James E Donaldson

Key Qualifications and Experience

Portfolio of Works Completed at Johnson Fain between 2004 - 2015

707 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. Johnson Fain completed the renovation of 707 Wilshire Boulevard.  The renovation includes the addition of a 45 foot by 73 foot clear supported glass wall system in the main lobby as well as renovation to the West Garden which includes a new glass roof structure, upgrade of finishes and new landscaping.  New lighting at the existing parapet creates an illuminated crown by night, much as is currently exhibited in the downtown Los Angeles skyline. The objective of this renovation is to create a public friendly experience while working at and visiting 707 Wilshire Boulevard.

Amgen Building 21  |  Thousand Oaks, CA.  This successful project was the first Amgen project that was delivered via an Integrated Project Delivery agreement.  The project 48,600 square foot project elevates the quality of the workplace, repositions it as a workplace of the future and provides an appropriate environment that reflects Amgen’s vision and value.

Blossom Plaza  |  Los Angeles, CA.  Ground breaking has taken place for Forest City Development’s Blossom Plaza, the a 1.4 acre mixed-use project in Downtown Los Angeles’ Chinatown neighborhood.  Comprising 237 residential apartments including 100 affordable units, plus 18,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail, the project connects the METRO Gold Line Station to Broadway, Chinatown’s active “Main Street.”  The project’s sustainable goal is LEED Gold.

Christ Cathedral  |  Garden Grove CA. The Diocese of Orange selected Johnson Fain to transform Philip Johnson’s iconic Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove into Christ Cathedral.  Extensive interior improvements to the all-glass, 2,700-seat cathedral will transition this important landmark into a Roman Catholic place of worship.   Interior space will be redesigned to support a full array of Catholic liturgical services and activities.

Columbia Square  |  Los Angeles, CA.  Columbia Square is an exciting mixed-use development which includes 380,000 square feet of office, 330 residences, a 125 key boutique hotel and 20,000 square feet of retail at the historic CBS/Columbia Square Studio.  This project renovated the original William Lezcaz buildings, and create a new destination within this vibrant Hollywood region.  A 35 story residential tower and 16 story office tower rise from a ground floor mix of hotel, retail, and open space supported by 1,900 spaces of parking.   This vertical arrangement preserves 25 percent of the site for public open space.   A textbook example of “Smart Growth” which balances living, working, entertainment and hospitality, Columbia Square preserves and revives this historically significant location, reinforcing Hollywood’s standing as an important world center for entertainment and media.

Horizon at Playa Vista  |  Los Angeles, CA.   This commission for Lincoln Property Company was the first new commercial development in Playa Vista called “Horizon.”  The six acre campus, features 950,000 square feet of Class A office space and set the standard for future projects in Playa Vista.  The design of the new office buildings represent the convergence of a state-of-the workplace environment and a continuation of the industrial character of the surrounding historic Hughes buildings.  Designed to the edge of their site, the buildings provide large uninterrupted floor space to provide the planning flexibility that technology, media, and other high profile commercial tenants require.  

Kaka’ako District Master Plan  |  Honolulu, HI.  Johnson Fain worked with Forest City Development and the Kamehameha Schools to obtain entitlements for the 38-acre Kaka’ako Site located between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki in the Kaka’ako District.  The first phase includes initial development of 18-acres.
Luxe Hills Resort Community  |  Chengdu, China. Luxe Hills Resort Community is a large golf course development in the southern part of Chengdu, China.  Johnson Fain completed detailed site planning for the 1100 condominium units in towers and 200 townhouse units facing the golf course.  Johnson Fain has worked extensively in the area, recently developing a large scale urban design for Chengdu’s Longquan Yi District.  Johnson Fain also provided conceptual architectural design for three prototypical residential towers, ranging from mid-rise to 18 stories.  The towers are clustered together, often with two or three connected and joined together.   

Playa Vista Phase II Urban Design, Los Angeles, CA.  Urban design framework plan and design standards for The Village at Playa Vista, the second development phase of the Playa Vista new community in West Los Angeles.  Drawing from lessons learned from the first phase development, Johnson Fain has prepared detailed design guidelines for implementation of the 2,600 housing unit and 360,000 sq. ft. commercial mixed use town center.  Prepared as a supplemental document to the Playa Vista Specific Plan, the framework and standards are a form-based approach to establishing urban character in the largest new development on the west side of Los Angeles.

Runway @ Playa Vista  |  Los Angeles, CA.  500,000 square foot mixed use project in the heart of the Playa Vista Campus.  200 apartments, 200,000 square feet of upscale retail, 50,000 square feet “creative office” and 1,400 structured parking spaces.  The project is designed to evoke to image of westside living, coastal communities, recreation, strong fashion awareness and a connection to the best new haute cuisine. The project is slated to open in spring 2015.

The Alhambra Residential  |  Alhambra CA. Johnson Fain updated the master plan of the campus with particular attention to a proposed new residential portion of the campus located on the 10 acre north- east corner of the site, which will include campus-serving facilities such as a fitness center, parking, and cooling tower. The principal Master Plan objective is the creation of a cohesive mixed-use “urban community”. In addition, services include conceptual architectural design for the residential portion of the plan, which will be developed to a level of plan resolution sufficient to initiate a zone change process with the City of Alhambra. Recent  services provided by Johnson Fain include Program and Land Use; Site Plan; Urban Design Parameters; Open Space and Landscape; Access; Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation; and Additional Special Design Features. 

The District at Northridge, Northridge, CA. Johnson Fain provided New Urban West with master planning and architectural design for the mixed-use infill project on 16 acres with 750 for sale residential condominiums and lofts as well as 20,000 square feet of retail space for New Urban West.  The office also provided design guidelines for upcoming phases. The Village was designed for ease of living, and is pedestrian-friendly not only within the 16-acre setting but provides easy access to the neighboring shopping, entertainment and business services that exist immediately adjacent.

UCLA Wilshire Center  |  Los Angeles, CA.  The renovation to this 330,000 square foot, 18 story building includes extensive repairs and recladding of the entire building exterior.   In addition to the major effort of recladding the tower facades, the project includes the reconfiguration of the ground floor at the Wilshire entrance.   Johnson Fain has improved the pedestrian and auto entrances, upgraded the public lobby and retail tenant entrance and redesigned the lighting, signage, landscape, flooring and ceilings.