Bolsa Row – KTGY Designs Landmark Gateway Project for Little Saigon
Building Industry Association of Southern California
August 17, 2017
IRVINE, Calif. – International award-winning KTGY Architecture + Planning unveiled today the planning and design for a new Experiential Urban Lifestyle development in the Orange County City of Westminster, California. Currently called Bolsa Row, the new project will serve as the prominent gateway to “Little Saigon,” the largest Vietnamese community in the U.S., and one of Orange County’s fastest growing treasures. Bolsa Row is being developed by IP Westminster, LLC, led by Joann and Bac Pham, a developer with hotels in Garden Grove and other nearby cities.
Located on six acres on the southeast corner of Bolsa Avenue and Brookhurst Street, the planned development includes a five-story 150-room hotel, which is the area’s first, and a five-story 201-unit apartment community with a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. The design currently includes approximately 60,000 square feet of ground-floor experiential and lifestyle retail, restaurant space and an event facility. The plan is connected and energized by a “Festival Street,” a pedestrian-friendly retail promenade that could host Southeast Asian summer market nights and similar events.
“This is an exciting project for us to collaborate with our studios in-house,” said Ken Ryan, KTGY principal and head of the firm’s Community Planning and Urban Design Studio. KTGY provided the planning for the project and will serve as the executive architect for the entire project. The firm will also serve as the design architect for the residential component. “Designing a great urban place demands attention to not only how it functions (access, parking, the number of units, etc.) but also how it connects to the human experience,” Ryan added. “Bolsa Row will offer a mix of uses that provide a sense of destination and synergy reflective of the area’s cultural heritage that will attract people to come, and cause them to return,” Ryan noted.
Director of Planning for KTGY and the project Johanna Crooker added, “The goal of the new development is to give back to the community of Little Saigon and the City of Westminster by creating a unique live, shop, celebrate destination that evokes the spirit of pre-1970s Vietnam and honors the Vietnamese culture and traditions. The architectural style of the new development reflects French Colonial influences and the elegance of great spaces, lifestyle and the atmosphere before the war.”
The interesting special “spaces” created throughout the development are designed to offer thoughtful visual and physical connections between the hotel, residential, retail and the streetscape, both vertical and horizontal. “There is a void in Orange County’s verticality in placemaking as well as opportunities for meaningful indoor and outdoor experience,” said Ryan. “Hotel guests and patrons will be able to enjoy great views of Bolsa Row’s events and activities as well as Disneyland’s nightly fireworks off in the distance.”
The retail along the base of the hotel’s event hall and apartment community engages and enlivens the Festival Street, which can be closed to traffic without restricting the circulation of the site. The Festival Street provides parking for retail when open and a safe place for community gatherings, farmers markets, holiday celebrations or private parties when closed, Ryan stated.
A landscaped “Celebration Bridge” with seating areas connects the event hall to the hotel’s second-story roof garden. The bridge enhances the pedestrian circulation, establishes active and passive uses, and provides an outdoor event space with access to the indoor reception halls.
“This is the type of project that complements and celebrates the face of a community, and can become a tremendous asset to not only the city but the region,” Ryan noted.
The plans have been submitted to the city and are currently under review.