arts district, downtown los angeles
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Construction Watch: “One Santa Fe” Mixed-Use to Bring 438 Apartments to Arts District in Downtown LA

The One Santa Fe mixed-use project will bring 438 new apartments for rent along with almost 80,000 square feet of dining, retail, and possibly a new grocery store

The One Santa Fe mega mixed-use project will bring 438 new apartments for rent along with almost 80,000 square feet of dining, retail, and possibly a new grocery store to the burgeoning Arts District in Downtown LA

As the Arts District in Downtown LA continues to grow with the addition of more dining and retail — Stumptown Coffee, Eat.Drink.Americano, Poketo, and Apolis: Common Gallery to name a few — the next exciting game changer on the horizon that will have the single largest impact on the burgeoning urban neighborhood is the $160 million One Santa Fe mixed-use project being developed by three entities forming “One Santa Fe PMC, LLC” (“PMC” includes Polis Builders/Nick Patsaouras, The McGregor Company/Bill McGregor and Cowley Real Estate Partners/Chuck Cowley) with two financial partners (Goldman Sachs and Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund).

Located on the very eastern edge of the Arts District next to the LA River and MTA rail yard, One Santa Fe broke ground in early 2012 and has been actively under construction over the past year. At six stories tall, on four acres of land, and a quarter of a mile long  — stretching all the way from First to Fourth Street — the long and narrow One Santa Fe mega project will add 438 apartment rentals to the downtown housing stock.

In addition, there will be over an acre of public outdoor space (50,000 square feet) and close to 80,000 square feet of commercial space with plans to bring in more dining and retail, office leased to Metro, a 99-seat theater in partnership with SCI-Arc, and possibly a new grocery store (we all want a Trader Joe’s right?).

One of the most exciting features of the One Santa Fe project includes a possible new future Arts District metro station (an extension of the Red/Purple Line from Union Station), which entails a pedestrian bridge that would link from One Santa Fe to a new station platform to be built in the rail yard. Construction on the new Arts District station will likely be wrapped into a new “turn-back” project seen as a necessary upgrade to allow for increased train service frequency (2-minute rush hour headways) for the future Purple Line Westside Subway Extension to UCLA/Westwood.

Due to its sheer size, when One Santa Fe opens later next year, it will add a significant injection of energy into the Arts District helping to develop an even more vibrant and attractive urban neighborhood for both residents and visitors alike. Being right across the street from SCI-Arc, it’ll probably become a popular option for some students and faulty who wish to live across from campus (20 percent of the project will be affordable).

Designed by renowned LA-based architect Michael Maltzan, One Santa Fe’s long and narrow form and design “echoes the strong, linear forms of the surrounding regional infrastructure, including the Los Angeles River, nearby rail lines, and the former [Santa Fe] freight depot that is now SCI-Arc.”

Construction is slated for completion by October of 2014.

One Santa Fe will include new retail, dining, office, theater, and possible new grocery store

One Santa Fe will include new retail, dining, office, theater, and possible new grocery store

A view of the construction site looking north along Santa Fe Ave

A view of the construction site looking north along Santa Fe Ave

A closer view of the structural steel beams forming the internal framing of the One Santa Fe mixed-use project

A closer view of the structural steel beams forming the internal framing of the One Santa Fe mixed-use project

Rebar framing begins for future reinforced concrete beams

Rebar framing begins for future reinforced concrete beams

One Santa Fe stretches for a quarter mile from First to Fourth Street

One Santa Fe stretches for a quarter mile from First to Fourth Street

Renderings of One Santa Fe designed by Michael Maltzan

A new proposed Arts District metro station would be connected to the One Santa Fe project via pedestrian bridge (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

A new proposed Arts District metro station would be connected to the One Santa Fe project via pedestrian bridge (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

An aerial view of One Santa Fe looking east toward the LA River

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) An aerial view of One Santa Fe looking east toward the LA River (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

Apartments are levitated above on an elongated expanse with retail, dining, theater, outdoor space below (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Apartments are levitated above on an elongated expanse with retail, dining, theater, outdoor space below (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

A view of the One Santa Fe project showing where two separate buildings come together

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) A view of the One Santa Fe project showing where two separate buildings come together (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

Another aerial view of the One Santa Fe project (below) in relation to the Downtown LA skyline (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Another aerial view of the One Santa Fe project (below) in relation to the Downtown LA skyline (Photo: Michael Maltzan)

37 Comments

  1. While I don’t think it makes sense (and wish this money was going into an actual core-downtown development, where the residents actually walk/dine/shop in downtown) this is going to be a nice sight to see in an otherwise awful area!

    • downtown resident says

      “otherwise awful area” wow I strongly disagree. The arts district is probably one of my favorite areas of LA. There is a nice vibe down there. Its like the hidden gem of Los Angeles.

      • Steven says

        Agreed, wholeheartedly. The Arts District is awesome, Hunter doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It maintains the gritty industrial vibe, despite getting quite a bit of investment in the past few years.

        And great job on the update, Brigham! Fascinating to see how this may tie into a future Arts District station, although we probably won’t see it built until the population in the neighborhood increases.

  2. sebastian says

    If they stood this building up vertically it would be a nice tower to look at, but I like the idea that it’s going to bring a lot of retail. If only they made it look like various buildings rather then one long building, It reminds me of a cruise ship. Anyways I strongly believe this will help develop more around the river basin in downtown, and hopefully some day have a nice river park overlooking the river.

  3. PaulC says

    Stumptown?! God there are so much better coffee establishments. Oh well.

  4. Horthos says

    Is it really all that difficult to design a nice looking building?

  5. Tony says

    I wouldn’t pay much attention to racist Hunter. I also believe this area is AMAZING as is, and will only get better in the future.

  6. IloveParking says

    I hope they provide ample parking for the 400+ residents and ample parking for visitors our this is going to turn very ugly very fast.

    • Downtown Resident says

      How about you ditch the car and use the metro? :) I hate ugly parking lots and parking garages. What an eyesore

      • Kenny says

        It would definitely be nice if people did that, but the metro is pretty far from this project. The north end is nearly half a mile from either the Arts District stop or the Pico/Aliso stop on the Gold Line, and the south end is a quarter mile farther. There’s not really any chance of the Red/Purple line extension any time soon (that forum discussion is from three years ago, before the Purple Line extension was scaled down, and the extension hasn’t been mentioned by any Metro discussions). It’s possible there are some buses through here, but I don’t really know how many.

        The one hopeful thing is that the area seems to be quite bike-friendly, especially with lots of connections to the rest of downtown.

  7. Wow, this is definitely one of the most exciting projects going on right now. Even better that it’s happening in one of the most exciting neighborhoods! It seems like forever that the project was first announced. So glad that it’s finally becoming reality. Despite all the stucco going on in the city, projects like One Santa Fe show that Los Angeles can still build some of the most imaginative housing in the world.

    On a side note, I wish HunterK would just go away. I’m seriously getting sick and tired of the racist and negative comments that he posts on all downtown related forums.

    • Xavier says

      I agree with you 100%, I’ve personally called out Hunter numerous times on his racist remarks.

      To Aurora, his above comment may not be perceived as racist, but I assure you that if you do some investigating (in other downtown forums, as previously mentioned) you can CLEARLY read his racist comments.

      Personally, I don’t think this type of behavior is acceptable, especially here in L.A.

      • What are you trying to accomplish Xavier? At least Tobi hid his insult amongst some nice Downtown cheerleading.

        Seriously, both of you, take it elsewhere. If you have a problem with me I’m available via twitter. This isn’t the place for your nonsense.

        • Lizandro says

          Hunter…..And this surely isn’t a place for negativity. This may not be the proper forum to address your racism, but its clearly evident that everyone dislikes your negativity.

          Dude get some help!

  8. Camil32 F says

    Plenty of folks throughout LA and the US if they have dropped by or will be dropping by the eastern-most side of downtown, including the Arts District, will say it’s pretty trashy looking and, yes, awful. If that makes them racists, then stating simple hard truths means most everyone is a “racist.”

    The stupidity of politically correct speech never ceases to amaze, with all its hollow, sanctimonious, two-bit progressive-ism.

  9. Aurora says

    Maybe Hunter should have been more specific with his “awful” comment. I don’t know why anyone would think his comment is racist he didn’t say anything like that. The demo of residents in the Arts District is mainly caucasian and asian anyway (though if you hang out at Urth Cafe you’d think it was predominantly asian). Could prejudice against old, industrial buildings, dogs and film production be considered racist?

    Here’s the facts, we have the lowest crime rates in Downtown (and most of LA for that matter), the area is transitioning from industrial to residential in the best way possible, with high quality and unique businesses going in. Most of the residential is high end lofts with amazing character. The area has a rich history of being “settled” by artists in the early 80’s. The homeless encampments from seven years ago are GONE and there is very little panhandling.

    It’s a nice quiet area over here (especially at night and on the weekend when the big trucks aren’t crossing through), and this small female feels totally comfortable walking her dog after dark. I mainly just see other people walking my dog’s friends.

    But if your thing is douchey clubs with velvet ropes and chain stores, then yeah, it’s totally ghetto over here. Stay the F out.

    • downtown resident says

      omg I love this comment SO MUCH! you make me love the Arts District even more.

    • brudy says

      I agree with you. I love the Arts District as well. It does have such an awesome vibe. Kinda the perfect mix of city, yet still quiet. Some great restaurants, close proximity to Little Tokyo, and even some good shopping. I have known a few people who moved back towards the historic core because they felt a little too isolated over there though.

      RE: parking. It’s not reasonable to expect people to not have cars there yet and parking can be tough over there.

  10. sebastian says

    I would have prefered no apartments here and put a park all the way to the river, and put the santa fe one building on the other side of the street, but oh well.

    • JDRCRASHER says

      We could still get all the other freight and commuter rails, along with the transmission lines, all put underground.

  11. John G. says

    Expensive proposition but that sounds like a very good idea. Provides much more sustainability in the long-run to make the whole surface area contiguous for urban development and growth.

  12. BeaGomez says

    We’re never going to get a TJ’s unless there’s a parking lot–that’s their mandate. And the Metro is swell, but it doesn’t go to the grocery store, so yes, we still will use cars. Dtla isn’t lower Manhattan, so please don’t pretend. And if you’re an actual working artist, who uses something other than a keyboard, you might need to haul stuff around. My neighbors are grips, carpenters, designers–not just bloggers.

    • There is an 85 space surface parking lot and the redesigned Metro station will go directly to the grocery store; so direct there will be an entrance from the platforms to the store.

  13. “I love the Arts District, it’s so urban and gritty. I just can’t stand all the dirty bums and piss covered streets.” – Says every jacka$$ from the mid-west who moved here based on what they’ve seen on TV.
    Does saying dirty bum make them racist?
    Racist to who?
    I see (almost) as many old white guys with tattered clothes and beards as I do black. Most are actually Vets, which makes it even sadder.
    Hollywood is already having bad enough of a time filming in DTLA where they used to have the run of the place. Now all these yuppies complain about the noise at 5AM. And as for legitimate “artists” in the area, they’re already getting priced out.
    So… I guess these developments are good for the area since they clean up the immediate neighborhood and push away the undesirables.

    I’m from LA, born and raised. Downtown was a lot better when it was actually dangerous and deserted at night. Now it’s FIDM kids and all kinds of Range Rover BS.

    • Dear Alice says

      Yes, yes, yes. You’re so right. Grit in LA is quickly getting to be like Grit in NY. Scrubbed away… Replaced by shiny new rhinestones. Replaced by faux-realism. Replaced by ignorance.

  14. Alicia says

    They should have a daytime/nighttime bar and lounge on the roof… since I think we are all over the standard :) and would love somewhere close to home to grab some rays and bottomless mimosas on the roof.

  15. sebastian says

    I really do like this project, but I think that they went wrong with the building on that side of the street, if they built it on the other side, there will be opportunity to build a nice riverfront park.

    • On the other side of the street are several existing structures, including a historic depot building that’s used by SCIArc. And you really can’t put a park all the way to the river because Metro’s service yard is there, and I’m not sure how feasible (logistically or financially) it would be to put that underground.

      Keeping the service yard there makes it much less expensive to build an at-grade Metro station there (which will help with parking but more importantly will free up the Metro platforms at Union Station which currently suffer from delays during rush hour due to capacity issues).

  16. Carl says

    Worst idea!!! The arts district is awesome as it is. This shit is going to make feel like I live in north Hollywood

  17. ejmatters says

    I agree with Carl….you guys are fucking up the Art District and gentrifying the neighborhood….Leave it alone as is!!!

  18. I think this is going to be a great addition to the Arts District, does any one one know when or were i should apply for work here.
    thank you in advance

  19. ANON NITO says

    WORST PAINT JOB EVER!
    LOOKS LIKE A SLEEZ MOTEL / CRUISE SHIP.

    ALLOW LOCAL ARTIST TO PAINT MURALS AND GROW VINES ALL ALONG IT TO AT LEAST TIE IT INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

    Anyone else agree that the exterior paint job does not fit into the vibe of our Arts District?

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