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See how the Arts District’s Walnut Growers building will be turned into lofts

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The 1921 building is at Seventh and Mill streets

A staged interior shot of 1745 East Seventh Street.
Images courtesy of The Hillcrest Company

Another handsome old building in the relentlessly cool Arts District is being retrofitted and converted into lofts, offices, and retail.

The California Walnut Growers Association building in a photograph dated February 11, 1938.
Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

Work has already started on the building at 1745 East Seventh Street, the former headquarters and packing house of the California Walnut Growers’s Association.

The Hillcrest Company, helmed by developer Fred Afari, bought the property in April 2013 for $6.55 million, public records show. A year before that, the then-owner, Linear City, filed plans for 57 live/work condos "for artists and artisans.”

Afari’s son, Ryan Afari, a principal with Hillcrest, says they’re still figuring out just how many units the 1921 building will hold.

But the general plan is to add balconies along the north side, expand the windows, put parking underground and on a vacant portion of the site, and turn the two rooftops (the building is two-tiered) into usable spaces.

Here’s a peek at the building and what’s to come (one of the building’s coolest features is 25-foot sawtooth ceilings, and those are on display in some of these images):

At the intersection of Seventh and Mill streets, the building is steps from The Daily Dose, Everson Royce Bar, and Church & State. Prediction: Whoever moves in will be fashionable and well-to-do and will feel right at home in the ’hood.