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One Santa Fe One Step Closer

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, September 05, 2007, at 05:34PM
On the project site Ed Fuentes

Prompted by a call for a motion of support, the Arts District BID voted 6-4-2 to approve the One Sante Fe project this afternoon following a brief presentation by developer Bill McGregor of McGregor Company and architect Michael Maltzan. The 400 unit residential complex is one step closer to fulfilling an MTA mandate that it show broad community approval.

Designed to enhance the surrounding community and create a pedestrian friendly complex that will help house students at SCI-Arc, elements of the 65ft high design were reintroduced; the planned green space, an open plaza, additional parking and work/life units combined with residential rentals and sites for future ground floor retail. Also presented were conceptual plans to have provisions for access to the Los Angeles River in the event there is future recreation for the concrete bed between the 1st and 4th St viaducts.

View From AloftAlso confirmed was the street conversion of Santa Fe Ave from a Class II Highway to a modified collector road. The change will alter traffic now heavy with Class 2 vehicles, a concern of community advocate and founding member of LARABA, Drew Lesso. He also noted how none of the planned live/work units are planned as Artists in Residences, and told the BID board that approving the complex "may be the end of the Arts District."

Lesso also noted that SCI-Arc will have its lease with Richard Murello expire in 2015, and there is "no telling of the outcome, and [the project] could become a market rate complex."

The site's zoning will change from Public Use to Commercial II in order to allow residential and commercial retail. One BID board member said the project to be out of scale with the neighborhood, adding that it "seems imposing." The changes to the roadway will drop some existing parking spots, a move that some feel will cause added conflict with the film industry as base camps carve out from the lessened supply.

After the meeting Maltzan and project partner Wil Carson stood on Santa Fe, across from 2nd, on what will be the northern portion that will form a corridor. The scale of the project does approximate the painted white line and top of telephone poles, as was noted in a previous post.

One interesting note during the meeting was from MTA Transportation Manager Robin Blair who clarified that the high complex would buffer noise from the Red Line yard, a consideration previously raised by residents who note the rising din of rail traffic.

The early stages of input during the approval process were expected, according to Maltazan, who stressed after the meeting many concerns will be looked into. "I have a personal investment in the area," he stated on Santa Fe Ave, "I am trying to achieve a project that does understand the future of the area" and as the Arts District is marked for development, it's not an area that, as he said "can hide from those challenges."

Above: Wil Carson and Michael Maltzan of Michael Maltzan Architecture on future northern corridor of One Santa Fe. Below: Model of the nothern portion of One Sante Fe with the First St Bridge, alley, followed by 2nd St.

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