Last week, a development team consisting of the Trammell Crow Company (TCC), the Cesar Chavez Foundation and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes quietly broke ground on a $140-million mixed-use complex near Olvera Street.

La Plaza Cultura Village, slated for two Los Angeles County-owned parking lots at the intersection of Broadway and Cesar E Chavez Avenue, will consist of five- and eight-story buildings featuring 355 residential units and 43,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.  The project calls for an array of live/work lofts, studio apartments and one-, two- and three-bedroom dwellings, of which 20% will be reserved as affordable housing.  Planned amenities include multiple roof decks, a fitness center, a swimming pool and a dog park.

According to designs from the architecture firms Johnson Fain and SWA Group La Plaza Village will be centered along a historic paseo which runs east-to-west through the site, linking Union Station to the Fort Moore Memorial on Hill Street.  A large California sycamore will serve as the centerpiece of the plaza, referencing the massive El Aliso sycamore that served as a gathering place for the Tongva community that once made its home in the area which became Downtown Los Angeles.

Moving east, the project takes the form of a hillside village, undergoing a 40-foot elevation change between Broadway and Hill Street.  Further references to the property's history as the birthplace of Los Angeles are made through architectural elements such as interpretive signage and paving inlays.

A representative of TCC states that the project, which is being built without public subsidies, is tentatively scheduled for completion in June 2018.