South Park's Avant mixed-user is now open for business and revealed as a refreshing case of "Wow, that's better than we'd imagined!" Move-ins for the first 76 units—of a total of 440—began this month, reports the Downtown News, and another 171 apartments open next month. The project's second phase opens early next year with another 193 units fronting Figueroa Street (it'll include a groundfloor coffee place for this moribund stretch of Fig).
Some recoiled in horror when the Avant's renderings first went public—the fact that it replaced a canceled skyscraper designed by starchitect Daniel Libeskind didn't help—but it's not quite as banal as imagined, especially the cute Flower Street side. Prices are high, but maybe not completely obscene for South Park, with 510-square-foot studios starting at $1,830 and two-bedroom, two-bathrooms going for $3,200. Of course, you're also paying for the pool, outdoor spa, gym, bar, grill center, and "dog grooming station."