arts district, downtown los angeles

AT MATEO: New Arts District Retail Hub Breaks Ground in Downtown LA

A new 130,000 square foot retail hub is coming to Downtown LA's Arts District (Photo: At Mateo)

A new 130,000 square foot retail hub is coming to Downtown LA’s Arts District (Photo: At Mateo)

With so many new developments under construction in the Arts District, Downtown LA’s industrial chic community is about to get even hotter in the next few years. Adding to the fire is a new exciting retail project aptly named AT MATEO that just broke ground in mid-January last month. So aptly named because you can bet a lot of Angelenos will be “at Mateo” when this thing is finished in about two years. Purchased last summer for $32.5 million by a joint venture between ASB Real Estate Investments and local real estate firm Blatteis & Schnur, five large warehouses occupying a huge block bounded by Mateo and Palmetto will be converted into an open-air 130,000 square foot retail hub consisting of a major retail anchor, grocery store (I’ve heard they are courting the ever elusive Trader Joe’s), and numerous restaurants and retail shops. In addition, a 400-space parking structure will be incorporated into this $30 million redevelopment project.

One of the main reasons why AT MATEO is such an exciting project is what it’ll do for the Arts District by acting as an “urban glue” tying this part of the neighborhood nicely together. Currently, existing businesses like Urth Caffe, Blue Bottle, and Zinc Cafe — although each strong and destination oriented — are still separated from each other by distance with unactivated space in between, which prevents strong pedestrian synergy from forming and dilutes walkability. When AT MATEO is completed in fall of 2016, the retail complex itself — with over 900 feet of activated street frontage along Palmetto and Mateo — will fill in a void by helping to create a cohesive walkable urban community within this section of the Arts District.

Ultimately, the goal is to connect the entire sprawling and disjointed Arts District into one strong cohesive walkable urban community. And luckily, that vision isn’t too far off as another very large “connector” project called 950 Third just broke ground by SCI-Arc last week that will connect 3rd Street with Traction. This 472-unit mixed-use development will be finished by 2018. Head on over to one of my favorite sites, Building LA, to read more about it.

AT MATEO TODAY

AT MATEO will be built on the right side of the fence along this stretch of Palmetto

AT MATEO will be built on the right side of the fence along this stretch of Palmetto

Construction started in mid-January last month

Construction started in mid-January last month

Five large warehouses will be replaced with new retail space totaling 130,000 square feet

Five large warehouses will be replaced with new retail space totaling 130,000 square feet

This view (standing at Zinc Cafe) looking north along Mateo will be completely transformed in about two years

This view (standing at Zinc Cafe) looking north along Mateo will be completely transformed in about two years

AT MATEO TOMORROW

This view (if you were standing near 6th/Mateo) looking north shows a completely activated street frontage along Mateo

This view (if you were standing near 6th/Mateo) looking north shows a completely activated street frontage along Mateo

This is a view of a completely new activated corner where Mateo and Palmetto intersect

This is a view of a completely new activated corner where Mateo and Palmetto intersect

This is a view along Palmetto if you were standing across the street at the Barker Block Warehouse Lofts

This is a view along Palmetto if you were standing across the street at the Barker Block Warehouse Lofts

This interior walkway will connect to Mateo as you can see Zinc Cafe peeking behind in the back there

This interior walkway will connect to Mateo as you can see Zinc Cafe peeking behind in the back there

Another interior view shows future retail spaces lining the walkway

Another interior view shows future retail spaces lining the walkway

An aerial map of AT MATEO

An aerial map of AT MATEO

22 Comments

  1. corner soul says

    Looks nice… I just wish they would make a little effort to try and obscure that parking garage (plant some ivy along the concrete, narrow the driveways, anything really.)

  2. aardvark says

    This is going to be so great. We need that metro red line extension to happen!

  3. Oh no, Paddy’s Pub is going to be gentrified. I wonder if theyll write that into the show.

    • corner soul says

      This is across the street, no? They’re not replacing/rehabbing the Starkman building, are they?

      • Yes but many of the exterior shots they do are based on how desolate the area is

  4. Sebastian says

    Maybe they can fully paint it with an Art piece from a local artist, afterall it is the Arts District.

  5. I really hope there are a ton of great places tom eat and shop and bring people downtown. Arts district is in need of major revamping!

  6. L Barlow says

    Parking garages are perfect for “living wall” exteriors and solar panel canopies on the roof.

  7. Fake name says

    Wish there were a couple stories of housing above the retail…

  8. ooooo says

    Palmetto is a narrow street, barely two lanes and the parking entrance is on Palmetto. Wonder if this will cause a logjam on that street for those who live around there.

    • aardvark says

      Probably, it’s already bad enough when people don’t where they’re going over there, given the odd street layout. Could be a bit of a mess. Still, will be an awesome addition.

  9. 1BoldCalifornian says

    I don’t want a Trader Joe’s. I want a 90,000 sq. ft Berkeley Bowl, just like the two in Berkeley, CA. For example, thirty kinds of apples. The full cornucopia of California and quality American produce at discount warehouse prices. BB blows away every supermarket in LA. If you want a true European full scale supermarket that gets its game direct from Western Europe – get a Fairway Market, like the ones in Brooklyn and NJ.

  10. Connecting the Arts District with the rest od DTLA is key, but not necessarily by car. Would love to see an elevated bikeway from Bank District that would also have a branch connecting to the LA River Project. Also think that a shuttle connecting the Arts District to the rest of DTLA that uses an app to request pick up would be very cool. App could also be used to communicate what’s happening in the Arts District as well as promote the artists who were the first to believe that this area could become a community.

    • corner soul says

      I believe LADOT plans to eventually extend the 7th street bike lanes east from Main, through the Arts District and into Boyle Heights… not sure when though.

  11. John G. says

    Agree with Fake Name. Where is the housing?

    If we want a more walkable community, bring more people in so we can have more thriving businesses for all this new retail space. We also need more housing here.

  12. Sebastian says

    The AD needs something more than restaurants and retail to attract people. How about an elevated park over the rails by the river.

  13. Sebastian says

    The park is on the other side of the river, not in the AD.

  14. Simca says

    As an artist who lived 14 years at Factory Place Studios (right around the corner), all I can say is Oh my God, I just missed the bullet!

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