Could this Bjarke Ingels project become LA’s High Line?

An LA family proposes giant Arts District project with raised public space component

Dec.December 12, 2016 03:49 PM
Rendering of 670 Mesquit (Credit: BIG)
Rendering of 670 Mesquit (Credit: BIG)

UPDATED, 1:30 p.m., Dec. 13: The Gallo family and V.E. Equities announced Monday they are teaming up to pitch a megaproject along the L.A. River, which would be designed by none other than Bjarke Ingels.

The development, for which plans have not yet been filed, would include 250 rental units, two boutique hotels, and 800,000 square feet of office space. Some say it could be the culmination of the Arts District’s burgeoning transformation.

Dubbed 670 Mesquit, the development’s most radical proposal is a pedestrian deck that would extend over the train tracks, dividing the river from the Rancho Cold Storage facility on Mesquit Street, which the Gallo family owns. A small museum or sculpture park would connect to this elevated walkway, the L.A. Times reported. The design has drawn comparisons to New York City’s High Line.

“The major contribution to the transformation of the Arts District could be creating this deck over the rail yards,” Ingels told the Times. This project would be the Danish starchitect’s first commission in L.A.

If the project is approved, it would be compliant with Measure JJJ, according to a release by Ingels’ firm, Bjarke Ingels Group. The initiative, which passed on the November ballot, requires all developments that require zoning amendments to include a certain percentage of affordable housing and to pay union-approved wages. For 670 Mesquit, which would require a General Plan amendment, 41 affordable units would be set aside.

The deck element would necessitate approval from several public agencies, including the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Amtrak. If created, the elevated promenade — like the High Line — would overlook the river.

“Everyone compares everything to the High Line now, for better or worse,” planning director Vince Bertoni told the Times. “More important is how these buildings interact with the river. We don’t want to wall the city off from the river.” [LAT]Cathaleen Chen

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