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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Berkshire Group is renovating One Santa Fe to better “blend in” with neighborhood

The firm may be responding to scathing architectural criticism of the massive residential complex

June 27, 2016 09:30AM

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The One Santa Fe Complex at 300 South Santa Fe Avenue in the Arts District, and Berkshire Group CEO Chuck Leitner

The One Santa Fe Complex at 300 South Santa Fe Avenue in the Arts District, and Berkshire Group CEO Chuck Leitner

Los Angeles’ own “Death Star” may be getting a softer new look.

One Santa Fe, the contentious 434-unit apartment complex widely considered to be the linchpin of gentrification in the Arts District, will be renovated to better blend in with the neighborhood, its new owner Berkshire Group announced Friday.

The Boston-based investment firm acquired the 70-year ground lease for the property, at 300 South Santa Fe Avenue, for around $200 million earlier this month, The Real Deal first reported.

Berkshire’s decision to redevelop the property is a surprise, considering how recently the property debuted. Construction wrapped up just last year. The property is often dubbed the “Empire State Building on its side” because it’s wider than the height of the original Manhattan landmark.

But, from the get-go, some of the neighborhood’s long-time residents have been critical of One Santa Fe’s dramatic rectangular design, courtesy of architect Michael Maltzan, which some say clashes with the area’s historic feel.

“DTLA, and in particular the Arts District, is one of the most exciting submarkets in the country,” Berkshire SVP of family acquisitions Eric Schrumpf told GlobeSt.com. “We want the property to blend in with and remain true to the original nature of the Arts District.” [GlobeSt]Cathaleen Chen

  • Connie Vassilev

    Why not just put cruise ship smoke stacks on it? It already looks like a booze cruise ship. We could rebrand it and call it The Port of Santa Fe!!! A real destination location right in our backyard.

  • Connie Vassilev

    Why not just put cruise ship smoke stacks on it? It already looks like a booze cruise ship. We could rebrand it and call it The Port of Santa Fe!!! A real destination location right in our backyard.

  • Connie Vassilev

    Why not just put cruise ship smoke stacks on it? It already looks like a booze cruise ship. We could rebrand it and call it The Port of Santa Fe!!! A real destination location right in our backyard.

  • Ryan

    They want to make it “softer”? This building may be cheap in its construction (as is most new LA developer construction) but it’s an architectural masterpiece and one of the best new buildings to hit LA in years. I hope the new owner doesn’t ruin this gem.

    • DorothyP

      It’s not a masterpiece. It looks like the bastard child of a shopping mall and a prison complex.

      • Ryan

        Disagree 100%

      • Ryan

        Disagree 100%

      • Ryan

        Disagree 100%

    • DorothyP

      It’s not a masterpiece. It looks like the bastard child of a shopping mall and a prison complex.

    • DorothyP

      It’s not a masterpiece. It looks like the bastard child of a shopping mall and a prison complex.

  • Ryan

    They want to make it “softer”? This building may be cheap in its construction (as is most new LA developer construction) but it’s an architectural masterpiece and one of the best new buildings to hit LA in years. I hope the new owner doesn’t ruin this gem.

  • Ryan

    They want to make it “softer”? This building may be cheap in its construction (as is most new LA developer construction) but it’s an architectural masterpiece and one of the best new buildings to hit LA in years. I hope the new owner doesn’t ruin this gem.

  • Vinh Bui

    I hate this building so much and I hope this new group loses money on its investment. I’ve lived in downtown LA for 16 years and this building is truly a blemish on the neighborhood.

  • Vinh Bui

    I hate this building so much and I hope this new group loses money on its investment. I’ve lived in downtown LA for 16 years and this building is truly a blemish on the neighborhood.

  • Vinh Bui

    I hate this building so much and I hope this new group loses money on its investment. I’ve lived in downtown LA for 16 years and this building is truly a blemish on the neighborhood.

  • oh wewl

    I bet these asshats want to turn it into another Orsini.

  • oh wewl

    I bet these asshats want to turn it into another Orsini.

  • oh wewl

    I bet these asshats want to turn it into another Orsini.

  • DorothyP

    It’s hideous. It blocked the view to the east of the mountains for pedestrians and other neighbors. No landscaping, harsh colors and no sense of place. Why didn’t the architect wake up?

  • DorothyP

    It’s hideous. It blocked the view to the east of the mountains for pedestrians and other neighbors. No landscaping, harsh colors and no sense of place. Why didn’t the architect wake up?

  • DorothyP

    It’s hideous. It blocked the view to the east of the mountains for pedestrians and other neighbors. No landscaping, harsh colors and no sense of place. Why didn’t the architect wake up?

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