At its meeting yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council upheld a plan to add more housing to the Santa Fe Art Colony just south of Downtown, rejecting an appeal which has sought to stymie the project.

The project from Miami-based developer Fifteen Group, submitted to the Planning Department for review in 2019, focuses on a 1950s warehouse at the rear of the property at 2345 S. Santa Fe Avenue. Fifteen Group intends to convert the roughly 20,000-square-foot structure into 18 live/work apartments, ranging from 650 to 1,300 square feet in size. Each would include studio workspaces at the ground-floor and living space on a mezzanine level above.

Building section for the proposed adaptive reuse projectDutton Architects

The adaptive reuse project, designed by Dutton Architects, would carve exterior entrances for each apartment into the walls of the warehouses. Besides housing, plans also call for carving a 1,500-square-foot courtyard into the center of the building, while also creating smaller private yards for each of their entrances.

Parking for 24 vehicles - six more than required by code - would be required in a surface lot to the west of the building.

The proposed development was the subject of two appeals - the first of which was submitted by the tenants of the existing buildings on the property. While the residents had previously lodged complaints that unstudied environmental hazards may be buried on the project site, continuing a dispute with Fifteen Group that had originated years earlier as rents for the existing apartments spiked. However, a letter indicating a withdrawal of their appeal was submitted to the City of Los Angeles in early February.

The second appellant, named Concerned Citizens for Santa Fe Art Colony, contended that the project should undergo further environmental study, and alleged that it may have "cumulative impacts" when combined with other nearby developments. A staff reports dismissed those claims, and recommended that the existing environmental clearance should be sustained.

Site plan for the proposed adaptive reuse projectGS Landscape Architecture Studio

The Santa Fe Art Colony, which was established in 1988, inhabits a series of brick industrial buildings which once served as the headquarters of the C.B. Van Vorst Furniture Manufacturing Company, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. The colony - which is comprised of 80 residential units - was the first purpose-built affordable housing complex for artists in the City of Los Angeles.

Fifteen Group is also slated to partner with Lincoln Property Company on a proposed revamp of the shuttered Lincoln Heights Jail, and has previously sought to redevelop the Wyvernwood housing complex in Boyle Heights.

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