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Photos: Giant Development Proposed For Arts District Along L.A. River

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It's no secret that the Arts District is changing at light-speed pace. In September, we reported that an Orange County-based developer had proposed a pair of 58-story towers to be erected by 6th and Alameda. And in October, we noted that the Warner Music Group intends to move into the area at the beginning of 2018 (possibly because the execs want to be closer to the upcoming Guerrilla Tacos brick-and-mortar?).

Now, we’re getting word that the Arts District may see its most ambitious project yet. As reported at the L.A. Times (by critic luminary Christopher Hawthorne), the project is dubbed 670 Mesquit, and it’s proposed to include 800,000 square feet of office space, 250 apartments, two boutique hotels, and a menagerie of shops and restaurants.

While we’re no strangers to news of big-scale, mixed-use developments, there are a couple aspects to 670 Mesquit that may pique your interest. For one thing, it’ll be situated right next to the L.A. River, which itself is going through its own Frank Gehry-backed metamorphosis. Second, designers say there’ll be a raised deck that stems from the development and hangs over the railroad tracks that stand between the development and the L.A. River. It remains to be seen what, exactly, the deck will look like. Hawthorne says that it may be connected to a small museum or a public sculpture park. Whatever it may be, it seems that the developers are intent on creating some form of public outdoor space. And architects suggest that the deck may provide a passage way to the river. “The Arts District doesn’t have a lot of open outdoor space. This could be the way to get from the Arts District all the way down” to the edge of the river, architect Bjarke Ingels told Hawthorne. Ingels comes from Bjarke Ingels Group, which is tasked with designing the behemoth.

The Architect's Newspaper says that there may be more than one way of getting from the development to the L.A. River. They report that there may be open bays on the ground floor that’ll connect the retail spaces with the water.

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With the recent (and overwhelming) passage of Measure JJJ, the development will be required to set aside some apartments for affordable housing. And, indeed, planners say that there’ll be 41 affordable units, which amount to about 16% of the total number of living spaces.

Of course, with the vote on the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative measure looming (if passed, it’ll stop big developments for two years), planners are trying to get all the paperwork in place before the March ballot arrives.