In 2018, the owners of the 1923 Lane Mortgage Building at 8th and Spring Streets began cooking up plans for the adaptive reuse of the vintage office building. Six years later, the now century-old structure has reopened as an apartment-hotel fusion called The Craftsman.

Downtown-based architecture firm Omgivning designed the project, which converted the upper floors of the building into 110-short-term rentals, while retaining existing ground-floor retail and restaurant space. San Francisco-based Sonder, which runs short-term apartment-hotel projects, has signed on to operate the upper floors, which features units as small as 380 square feet in size.

Exterior of The CraftsmanHunter Kerhart Architectural Photography

The rental units are designed in studio floor plans, which kitchens oriented to maximize interior space and integrate into a wall and cabinet system. All include a contemporary material palette, as well as lighting which highlights the buildings original architectural features. One of those original features is the tower's lobby entrance, designed by Ernest Batchelder - the "Craftsman" who inspired the name for the property.

Per Omgivning, the project is also among the first non-ductile concrete buildings to complete the upgrades required under L.A.'s seismic retrofit ordinance, which was signed into law in 2015. Such structures lack steel reinforcing, which make them less flexible, and therefore more susceptible to damage, during an earthquake.

Interior of The CraftsmanSonder Holdings Inc.

Completion of the Craftsman comes roughly three years after Apple completed its conversion of the adjacent Tower Theatre into retail store.

Sonder, in addition to the Craftsman, has also opened a second Downtown location at the historic Foreman & Clark Building at 7th and Hill Streets. The 13-story former office building and department store has been transformed into a 125-unit property called The Winfield.

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