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A mega mixed-use district could be coming to Downtown L.A.’s Arts District

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A mega mixed-use district could be coming to Downtown L.A.’s Arts District

Big changes could be on the way for Downtown Los Angeles, as a $2-billion master plan revealed this morning at 4th Street and Central Avenue portends an evolution of the city’s Arts District.

Denver-based developer Continuum Partners today submitted an application to the City of Los Angeles for plans for Fourth & Central, a 2-million-square-foot-plus, mixed-use neighborhood that would replace Los Angeles Cold Storage’s operations at the site. Continuum is apparently bullish on the prospect of tenants returning to the office post-COVID and has hired the L.A.-based Studio One Eleven to both master plan and design most of the buildings on the industrial site. L.A. Cold Storage, which has operated in the city since 1895, is also on board with converting what is currently a complex of refrigerated warehouses into a 10-building campus.

“Fourth & Central is part of the evolution of DTLA into a dense, walkable, bikeable, and durable 21-century community that preserves the character and history of the neighborhood,” said Mark Falcone, CEO and founder of Continuum Partners, in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to add a mix of housing options and community-minded placemaking so close to the job-producing and creative core of Los Angeles.”

Apart from Studio One Eleven’s contributions, Adjaye Associates will also design what Continuum called “two marquee buildings,” which, from the renderings, are pretty easy to pick out. But before diving into that, what exactly is planned for the 7.6-acre site?

Fourth & Central will span 10 separate buildings ranging in height 2 to 42 stories, connected by a web of streets that will fill out the mid-block (and there are plenty of sky bridges in the renderings). The neighborhood will be primarily residential, with 1,521 units of housing, but 401,000 square feet of offices, a 68-room hotel, and 93,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space are also planned.

For Adjaye Associates’ first ground-up building in L.A. (let’s not forget the sinuous retail installation at the Beverly Center), the firm was handed the keys to Fourth & Central’s tallest tower and the adjoining cube-like building. The tower, clad in what appears to be a red brick rainscreen spaced in front of balconies, draws comparisons to the firm’s own 130 Williams Street in Lower Manhattan thanks to the use of playful, arched holes across the facade. Where it differs is are the monumental, multistory circular cutouts mirrored across the tower’s narrow sides, where they reveal multiple floors worth of terraces and in turn open up views of the city for those inside. It looks like the brick will extend past the top floor to enclose a rooftop landscape as well.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the project is expected to cost anywhere between $1.5-and-$2 billion. Today’s submission of the project to the city for approval is the first in what could be a long process and Continuum expects to break ground on Fourth & Central in 2024.

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