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Downtown Arts District: 6 Things That Will Change the Neighborhood's Future

The design for the new 6th Street Bridge, one of many upcoming developments in the Arts District
The design for the new 6th Street Bridge, one of many upcoming developments in the Arts District
HNTB

This week's L.A. Weekly profiles the one of the city's hottest neighborhoods: the downtown Arts District. Check out the other stories in our series:

*Tyler Stonebreaker: Curator of the Downtown Arts District

*How the Arts District Got Its Name

*5 Best Places to Eat in the Downtown Arts District

The Arts District is undergoing major developments that are not only changing the face of the neighborhood but also are indicative of larger trends in the city related to transportation, public space and sustainability. These six projects are intended to add residents and businesses to the area, deliver much-needed green space and connect the neighborhood to communities across the river.

6. 6th Street Bridge
The "concrete cancer" that's requiring the demolition of this historic bridge will make way for an ambitious, competition-winning proposal by HNTB, Michael Maltzan and AC Martin Partners. The new viaduct will accommodate cars as well as pedestrians and cyclists and provide expansive parks on both sides of the river. Construction is expected to begin in 2015 and finish by 2019.

5. Alameda Square
While not officially inside the Arts District, the 1.5 million-square-foot former Union Terminal Annex on the west side of Alameda Street is converting its empty warehouses into space for creative and fashion brands (two of its buildings have long been occupied by American Apparel, and Splendid and Ella Moss are moving in soon). Designed by Joey Shimoda with Tyler Stonebreaker's firm as a development partner, the complex will have a public outdoor marketplace for retail stalls and food trucks.

4. Cleantech Corridor
This 4-mile-long district along both sides of the L.A. River hopes to lure businesses specializing in sustainable manufacturing and green technologies. In the heart of the corridor, the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator, an organization that funds such businesses, currently occupies a temporary warehouse space but is building the La Kretz Innovation Campus at Fifth and Hewitt, a 60,000-square-foot complex with office space, R&D labs and a workforce training center.

 

3. Metro's Regional Connector
This massive project to connect the Gold Line to the hub of the Blue and Expo Lines at Seventh and Flower streets will expand the current Little Tokyo/Arts District Gold Line stop, demolishing the Spice Table and Señor Fish restaurants in Little Tokyo to accommodate more trains and a larger station (don't worry — they'll be relocated). Utilities are being moved in the area, and construction begins at the end of the year; it should be finished by 2019.

2. One Santa Fe
This mixed-use project on a slender strip of land between SCI-Arc and the MTA's railyard will bring 438 new rental apartments to the neighborhood when it opens later this year. In addition, the 510,000-square-foot complex — designed by Michael Maltzan — will have a theater, dining, more than an acre of parkland and retail, including one large space that could potentially be a grocery store.

1. SCI-Arc Arts District Anchor Project
It's been a big year for the Southern California Institute of Architecture: The school turned 40, purchased its building (a former freight depot) and won a grant to produce two arts venues, one of which — an outdoor pavilion by Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of the firm P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S — will be the largest public arts venue in the Arts District. They'll also be programming the theater at One Santa Fe.

Follow me on Twitter at @gelatobaby, and for more arts news follow us at @LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.

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