Sky Lofts

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801 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Sky Lofts

Sky Lofts against the California sky
Building Information
Developer Swinerton Builders
Architect Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner
Number of Units 132
Number of Floors 22
Year Built 1985
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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801 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Distance to Public Transit Over 40 options nearby
Region Los Angeles
Municipality Los Angeles
Zoning R2-1VL
Title of Land Condominium



The original settlement of what is today, downtown Los Angeles was established on September 4, 1781. A group of forty-four settlers, who trekked north from present-day Mexico, founded the pueblo called "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles". Translated, this means, "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels".[1] The "townspeople", or Los Angeles Pobladores as they have become known, could have no idea what they started.

Downtown Los Angeles, nestled into the basin formed by surrounding hills, is a thriving commercial center in North America with a high population second only to New York City. Many multinational corporations are represented in L.A., as Los Angeles is often referred to, by skyscrapers in the central business district.

Sky Lofts was built to provide both commercial and office space for downtown Los Angeles, and for about 20 years, it did so. However, during the 1980s, the migration of the office space market to Bunker Hill, where newer buildings were going up, caused many of the historic office structures to lie dormant and vacant'.

Once the Los Angeles City Council passed an 'adaptive reuse ordinance', developers moved in and began to convert older structures into luxury condominiums and other residential complexes. This increase in the downtown population breathed new life into the area and with it, new investment.

Originally built in 1985, Sky Lofts was converted to condominium living in 2006. Residences began on the 12th floor an up, leaving the lower floors still reserved for commercial and office space.


Sky Lofts is located in downtown Los Angeles in the area known as South Park. The area of South Central lies to the north, and to the south, is Vermont Slauson. East of South Park, lies Central Alameda, and Vermont Squareon completes the surround to the west.

The building is located within walking distance of "Restaurant Row" on Seventh Street. So successful are the eating places in the area, a second "Restaurant Row" is forming along Grand Avenue. There are more than 40 places to eat within a thousand feet of Sky Lofts. As can be imagined, there are more choices available than we can list here.[2]

The impressive view from Sky Lofts

Other places of note in the area are Los Angeles Live, an entertainment complex, which includes venues such as the Nokia Theatre, the Grammy Museum, the Regal Entertainment Group movie complex, and of course, restaurants. Adjacent to LA Live, is the Staples Center, adjacent to L.A. Live, a multi-purpose sports arena where events such as hockey, basketball, rock concerts, and even figure skating competitions may be seen.

Ralph's Fresh Fare Market may suit residents of Sky Lofts if they do not feel like eating out. as well, many other grocery outlets can be reached in under a third of a mile, which is less than 1800 feet from the door.

Sky Lofts finds itself less than two blocks from the Jewelry District and the Historic Downtown area is only eight blocks north. This area of Los Angeles is particularly known for its hip vibe and upbeat nightlife.

The entrance to freeway 110, the Harbor Freeway, is five blocks away and ties in quickly to the Santa Monica Freeway.


Renovation proposal drawings
Renovation activities of the office area

The Sky Lofts were originally constructed to serve as office space with commercial purposes on lower floors. After the conversion to condominiums in 2006, this purpose is still served by the bottom 11 floors. A covered breezeway at the main entrance facilitates east pickup and drop off at the building.

The ground level of the building contains the private lobby for residents, a public lobby for the offices and several retail shops.

Each apartment has high, ten foot, fully finished ceilings, a benefit of having once been an office building. The floor to ceiling windows are consistent throughout the building allowing lots of natural light to enter. In sunny California, this is the most desirable.

Studios, one bedroom, and two bedroom units are available. Almost every unit has two bathrooms, soaking tubs, free standing showers and ultra modern kitchens.[3]

Layout and Features


In addition to the large lobby, the glass covered breezeway, and residential parking, Sky Lofts features a lounge, screening room, and a fitness center.

The floors are divided by apartment type where one floor has 12 studios apartments. The next has ten one bedroom style units. This styling progression continues to the top five floors where the penthouses are located. The penthouses range from single level to three level units.

Penthouses also feature roof top terraces and deluxe features, like Sub-zero stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and hardwood flooring.

Floor Plans

One sample of a floor plan is included, the plan shows all units on that particular floor.

A video presentation of features, amenities, and a suite walk-through is available in the References Section of this page at the bottom.[4]


Sky Lofts presents numerous amenities for residents, some of which include the Sky Lobby, the Sky Lounge, the Sky Theater, and of course, the eponymously named Sky Fitness Center. The list continues with:

  • 24 hour doorman
  • Banquet facilities
  • Gated parking
  • Guest parking
  • Fitness center
  • Property manager onsite
  • Central air conditioning
  • Central heat
  • Sky lounge
  • Theater


Sky Lofts Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No

  • Unassigned covered parking spaces available
  • Large, accessible visitor parking
  • Pets are permitted
  • No balconies equals no barbecues
  • Rentals are permitted


At the time of its construction, environmentally conscious and 'green' buildings were not fully into the mainstream of today's modern thinking. During renovation, though, more thought was given to environmentally friendly features.

  • Low-flow fixtures and energy star rated appliances were installed. Residents themselves can contribute to a greener environment by:
    • Recycling
    • Choosing 'green' household products, such as papers and cleansers
    • Using a bike
    • Choose to commute with public transit
    • Installing LED lighting replacing incandescent bulbs


Historic downtown
  • Los Angeles had a strict building height limit until 1957, the skyline has changed dramatically since that date, revitalizing the downtown core.
    • In 1904 the city limited the height of Class A buildings to 130 feet but extended to that to 150 feet in 1911.
    • The lower heights were imposed to avoid the "Manhattanization" of the city by allowing more sunlight to reach the streets and create fewer shadows. Concerns for earthquakes was likely also a factor for the guidelines that remained in place for about 50 years.
    • Modern engineering has allowed the Los Angeles skyline to grow and the city is no longer referred to as, "128 communities in search of a city."[5]

  • Perishing Square, just a few blocks from Sky Lofts, is part of the original five acres of Pueblo land that comprised the beginning of the City of Angels.
    • It began its existence in 1849, as a rectangle called Block 15 on a grid map proposed by surveyor E.O. Ord.
    • In 1866 the city set aside Block 15 as a public square, although with no funds committed to its upkeep, it remained a treeless town commons used for grazing and short cuts avoiding the grid system of roads not fully formed yet.
    • In 1870, it was renamed Los Angeles Park and trees were planted. In 1886 a bandstand was added to the park.
    • In 1910, the park was redesigned with an $80,000 renovation with diagonal walkways, a fountain to replace the bandstand, and bamboo and Italian cypresses around the perimeter.
    • Over its existence, the park has had many names. including Plaza Abaja (Lower Plaza), Sixth Street Park, and St. Vincent Park, before settling on Central Park. Following the excitement of World War I, the city renamed the park in honor of General John Pershing, the commander of U.S. forces in the war.
    • A subterranean parking garage was built under Pershing Square in the early 1950s. Introductory rates for parking when it opened in 1952, were $0.25 per hour.[6]


  1. Wikipedia - Los Angeles
  2. Walk Score
  3. Sky Lofts
  4. Youtube - Video Walk Through of Sky Lofts
  5. Emporis - About Los Angeles
  6. Social Focus - From Plaza Abaja to Pershing Square

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