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SAN PEDRO, CA-Joint venture partners Galaxy Commercial Holding of Beverly Hills and the Carlyle Group have kicked off construction of their $175-million, 318-unit waterfront residential condo tower, called the Vue. The 16-story project, which will be the first high-rise condominium tower in San Pedro, is named for its views of the city’s waterfront and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The project site is in Old Town San Pedro, across the Vincent Thomas Bridge from Long Beach at Fifth and Palos Verdes streets. Raffi Cohen, president of Galaxy Commercial Holding, says that the new condominiums, which will include units of one to three bedrooms that will range from 700 sf to more than 1,713 sf, will be ready for occupancy in early 2008.

Planned amenities include a roof-top sky deck on the 16th floor, a lounge and a fitness center. The project will include a five-story, 725-space controlled access parking structure.

The first step in the development of the condo project began in August with the implosion of the 12-story, 122,000-sf former Pacific Trade Center building at the construction site. The developer imploded the building because the 40-year-old Pacific Trade Center had been built in a way that rendered it difficult if not impossible to dismantle the building floor-by-floor.

The developers point out that downtown high-rise projects, which were hardly imaginable only a few years ago in the Southland, have become popular in Los Angeles, Long Beach and other locales. The Vue is the latest example of such projects, which now include a number of buildings being built from the ground up like the Vue as well as existing high-rise buildings that have been modified for residential uses.

Designed by J. Kobi Moses, principal of GMP Architects of Santa Monica, the project will feature interiors by Style Interior Design of Irvine. GMP’s other projects include three luxury towers in Marina Del Rey. Style Interior’s work includes projects in Pasadena, Marina Del Rey, Irvine and Santa Ana.

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