Canadian developer Onni Group, already in the midst of a robust building spree in Downtown Los Angeles, is now making its first excursion to the Arts District.

In February, the Vancouver-based firm filed an application with the Department of City Planning for the construction of a 13-story building at 2143 E. Violet Street.  The mid-rise development could include upwards of 509 live-work units - with 76 apartments set aside as affordable housing - in addition to a maximum of 288,000 square feet of commercial space.

Arno Matis Architecture is designing the mixed-use development, which is portrayed as 145-foot tall stack of rhombus-shaped masses.  The offset floor plates of the building would allow for a series of terrace decks, providing outdoor space and amenities for inhabitants.  Wrapped with a mixture of white panels and punched vision glass, the proposed development would represent a unique presence in the Arts District.

Onni has presented two alternatives for developemnt, which vary in terms of form and programmed space.

Under Option A, 2143 Violet would feature two six-story towers atop a seven-story podium.  The interior would feature 509 live-work dwellings - including 53 very low income and 24 extremely low income units - with slightly over 123,000 square feet of new commercial floor area.  An existing 55,000-square-foot building, currently occupied by the furniture store H.D. Buttercup, would be retained.

Option B changes the building form to twin eight-story towers above a five-level podium.  The total number of residentil units is reduced to 291, with 30 very low income units and 14 extremely low income units.  The amount of retail and office space is increased to approximately 275,000 square feet under this alternative.  As with Option A, the H.D. Buttercup building would be retained.

As it typical for many ground-up projects in the Arts District, 2143 Violet would include street-fronting murals, as well as on-site production space for artists and other craftsmen.

The property sits directly across the street from the blighted lot where Lowe Enterprises has proposed a nine-story office building, and a half-block east of the future West Coast headquarters of Warner Music Group.