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Could this new Arts District development be L.A.'s High Line?

Written by
Brittany Martin

The Arts District looks like it will be getting even more crowded in the near future if proposed plans for another gleaming mega-development in the neighborhood are approved. This one, planned for 670 Mesquit Street, would include retail, two hotels, residential apartments, a small museum or gallery space and a sprawling, elevated outdoor courtyard area, all housed within connecting 30-story (at their highest peak) concrete and glass buildings, as Designboom reports.

Located on the site now is the Rancho Cold Storage warehouse, but the owners clearly see potential for their block-long site that backs up to the L.A. River and is just blocks from the Santa Fe Avenue enclave of shops and dining, including Bestia and Bread Lounge.    

Building a courtyard sculpture garden area is a centerpiece of the project, already earning it comparisons to New York's High Line, but it might also be the single trickiest element. Because the deck would extend over a rail yard, the owners will have to get approval for that outdoor space from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Amtrak, Metrolink and BNSF, according to the L.A. Times.

That’s not the only thing the team behind the development will have to contend with. In order to construct a project of this density, they will need to get special permission from the city. In March, L.A. voters may pass a referendum, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which would ban just the type of allowances this project is counting on. If they don’t get their plans approved by March, they may have to significantly downsize what they’re trying to build. 


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