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Major mixed-use plan announced for fashion district downtown

January 27, 2013|By Roger Vincent
  • Massing of the proposed City Market project in the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles.
Massing of the proposed City Market project in the fashion district of downtown… (Smart Architecture )

Ambitious plans have been unveiled for a 3.3-million-square-foot development that would bring a college, hotel, offices and apartments to the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles.

The owners of about three blocks' worth of faded commercial properties hope to build a project valued between $500 million and $1 billion called the City Market of Los Angeles. It would rise in an area that once housed wholesale produce businesses and is now home mostly to garment industry shops and warehouses.

City Market is in early stages of seeking approval for the project from city officials, which could take more than a year. The boundaries of the proposed 10-acre development are roughly San Julian and San Pedro streets between 9th and 12th streets.

As planned by the six property owners led by Peter Fleming, City Market would hold a campus for one or more private colleges, 945 units of new housing, 210 hotel rooms and more than 500,000 square feet of creative offices, stores, restaurants and entertainment uses.

“With new academic facilities, creative office space, residences, hotel rooms, restaurants, nightspots, and event and exhibit spaces, the project seeks to become a globally recognized destination,” said Fleming, chief executive of City Market.

Some existing buildings would be reused and others would be razed, said architect Douglas Hanson, design partner at Smart Architecture. The usable existing buildings would probably be developed first but the sequence of development would follow market demand.

“Ideally, we would all love to have the school there as the first phase,” Hanson said. It would probably be a private postgraduate institution focused on fashion design.

It could take as long as two decades to complete the project, he said.

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