Is the Echo Park/Chinatown border finally prepped for a little gamechanging? Starting in 2004, developer Mika Realty was working on converting the old Metropolitan Water District building on Sunset (just west of the 110) into apartments. We witnessed a little work going on in 2008, but eventually the project died. Now, three years and a little gentrification later, the Downtown News reports that the project has sold to developer Linear City, the people behind the Arts District's Toy Factory Lofts and Biscuit Company Lofts--both adaptive reuse projects. But before you get too excited--there's no firm timeline and LC is just working on getting financing for now.
The seven-story MWD building was built in 1973 and designed by big-time LA civic architect William Pereira (he collaborated onLAX's Theme Building and designed the original LACMA campus). The property is entitled for 92 apartments. Linear City has hired Mika's old architect, David Gray, and they plan to create 800-1,000 square foot units. They'll turn the building's most notable feature--its horizontal platforms--into balconies.
The building is currently vacant, but since MWD left in 1993, it's belonged to the Holy Hill Community Church and an investor who planned to build senior housing, as well as Mika. Linear City paid $6.8 million for it.
· Downtown Firm Seeks to Revive Dilapidated MWD Building [Downtown News]
· Apartments Coming to 1960s Echo Park Office Building? [Curbed LA]