Approvals of Major Arts District project results

Reproductions of Downtown Los Angeles' Arts District Project (Maxxam Enterprises)
Reproductions of Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District Project (Maxxam Enterprises)

A major mixed-use project proposed for the downtown Los Angeles arts district has cleared a major hurdle for urban planners.

The Town Planning Commission voted unanimously last week to approve rights to the development at 676 Mateo Street, a 1-acre property a few blocks west of the Los Angeles River.

The mixed development will result in the demolition of a warehouse from the 1970s and a parking lot. The developer is Maxxam Enterprises, a Beverly Hills-based company that has also built housing projects in Santa Monica and Long Beach.

Maxxam acquired the site in May 2016 and intends to build a 197,000-square-foot, eight-story building. The plans for the project include 23,000 square feet of art production on the ground floor and commercial space. As many as 185 living / working apartments, of which 21 are intended for tenants with very low incomes, are planned for the upper floors. Maxxam sought density bonuses under the City of LA’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.

For the residents, the building will have, among other things, a pool on the roof, garden and art space.

The rights granted by the Planning Commission last Thursday include a zoning change and a general plan change to promote the project. Those approvals now go to the city council; the project falls in the area represented by council member Kevin De Leon, who recently announced he will be a mayoral candidate in next year’s election.
The Arts District, along with Downtown LA 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 entered into an agreement for a 65,000 square meter building that was to have a major overhaul. Earlier this summer, Rexford Industrial Realty also bought an industrial park with four buildings in the neighborhood, losing $ 94 million.

[Urbanize LA] – Trevor Bach

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