The Arts District has been L.A.'s worst kept secret in recent years. The affordable "arts" aspect of the area has mostly given way to sleek eateries and industrial-themed breweries. Its transition away from an under-the-radar neighborhood has meant that developments like One Santa Fe and the Smorgusburg LA-adjacent ROW DTLA seem almost expected. But Sixth & Alameda is truly surprising.
Irvine-based developer Suncal has unveiled renderings for its $2 billion development Sixth & Alameda. A 15-acre site currently occupied by produce warehouses would be cleared and replaced by two skyscrapers as well as rows of colorful, greenery-clad concrete buildings, according to the Downtown News.
About those skyscrapers: The plans call for two 58-floor towers along Alameda Street (by comparison, both the U.S. Bank Tower and the topped-out Wilshire Grand contain 73 floors). Today, you'll find few buildings in the Arts District above five or six floors. The L.A. Times estimates the towers at more than 700 feet, which would rank them among Downtown's tallest.
Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, who are behind San Francisco's de Young Museum, are leading the design of the development with assistance from some L.A.-based architects: prolific local firm A.C. Martin, who's been responsible for a number of Downtown landmarks, and landscape architect Mia Lehrer and Associates, who are leading the design of the Grand Park-adjacent FAB Park.
The towers and adjacent mixed-use complex would tally up millions of square feet of floor space for 1,305 apartments and 431 condos as well as hotel, office, school and cultural space. Most Angelenos would likely find themselves interacting with the pedestrian-friendly alleyways of shops and restaurants in the low-rise section of the complex.
The project should likely start its city approval process sometime this week, an undertaking that could take up to two years, with a three-phase construction timeline coming some time after that.
Sixth & Alameda is certainly unlike anything else in the Arts District. The neighborhood is changing—and has already changed—in astonishingly rapid fashion. Sixth & Alameda, though, is the first truly urban project planned for a largely suburban-style slice of Downtown. It's only blocks from Skid Row but squarely in the epicenter of the Arts District's cultural pull. In other words, we expect plenty of differing opinions on this one—let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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