IMT Residential has cleared another hurdle in its bid to redevelop the parking lot surrounding the former headquarters of Sunkist with apartments.

The project, which was approved earlier today by the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, calls for the construction of three new apartment buildings featuring 249 residential units - including 25 to be set aside for moderate-income households - and 27,470 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

The new construction, designed by Johnson Fain, would replace an L-shaped parking lot lining Hazeltine Avenue and Riverside Drive.  Renderings depict colorful low-rise structures standing up to 65 feet in height.

IMT also intends to preserve and rehabilitate the former Sunkist Building - an AC Martin-designed Brutalist structure - as 127,000 square feet of commercial office space.

Other components of the project include a 1,141-car garage - slated to serve residents and office tenants - as well as a small park flanking the Los Angeles River along the southern property line.

A timeline for the Sunkist development has not been announced, though construction is expected to occur over a 33-month period.

Project entitlements - including a zone change - will require the approval of the Los Angeles City Council.