Huge Arts District development along L.A. River races for approval

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Huge Arts District development along L.A. River races for approval

Another high-design megaproject is being pitched for the Arts District, this time right alongside the Los Angeles River.

The Gallo family, longtime owner of the Rancho Cold Storage facility on Mesquit Street, has teamed with rising-star Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and real estate firm V.E. Equities to propose a sizable new development consisting of two connected buildings, 30 stories tall at their highest point.

The project, called 670 Mesquit, would hold approximately 800,000 square feet of office space, 250 rental apartments and two boutique hotels as well as shops and restaurants. Stretching north from the 7th Street Bridge almost as far as the forthcoming 6th Street Viaduct, it would replace Rancho Cold Storage’s warehouse buildings along Mesquit.

The design also calls for a small museum or public sculpture park connected to a broad deck that would extend over the train tracks that divide the Rancho property from the Los Angeles River. That deck is at once the most compelling and the most speculative part of the proposal; building it would require cooperation from a slew of public agencies and companies including the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Amtrak, Metrolink and rail giant BNSF.

“The major contribution to the transformation of the Arts District could be creating this deck over the rail yards,” said Ingels, whose firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is at work with British designer Thomas Heatherwick on corporate campuses for Google in London and Silicon Valley, among several other high-profile projects. “The Arts District doesn’t have a lot of open outdoor space. This could be the way to get from the Arts District all the way down” to the edge of the river. […]