Next on Arts District canvas: Warehouse-to-residential project

8-story, mixed-use development on Mateo Street clears key city panel

Renderings of the Downtown Los Angeles‘ Arts District project (Maxxam Enterprises)
Renderings of the Downtown Los Angeles‘ Arts District project (Maxxam Enterprises)

A major mixed-use project proposed for the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles has cleared a key hurdle with city planners.

The city planning commission voted unanimously last week to approve entitlements for the development at 676 Mateo Street, a one-acre property a few blocks west of the Los Angeles River.

The mixed-use development will entail the demolition of a 1970s-era warehouse and surface parking lot. The developer is Maxxam Enterprises, a Beverly Hills-based firm that has also put up residential projects in Santa Monica and Long Beach.

Maxxam acquired the site in May 2016 and intends to build a 197,000-square-foot building over eight floors. Plans for the project include 23,000 square feet of ground floor art production and commercial space. As many as 185 live/work apartments, with 21 designated for very low income tenants, are planned for upper floors. Maxxam sought density bonuses under the City of L.A.’s Transit Oriented Communities program, based on its location near the Eastside Gold Line Light Rail and other transit connections in the adjacent Little Tokyo neighborhood.

Maxxam also proposed an option that would reduce the number of units to 159 but double the amount of art production and commercial space.

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For residents, the building will feature a rooftop pool, garden and art space, among other amenities.

The entitlements the planning commission granted last Thursday include a zone change and general plan amendment to advance the project. Those approvals now go before the City Council; the project falls in the area represented by councilmember Kevin De Leon, who recently announced he will be a candidate for mayor in next year’s election.
The Arts District, along with Downtown L.A. more broadly, has been a particularly hot target for developers both before the pandemic took hold and in recent months.

In September the developer LIVWRK partnered on a deal for a 65,000-square-foot building, eying a major overhaul. Earlier this summer Rexford Industrial Realty also bought a four-building industrial park in the neighborhood, dropping $94 million.

[Urbanize LA] – Trevor Bach