A staff report to the Central Area Planning Commission provides a first glimpse of a proposed mixed-use development near Los Angeles State Historic Park.
The project, slated for a property at 1435-1465 N. Main Street in Chinatown, would consist of an approximately 117,000-square-foot building containing 244 live/work apartments and approximately 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.
The Architects Collective is designing the development, which is called 1457 Main in its entitlement set. Renderings depict a contemporary six-story edifice lined with exterior-facing murals. Architectural plans depict an S-shaped footprint, wrapping around two courtyards, with a rooftop deck sitting above the sixth floor. Other common features would include a maker space and an exhibition area for use by residents.
Universal Standard Housing is designing the proposed mixed-use structure, which would replace two tilt-up concrete buildings with a new structure composed of prefabricated modular units. The Downtown-based developer's portfolio also includes new apartment buildings in Westlake and Leimert Park, both of which also make use of modular construction.
In a unanimous vote, the Central Area Planning Commission approved an exception from the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (CASP) to allow up to 41 percent of the project's floor area to be developed with residential multi-family uses - exceeding the zoned maximum of 15 percent on the property. The limit on residential floor area, which is intended to preserve job-creating industrial-zoned land, has been cited by City Councilmember Gil Cedillo as the primary impediment to the development of housing in the CASP area, prompting an effort to reform the specific plan
Construction is poised to begin in early 2021 and conclude within approximately 14 months.
While new housing has been rare in the CASP area, other developments with entitlements that predate the specific plan's adoption have proceeded - including a 318-unit apartment complex now rising a few blocks south along Main Street.
A larger development, featuring more than 700 apartments, has also been approved for an empty lot at the intersection of Spring and College Streets. That project has been met with opposition from activist organization in the Chinatown community due, due in part to a lack of on-site affordable housing.