Arlington, Virginia-based developer AvalonBay Communities is approaching its latest test for a proposed mixed-use complex in the Arts District, with the project set to go before the Los Angeles City Planning Commission at its meeting next week.

AVA Arts District, as the proposed development is being called, would replace a cold storage facility at 668 S. Alameda Street with a seven-story building featuring 475 rental apartments, 61,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and parking for up to 842 vehicles.  Plans call for a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units - including 53 reserved for very-low-income households - and a series of common open spaces for residents.

The project is being designed by R&A Architecture + Design, and would feature a mix of exterior finishes that includes board-formed concrete, fiber cement panels, and metal.  AvalonBay would also repurpose a former alley which forms a panhandle at the southeast corner of the development site to use as a landscaped paseo programmed with outdoor seating and public art.

A staff report to the Planning Commission recommends that they approve the project, which would be constructed over approximately four years.  A groundbreaking date for AVA Arts District has not been announced.

The Arts District project is the third AVA development in the Los Angeles area for AvalonBay, joining an already-finished apartment complex in Little Tokyo and a 695-unit complex now rising in Hollywood.

A similar development by Camden Property Trust is set to rise across from AVA Arts District, and a $2-billion tower complex is planned a short distance north at Alameda and 6th Street.