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Construction set to begin on $160-million mixed-use One Santa Fe project in Arts District

By Hayley Fox
Published: Friday, January 13, 2012, at 10:56AM
Courtesy Sugerman Communications Group

A rendering of One Santa Fe: The view from Santa Fe Avenue looking northeast into Retail Paseo and Cultural Plaza.

With the help of an investment from Earvin "Magic" Johnson's real estate company, the expansive One Santa Fe development in the Arts District is set to begin preliminary construction this month.

Johnson is a part owner in the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, a real estate firm that focuses on developing "urban properties in underserved neighborhoods." They, along with a joint venture of investors and property managers, are jump-starting the building of One Santa Fe.

One will span several blocks on Santa Fe Avenue between between 1st and 4th streets, and will include 438 apartments, over 78,000 square feet of retail and office space, and almost 50,000 square feet of public outdoor space.

“This is a game-changing project that will have a lasting positive impact on both the Arts District and all of Downtown,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Jan Perry in a statement.

The area is on lease from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), who is considering building a connection from the property to a new terminal station for the Red and Purple subway lines.

The residential portion of the project is funded by a number of government agencies including a loan from the City of Los Angeles Housing Department.

The six-story building was designed by L.A. architect Michael Maltzan,whose office operates out of Silver Lake. Plans for the new Downtown building include an outdoor terrace, a grocery store, a multi-use theater and a garden on the ground floor. Twenty percent of the units in the building will be "affordable" and aimed at "low-income renters," according to a statement from the Canyon-Johnson group.

The commercial portion of the One development received a loan from the city in addition to New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) from various organizations. NMTC is a government program that offers credit incentives to investors for investing in low-income communities.

Preliminary construction work begins this month but will mostly involve preparing the site for more significant construction in the future. An official groundbreaking is expected within the next few months.

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