At 17,500 square feet, it wasn't much land to build a 156-unit, high-end multifamily housing project.

But the land was at the northeast corner of Figueroa and Olympic in downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to the Anschutz Entertainment Group's Staples Center and smack in the middle of a 27-acre redevelopment project. The Hanover Co., a Houston-based developer, just had to have it.

"It was fairly obvious to us that this was the place to be," says Kevin Batchelor, a development partner with Hanover, noting that the $1.4 billion to $2 billion redeveloping area includes theaters, restaurants, and more than 1,300 multifamily housing units. "It is going to be the Times Square of downtown L.A.," Batchelor adds.

The Hanover Co.

Hanover closed escrow on Oct. 2 and plans to have the 26-story housing project, called 717 Olympic, completed in two years. Batchelor would not disclose the project's cost or rental price.

Hanover asked Daun St. Amand, vice president of the Los Angeles office of RTLK Associates, to make the building modern and dynamic, Batchelor said.

For his first project with Hanover, St. Amand says he studied the artsy, historical South Park District before designing a modern project that borrows top corners and window features from a neighboring 1920s building. He also used large windows to give the units more light and packed the project with high-end amenities.

"The main criterion that Hanover gave us was that it had to be very luxurious," St. Amand says. "They insisted on top quality."

–Erin Massey