Element LA: Transforms Post-War Manufacturing Facility into Creative Office Campus
LOS ANGELES, CA McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, completed construction on Hudson Pacific Properties' adaptive-reuse, creative office campus, Element: LA, located at 12333 Olympic Blvd. in west Los Angeles, California.
McCormick served as the general contractor and Gensler as architect for the $100 million renovation, which included core and shell of five classic bow-truss buildings originally constructed in 1949, hardscaping and landscaping. Hudson Pacific pre-leased the entire project, which totals over 300,000 square feet on a prime 12 acre site in West Los Angeles, to Riot Games, a deal which marked the largest office lease transaction in the preceding five years. The campus serves as the gaming company's headquarters.
Total Price Tag: $100 million
Construction Cost: $47 million
Originally built in 1949 as a manufacturing facility
Transformed into a 300,000-square-foot creative office campus on 12 acres
Hudson Pacific pre-leased the space to Riot Games - marking the largest office lease transaction from 2010 to 2015
In collaboration with the owner, Hudson Pacific, and architect, Gensler, McCormick Construction completed the renovation of five buildings, totaling 300,000 gross square feet to create the adaptive-reuse creative office campus.
Transforming the manufacturing plant to a flexible work environment presented infrastructure and logistical challenges to achieving the project goals of preserving the building's original historic architecture, in addition to upgrading and modernizing the infrastructure.
"A project of this scale and scope requires a large team, working simultaneously to complete the job on schedule. Add the dense, urban location to the mix, and the logistics become complex quickly," said Michael McCormick, President and CEO of McCormick Construction. "As such, we've found that early collaboration, continuous open lines of communication and creative execution are the keys to success."
Dense, Urban Location
The dense, urban location presented the first challenge. Due to the scale of work required, approximately 400 construction employees were on site at any given time, which presented a logistical challenge as the site was in anurban neighborhood with limited parking. Off-site parking and buses to the jobsite were provided to all workers to minimize the project's impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
As with most adaptive reuse projects, the campus was not up to current code at the start of construction so each building had to be stripped down to its shell and all electrical systems had to be updated to meet the needs of a creative office environment. The existing campus included overhead high voltage transmission lines, towers and a Department of Water and Power (DWP) substation. In order to provide a free flowing feel for the campus, Hudson Pacific's vision was to remove the overhead transmission lines and substation then reroute the lines underground. To accomplish this, heavy coordination between DWP, Edison and the Element LA project team was required throughout the entire year and a half of the construction process. Once this challenge was solved, the team was able to install new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire safety systems throughout the campus.
"Transforming vintage buildings, like the Element: LA campus, into creative office spaces outfitted with the latest technology presents a dynamic set of challenges that we love to tackle," said McCormick. "With our extensive experience in both adaptive reuse and creative office spaces, we were able to quickly address any issues and implement successful strategies in order to keep the project running smoothly."
Additionally, the existing structures of the building presented a challenge in converting the space to an open, cohesive office environment, as it was originally built as a manufacturing facility and later renovated to a multi-tenant space. To enhance and strengthen the buildings, McCormick completed a structural retrofit to repair and fortify the original bow-truss ceilings, along with additional structural upgrades which included seismic retrofitting, new steel bracing, shotcrete strengthening of existing walls and new concreate masonry unit shear walls. The result was that the 1949-built campus was brought up to code and its historical authenticity preserved in the process.
Additional Project Team Members:
ARC Engineering, electrical engineer
Citadel Environmental Services, Inc., environmental consultant
Howard Building Corporation, tenant improvements
IDG Structural Engineering, structural engineer
KPFF Consulting Engineers, civil engineer
ValleyCrest, hardscaping and landscaping design