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Catalina Swimwear Building on Skid Row/Little Tokyo Frontier Becoming Lofts

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The mixed-user will have 78 live/work lofts

The Catalina Swimwear building at the corner of San Pedro and Winston streets was made nondescript from years of modifications made to accommodate signage for the various wholesalers and industrial businesses that passed through the space over the decades.

But underneath, it's a lovely 1920s-era building designed by the same architect who would later design the Chateau Marmont and the El Royale apartment complex, both city historic-cultural landmarks. New owners have purchased the building and are set on restoring that "past glory," says Urbanize LA. They are also pursuing city landmark status for the structure.

Statewide Aquisitions Corporation bought the building in March, paying $20.5 million for the place. They've since brought on architecture firm Omgivning, which is doing a number of projects in Downtown, like the Proper hotel and the Broadway Trade Center. The plan is to convert the former swimwear factory—now, the Catalina—into a mixed-use building with 78 live/work lofts (including 14 penthouse units) and 7,000 square feet of commercial space along the street.

The upgrades to the Catalina are expected to cost $11 million, and include the restoration of the building's original terra cotta facade, "a mural of a Catalina Swimwear pinup girl," and a rooftop deck with a common area and a glassed-in gym.

Construction is expected to start around the end of this year and conclude sometime in 2018.

The building sits in an area that at least one neighboring business refers to as "Skidrokyo," as in, the area where Skid Row and Little Tokyo overlap and mingle.