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Beautiful Old Ford Factory in the Toy District Becoming Mixed-Use Office Complex

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The giant blue building on Seventh Street and Santa Fe near the Arts District was built as a Ford Motor factory, used as a toy factory, and has housed a phalanx of American Apparel mannequins. Now, says the Downtown News, the 1913 building is going to switch it up once more, as it prepares for adaptive reuse as creative offices and retail, right in step with the rapid fancification going on in the AD.

New owner Shorenstein Properties paid $37 million for the massive former factory, which was headquarters for the SoCal production of Model As and Ts, and has some pretty clear ideas about what they'll be doing with the space already. They know they don't want to pursue chain stores for their ground-level commercial space, favoring "cool retail" instead. ("We don't want a Starbucks. I don't think that would be in keeping with the neighborhood," a rep for Shorenstein says.)

The company will also be turning the roof into a large deck (with all those Downtown views) and keeping the building's rooftop water tank for decorative purposes. (Curbed has some photos from inside the former factory that include the water tower and rooftop views here.) They'll also raze one of the other buildings on the property to make way for a parking garage. Construction on the project is expected to begin next April and wrap in spring 2016.