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An initial study published earlier this week by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning has revealed new details about the AMP Lofts, a proposed mixed-used complex in the eastern Arts District.  The project, which is being developed by Bolour Associates, would rise from a 2.38-acre site bounded by Seventh Street, Santa Fe Avenue and Imperial Street.

Designs from local architect Joey Shimoda call for a seven-story building, featuring 320 joint live-work apartments and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses.  Like other nearby developments, the AMP Lofts are being marketed to creative professionals, with appealing features such as on-site production space for residents.  This includes a 5,000-square-foot "collaborative artisan workshop," located along Imperial Street and 2,500-square-foot common work spaces on each upper level.

Bolour's residential-retail development would utilize a contemporary design, crafted from materials including precast concrete, terra cotta, aluminum, glass, tile and prefinished metal.  The project would feature nearly 55,000 square feet of common and private open space, highlighted by a ground-level pedestrian paseo which would run between Imperial Street and Santa Fe Avenue along the northern boundary of the property.  The paseo would connect to an elevated dog run, as well as a long-term bicycle storage facility.  Other residential amenities would be situated within the AMP Lofts' podium deck, with offerings including a swimming pool, club house and fitness pavilion.

The proposed development would feature parking accommodations for up to 390 automobiles, located within below- and at-grade garage space.  Vehicular ingress and egress sites would be placed mid-block along Imperial Street and Santa Fe Avenue, well away from the building's main pedestrian access points.

Boulour Associates currently estimates that construction would occur over approximately two years, with groundbreaking tentatively schedule for 2015 and completion expected in 2017.  The Beverly Hills-based developer will require several discretionary approvals from the city, including variances allowing for an increase in the property's allowable floor-area ratio and the reduction of a required side yard setback.

The AMP Lofts are one of several developments currently planned for the Arts District, which has experienced a well-documented surge in investment during the past year.  This trend includes the proposed office conversion of the former Ford Motor Company factory on Seventh Street, and a second residential-retail project from Bolour Associates at Colyton and Palmetto Streets.

Arts District stakeholders, in response to the slew of new apartment and office complexes, have worked with the city to craft a zoning overlay which will facilitate development while maintaining the neighborhood's existing character.  In addition to regulating industrial uses and enforcing urban design standards, the Arts District Live/Work Zone encourages live-work units in lieu of traditional apartments and condominiums.

The AMP Lofts were among the first developments informed by the new zoning overlay.  In response to comments from nearby residents, Shimoda retooled the project's initial design to allow for a larger number of live-work units and a less closed-off feel.  The revised plan, though perhaps less visually striking, better conforms to the community's future vision.

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