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Touring the Breathtaking and Expensive New Apartments at Echo Park's The Elysian

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Construction on the luxury apartment conversion of the former Metropolitan Water District building on the eastern edge of Echo Park, originally designed by prolific architect William Pereira, was still under way when we stopped by recently, but it was easy to see that the bones of the apartments will be a big draw, and not just because of their architectural pedigree. (Pereira also designed the original LACMA structure and LAX's Theme Building.) The Elysian, an adaptive reuse project from developers Linear City (Biscuit Company Lofts, Toy Factory Lofts), will open next month on a stretch of land that has yet to be subsumed by the waves of gentrification that have washed over Echo Park just a few minutes to the west. (Though gentrifying forces are making their way into the area uncommonly but correctly referred to as Victor Heights; a new, sizable mixed-use development is in the works just up Sunset.)

All the units have a loft-style layout, high-end appliances, remote-controlled Mecho shades (to regulate all the light from the tall, seemingly-endless windows), buffed concrete floors, energy-efficient glass, handmade cabinets from Italy, and fancy cooking ranges. These details are what make the complex the Porsche of apartments in a world of Toyotas, suggests Leonard Hill, a principal at Linear City. Parking is the only luxury that doesn't come standard with a unit; the complex is encouraging a car-light lifestyle and promoting free charging at one of the complex's 20 charging stations for all tenants who drive electric vehicles.

The pricey top-floor penthouses (there are eight) range from 1,094 to 1,279 square feet, and have two levels and unfettered views of, depending on the unit, Angelino Heights, Downtown, the curve of Sunset, and the hills of Echo Park. The height of the windows (20 feet!) makes the spacious units feel even more open and expansive. Though the units are advertised as having two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the developers do note that a "bedroom" can be hard to pin down in a unit with an open floor plan. Penthouses range from $4,900 to $6,500.

The units closer to the ground will have outdoor space too: apartments on the second floor and higher have large balconies; first floor units have a patio area enclosed in tall frosted glass. The first floor will also host a common green area, with a built-in grill zone, picnic tables, water features, and a green privacy wall. (There won't be a pool because experience with other Linear City developments seems to indicate that they're often underused.) Studios are expected to start at around $1,500.

Leasing is open now, and move-ins are expected by early May.

· The Elysian LA [Official Site]
· The Elysian Apts. in Far-East Echo Park Will be Very Expensive[Curbed LA]