11 New Projects That Will Hit Downtown in 2016

DTLA - In the years after the recession, lending standards loosened and developers began proposing plans for major Downtown projects. Although some of those arrived last year, the biggest wave is yet to come.

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In 2016, Downtown Los Angeles will welcome a number of housing projects, including several for-sale developments. The residences will be joined by cultural attractions and business hubs. Here are 11 of the biggest additions coming to Downtown this year.

Developer Trumark Urban’s Ten50 tower will create 151 luxury condominiums. The South Park building is scheduled to open in October.

On the Rise: One of the most anticipated projects to open in 2016 will be Ten50, the 25-story condominium building at 1050 S. Grand Ave. in South Park. It is the first Downtown project from San Francisco-based Trumark Urban, and is slated to debut in October. Ten50 will deliver the first batch of new-construction condos to hit the market in years, and the tower will feature 151 one- and two-bedroom residences, with amenities such as a pool deck, a fully stocked gym and a screening room. The $100 million project was initially broached before the recession and stalled. Trumark Urban bought it with entitlements in June 2014.

It’s Blossom Plaza, Jake: Chinatown has been largely quiet on the residential development front, save for one massive, game-changing project: Blossom Plaza. The five-story complex from developer Forest City will bring 237 studio to three-bedroom apartments to a key stretch of Broadway next to the Metro Gold Line station, with 53 of the residences set aside for low-income individuals and families. The $100 million project will also feature 19,000 square feet of retail space and a 17,000-square-foot public plaza and walkway that connects the Gold Line station to Broadway. The project is on track to finish by early summer, according to Forest City.

Mega Move: The $1 billion Metropolis mega-project just north of L.A. Live continues to rise, and its first phase, consisting of an 18-story Hotel Indigo and a 38-floor condominium tower, is scheduled to open by the end of the year. Metropolis will add major residential and retail life to a quiet corner of Downtown, bringing more than 70,000 square feet of shopping and restaurant space to two levels off Francisco Street. The first phase condos are already 65% sold, according to developer Greenland U.S.A. The project will also play a vital role by helping activate the stretch of western Downtown between L.A. Live and the Financial District. A second phase, consisting of 40- and 56-story condo towers, is slated to debut in 2018. Condo prices start at $500,000 and go to $2 million-plus.

A key stretch of Broadway in Chinatown will change when Blossom Plaza opens by early summer. The $100 million development from Forest City will create 237 studio to three-bedroom apartments, along with a public plaza.

photo by Gary Leonard
From the Ashes: The second phase of developer Geoff Palmer’s Da Vinci apartment complex, at Fremont Avenue and Temple Street near the interchange for the 110 and 101 freeways, was destroyed in an epic inferno in December 2014. The project has been completely reframed and will be finished around May 2016. It will join the first phase of Da Vinci (north of Temple Street) to offer a combined 526 apartments. Like many of Palmer’s projects, the Da Vinci features a faux-Mediterranean look and is packed with amenities including a pool deck, BBQ area, gym and more.

Sky High: Singapore-based OUE is dropping $100 million on an upgrade of U.S. Bank Tower, with $60 million of that dedicated to lobby improvements and the creation of a 69th-floor observation deck, a 70th-floor event space and a 71st-floor restaurant. Skyspace L.A., as it’s called, is designed to bring tourists and locals alike to the top of Downtown’s most iconic tower. Admission is expected to be $25. Visitors will also be able to explore a 54th-floor tech-driven exhibit that shows off the city’s topography and other features. Meanwhile, OUE is pushing to bring new office tenants into U.S. Bank Tower. Occupancy has already risen from 50% when OUE acquired the structure in 2013 to around 75%.

On the Cutting Edge: The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator has been building out its shiny new La Kretz Innovation Campus in the Arts District, and is nearing the finish line. The 60,000-square-foot clean technology project and business incubator at 525 S. Hewitt St., right near Urth Caffe, will serve as a home for start-ups, offering flexible office space, a prototyping workshop, a 100-person training center, conference rooms and the city Department of Water and Power’s Energy Efficiency Customer Engagement Center. The La Kretz campus will include a small park with a water feature, grass and tables. It is expected to open early this year.

Seventh Street is Bloc’d: Many Downtowners were eagerly awaiting the debut of The Bloc before the end of 2015, but as often happens with big projects, its opening was pushed. The $180 million redevelopment of Macy’s Plaza, from developer the Ratkovich Company, is now moving toward a summer 2016 debut, according to a project representative. The most anticipated tenant is a nine-screen Alamo Drafthouse movie theater. Other additions will include men’s boutique Wingtip and Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. Also in the works is an underground connection to the Seventh Street Metro Station across the street.

Justice Is Served: The Federal Courthouse at First Street and Broadway looks pretty much complete, with the last pieces of its serrated glass facade having been installed late last year. Workers are now hustling to build out the interior, which will feature 24 courtrooms, 32 judges’ chambers and offices for the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the General Services Administration. All told, the $323 million Civic Center project has 600,000 square feet of space. It is gunning for LEED Platinum status thanks to its extensive green infrastructure elements. Those include the jagged façade, which will significantly cut solar heat gain. The Federal Courthouse is expected to open in the fall.

The Italian Job: The Italian American Museum, in the 1908 Italian Hall at 125 Paseo de Plaza near Olvera Street, has seemingly been under construction forever. Now, apparently, it is in the home stretch, with workers installing special lighting and putting together the opening exhibits. It is expected to open early this year and will feature rare photos, maps, artifacts and documents highlighting the history and legacy of Italian Americans in Los Angeles. The build-out has involved restoring the original facade and detailing. In October, the museum secured a 40-year lease with the city.

The Art of the Matter: The Downtown Los Angeles art scene has been booming, with the arrival of important galleries and The Broad museum. The momentum will continue March 13, when the 100,000-square-foot Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel opens in a collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings. The project, which features former MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, will revive a collection of Arts District structures that have been largely vacant for a half century. The opening show in the space at 901 E. Third St. is titled Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016, and will hold nearly 100 works by 34 women, including Louise Bourgeois, Claire Falkenstein, Eva Hesse and Yayoi Kusama. Although the Arts District is changing as investors flock to the area, the complex ensures that the community will maintain some semblance of artistry.

Bountiful Buses: Can a bus maintenance facility grab your attention? When it’s the Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility, it can. The $120 million Metropolitan Transportation Authority project at the northeast corner of Vignes Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue has a shockingly contemporary design. A grand opening is expected early this year for the facility that can hold 200 CNG (compressed natural gas) buses. With elements such as a full green roof and an underground 250,000-gallon water retention tank (it will collect rainwater and use it to wash buses), the project is on track to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. So yes, there is a beauty in buses.

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