Six years after initiating plans to redevelop the 1920s Challenge Cream & Butter Building in the Arts District, British developer Est4te Four Capital has its entitlements.

On May 16, the L.A. City Council voted to move forward with a zone change and environmental clearance for the proposed project, which would rise from a corner site at 929-939 E. 2nd Street. Plans call for the addition of a six new floors atop the shell of the existing two-story edifice, creating approximately 70,300 square feet of offices, 17,200 square feet of artist studios and screening rooms, and 21,000 square feet of event space. Parking for 270 vehicles would be located in an automated structure in the basement of the Challenge Cream & Butter Building.

View looking northwest from 2nd and VignesGoogle Street View

New York-based Morali Architects is designing the building, which is named for its location at the intersection of 2nd and Vignes Streets. Plans show a contemporary mid-rise structure, wrapped in cantilevered balconies and capped by a rooftop pool deck. The building would rise 131 feet to its roof, and approximately 143 feet at its peak.

According to an environmental report circulated by the City of Los Angeles in 2017, construction of 2nd & Vignes is expected to occur over an 18-month period. However, a precise timeline for delivery has not been announced.

929 E 2nd StreetGoogle Maps

The proposed project differs significantly from what had originally been pitched for the site, when Es4te Four had intended to build a  private club with offices, a screening room, a gym, and event space, as well as food and beverage venues at street level. However, in December 2021, the developer discarded plans for a private club, citing changing market conditions resulting from the pandemic.

While the market for office space has faced its own challenges in recent years, a number of large developers nonetheless appear to be moving forward with similar projects, including Onni Group, Jade Enterprises, Skanska, Tishman Speyer, and Hines.

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