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Developer Formerly Known as Meruelo Maddux Has Big Plans Spread All Across Downtown

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The developer formerly known as Meruelo Maddux Properties has lots of big plans, but strictly for Downtown--they're reigning it in, selling off properties in Vernon, Sylmar, and Covina, and focusing on just the area "within the freeways that wrap around Downtown and, on the east side, the Los Angeles River," reports the Downtown News. Meruelo Maddux developed the Union Lofts and started work on what's now known as the Watermarke tower, but before they could finish, they filed for bankruptcy (in March 2009). Eventually partners Richard Meruelo and John Maddux were both ousted as part of the reorganization. New management came in and the firm was rebranded Evoq Properties (pronounced "evoke," is our understanding). They're currently busy selling off "non-core assets," as well as some "portfolio gems" like Union Lofts and the Desmond Building in South Park, which is on the market along with its neighboring lot at Eleventh and Grand, where MM had planned to build a 19-story tower. So once it's done selling, what will it do?

-- Its biggest plans are for the four-building Alameda Square complex at Seventh and Alameda, better known as the home of American Apparel (otherwise it's mostly vacant). Evoq plans to do a major renovation that'll put in groundfloor restaurants and retail for "an active mixed-use hub." The project is "a five-year vision."

-- Heading to the Arts District, Evoq wants to turn "a patchwork of cold storage, parking and light industrial parcels at Center and Jackson streets" into an 88-unit residential complex with some bonus creative office space. They're working with developer Jeff Lee and could start work by the end of next year.

-- At the northern end of Downtown, Evoq wants to build a 614-unit residential project at Spring and College, "near the southern entrance to the Los Angeles State Historic Park."
· Where Meruelo Maddux Failed, Evoq Hopes to Thrive [Downtown News]
· Meruelo Maddux Archives [Curbed LA]