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Old Posted Jul 19, 2014, 5:18 PM
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LOS ANGELES | The Reef Project (3 towers) | 240/388/420 FT | 20/32/35 FLOORS


Downtown L.A. development spreading south with planned SoLA Village

by Roger Vincent

A $1-billion residential, hotel and retail complex is being planned south of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles as robust development promises to spread beyond the traditional boundaries of the neighborhood.

The proposed project, called SoLA Village, would rise just south of Washington Boulevard on a block and a half next to the former LA Mart, a large design center and showroom for the gift, interior design, and home furnishing industries.

Now known as the Reef, the high-rise built in the 1950s also provides incubator space for new creative firms and artists. The planned project would be an ambitious addition by its owners into two parking lots covering 7.5 acres on both sides of Broadway.

Plans call for a densely developed complex with skyscrapers and low- and mid-rise residential buildings along with outdoor plazas and terraces intended to create a pedestrian-oriented community.....

The developers hired well-known architecture firm Gensler to come up with the design for SoLA Village that will be submitted to city officials for approval.

"We're not looking at this project as a singular fingerprint," said Shawn Gehle, a design principal at Gensler. "It's multiple projects within one project with diverse forms and materials."

Plans call for a 1.66-million-square-foot development to be built in stages, probably starting with a 19-story, 208-room hotel. Guests might include people doing business at the Reef or attending events at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The other tall structures would be condominium towers of 35 stories and 32 stories. There would also be multiple shorter apartment buildings. The breakdown of for-sale and for-rent units would be 900 condos and 549 apartments including 21 "live-work" units for people who operate small businesses at their homes.

There would be shops, restaurants, bars and a grocery store. Like most new residential projects, SoLA would have a gym and yoga studio — and it would have an art gallery. There would be 2,734 auto parking spaces and 1,300 bicycle parking places that would help support a bike-sharing program. The developers hope the bikes will encourage people to use the adjacent Blue Line light rail on Washington Boulevard.

Urbanize LA - Covering real estate development, architecture and urban planning in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

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