Just west of the L.A. River and Metro's Division 20 yard, construction is in full swing for the Arts District's first high-rise at 520 S. Mateo Street.

Aerial view looking westWorks Progress Architecture

The Alloy development, which is being built by San Francisco-based Carmel Partners, replaced a late 1980s industrial facility on a property bounded by the 4th Street Bridge to the north, Santa Fe Avenue to the east, Mateo Street to the west, and a property which should look familiar to It's Always Sunny fans to the south. The completed project will include a total of 475 live/work apartments, 105,000 square feet of office space, approximately 18,000 square feet of street-level shops and restaurants, and parking for 650 vehicles.

The visual centerpiece of the mixed-use complex is a new 35-story, 390-foot-tall tower, which will rank as the tallest building in the Arts District at completion. The tower will share a podium with a smaller mid-rise office building to the west, which will front Mateo Street.

View of pedestrian paseoWorks Progress Architecture

Works Progress Architecture  and Solomon Cordwell Buenz headline the design team for the project, which is depicted in renderings with a sleek glass exterior. Amenity decks are proposed for building rooftops and the podium deck, while at the ground level, plans call for transforming a former rail spur between Mateo and Santa Fe as a pedestrian paseo.

Construction of Alloy comes year after news emerged that the project was tied to a City Hall corruption scandal centered on former Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who has since pleaded guilty to federal charges of accepting bribes from real estate developers. Huizar accepted political contributions from Carmel on behalf of his wife's short-lived City Council run while Alloy was in the midst of its entitlement process. During that time, he pushed to reduce the amount of affordable housing required within the development. Carmel has since resolved its involvement in the corruption probe through the payment of a $1.2-million fine.

Aerial view of Alloy looking west toward Downtown skylineHunter Kerhart Architectural Photography

The tower may be the first of a handful of similar projects in the works for the Arts District A larger high-rise complex designed by Bjarke Ingels Group is in the works nearby, and prolific developer Onni Group is planning a 36-story high-rise just south of 7th Street.

San Francisco-based Carmel is also behind plans for a similar high-rise just south of Beverly Hills city limits on La Cienega Boulevard, as well as mixed-use and multifamily residential developments proposed or under construction in East Hollywood and Sawtelle.

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