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Panorama Tower, Empty Since Northridge Earthquake, Reopens With Nearly 200 Apartments

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A building that has sat empty since the Northridge earthquake is rising from the ashes of that disaster 26 years later as a shiny beacon of much-needed residential development.

The Panorama Tower, which was heavily damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, reopened Thursday as a 14-story apartment building. It was originally designed as a 13-story office building in 1962.

panorama tower
(credit: Panorama Tower)

The building, at the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Titus Street, was purchased by the Shomof Group in 2015, according to Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez. The real estate developer added two penthouse spaces to the roof, and made $25 million in renovations, green building and seismic retrofitting upgrades. The building now is now 189,000 square feet and has 194 residential units.

The newly renovated building is the latest development to rise up in the Panorama City area, which suffered a one-two punch of losing manufacturing jobs in the 80s and 90s, then the devastation from the Northridge earthquake, according to Martinez. Two more affordable and supportive housing projects are being planned nearby, and Metro will break ground in 2022 on a new light rail line that will pass right in front of the Panorama Tower on Van Nuys Boulevard.

The area is also becoming a walkable haven, with "The Plant" shopping center a few blocks down on Van Nuys Boulevard at the site of what was once a General Motors plant, and a former Carnation Plant site reopening as Panorama High School.

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