired density range for the site and to achieve that we need to make a four story building,” Waken said. “That’s what we did.”

“Working with the specific plan requires a four-story building,” he said. “You can imagine in the future when several projects will happen in this area to create the wonderful downtown you want. It will eventually fit together.

MW Investment Groupfounded in 2009, has built 1,200 residential units with a combined value of $500 million, according to its website.

Earlier this year, the urban infill housing developer paid $26.5 million at auction for a 12.4-acre federal office complex in Los Alamitos in northern Orange County.

[Whittier Daily News] – Dana Barthelemy

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