SunCal, which describes itself as one of country's largest real estate firms, has unveiled plans for its highly-anticipated foray into Downtown Los Angeles.

The $2-billion project, slated for a 14.5-acre site at 6th and Alameda Streets, would raze a series of warehouses and industrial buildings to make way for a 2.8-million-square-foot mixed-use complex.  According to the Downtown News, the proposed development would include:

  • 1,305 apartments
  • 431 condominiums
  • A 430,000-square-foot hotel
  • 250,000 square feet of office space
  • 29,000-square-foot school
  • 23,000 square feet of gallery or museum space
  • 128,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.

The developer has tapped the Priztker Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron to design the project, with assistance from local players A.C. Martin and Mia Lehrer & Associates.  A full buildout of the proposed development, which the Los Angeles Times refers to as 6AM, would feature a series of mid-rise concrete structures and two 58-story buildings along Alameda Street.  The "needle"-like towers would both stand over 700 feet in height, and have been marketed as the potential starting point for a new high-rise district in Downtown.

The 6AM site plan has been arranged to create long, parallel rows of buildings which take inspiration from the many repurposed warehouses of the surrounding Arts District.  The Times' architectural critic Christopher Hawthorne describes this low-rise section as a "bazaar-like maze of shops, restaurants, offices and apartments," with a horizontal band running 40 feet above the sidewalk to match the eave lines of adjacent buildings.  Renderings portray large concrete canopies and wide open spaces.

SunCal initially purchased the 6th & Alameda property in March 2015, shelling out $130-million for the sprawling property.  The development would be built in three phases, following the completion of the entitlement process in approximately two years.

Though the Irvine-based developer has is best known for its master-planned communities, 6AM is not the company's first attempt at an infill project.  SunCal was also behind plans for a Jean Nouvel-designed condominium tower in Century City, only to see the proposal waylayed by the worldwide recession.  The $400-million project, dubbed "the Green Blade," was was eventually cancelled.  The property at 10000 Santa Monica Boulevard later became the site of a posh apartment tower from Miami-based developer Crescent Heights.

While 6AM is the easily the most ambitious project planned in the history of the Arts District, recent months have seen the emergence of a number of similar, albeit smaller developments.  AvalonBay Communities, Bolour Associates and Carmel Partners have all filed plans for mixed-use projects on nearby properties.