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MegaToys Arts Project Not Artsy Enough, But Still Approved

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Amid concerns among some neighbors about the look of developer Charlie Woo's Arts District project, today the Planning Commission unanimously approved the six-story, 320-unit condominium project near 1st and Alameda. The architect here is Togawa Smith Martin, the same firm behind developer Rick Caruso's Americana at Brand and Burton Way developments. And Planning Commission President Bill Roschen wasn't overwhelmed by the architect's design for this project, and basically told the developer to make the building look like it actually belongs in the neighborhood. "Make it more distinguished and more specific to the Arts District," said Roschen.

Not surprisingly, neighbors in the Arts District have been asking the same of the developer. Ed Fuentes, the blogger behind View from a Loft and a resident of the Arts District, tells us neighbors have been pressing for changes, some of which have been implemented. "There's less of a cringe factor now after the modifications, but it still looks out of place," he says. "The feeling among some people is that it doesn't fit in with the Arts District, that it looks like an Orange County building moved doesn't complement either Little Tokyo or the Arts District." Given Roschen's request for more changes, it'll be interesting to see what Togawa Smith Martin come back with (though we're not bracing for huge changes).

Meanwhile, the building will also add 15,576 square feet of ground floor retail/commercial space and 766 parking spaces (two underground and one at street level).
· Renderings for Downtown's Megatoys Project [Curbed LA]