Heh. The One Santa Fe apartment complex across from Sci-Arc in the Arts District has a new owner — Berkshire Group — and first thing they want to do apparently is soften the stark look. I can understand that. The bright white boxes with red flashes are not very inviting. I was sitting with a group of Times editors at Cafe Gratitude several months ago and they agreed the apartment complex reminded them of Eastern Europe. Architect Michael Maltzan would no doubt disagree, but Berkshire Group feels a need to fit in better.
Excerpt from LA real estate site The Real Deal:
Los Angeles’ own “Death Star” may be getting a softer new look.
One Santa Fe, the contentious 434-unit apartment complex widely considered to be the linchpin of gentrification in the Arts District, will be renovated to better blend in with the neighborhood, its new owner Berkshire Group announced Friday....
Berkshire’s decision to redevelop the property is a surprise, considering how recently the property debuted. Construction wrapped up just last year. The property is often dubbed the “Empire State Building on its side” because it’s wider than the height of the original Manhattan landmark.
But, from the get-go, some of the neighborhood’s long-time residents have been critical of One Santa Fe’s dramatic rectangular design, courtesy of architect Michael Maltzan, which some say clashes with the area’s historic feel.
One Santa Fe is the new home of Hennessey + Ingalls, the architecture and design bookstore that moved to DTLA from Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. There's also a Van Leeuwen Ice Cream shop and the previously mentioned Cafe Gratitude, but otherwise there's not much reason for non-residents to visit the complex.