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Construction Begins on Behemoth Mixed-User in Arts District

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Designs for the 472-unit complex had to be modified to satisfy the neighbors

Get ready, Arts District. You're about to get one of the largest residential developments in all of Downtown LA. Plans have been in the works to convert six acres of land near the Southern California Institute of Architecture into a megasized mixed-user for some time now, but, after some pushback from the neighborhood, Urbanize LA reports that construction is finally slated to begin this week on the $215-million complex located at 950 E. Third Street.

The 400,000-square-foot development features seven apartment buildings in total, each either five or six stories tall and connected by overhead walkways. Plans call for 472 apartments, made up of a a mixture of studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms (both flat and loft floorplans will be offered). Those housing units will sit atop 22,000 square feet of retail space and there'll be a center courtyard with a swimming pool, dog wash, and play yard.

The project was first announced back in 2013, with construction expected to begin later that year, but it hit a roadblock early on. Kava Massih Architects tried to ingratiate themselves with the neighborhood by incorporating an industrial design aesthetic and several murals, but it turns out residents of the Arts District were more concerned about the logistics of this behemoth of a housing development being erected in their backyard. The project seemed to be cutting off public access between Traction Avenue and Third Street, and then there was the potential for adding a huge influx of new cars to the neighborhood.

Fairfield Residential and Legendary Development, the companies behind the project, made concessions and modified their design to address the neighborhood's concerns. The number of available parking spots on site was slashed from 922 to 744 and they have also included a public pathway to cut through the development that will link Third Street and Traction Avenue once more.

Construction is expected to begin now on the 248-unit first stage. The complex should be partially completed by December 2017.