The above map is a draft version of the Downtown Los Angeles Map of Land Use and Zoning. On the left is the Financial Distict and South Park while on the right is the Warehouse District and Arts District.
The City Planning Commission is updating the Downtown Plan for future growth and changes in land use. The new plan will set a new direction for the future of DTLA to guide the physical development of neighborhoods, and establish goals and policies for land use in addition to a range of planning topics, including streets and open space, urban design, mobility, and arts and culture.
Heavy Industrial zoning would be removed. A new Hybrid Industrial Zone would dominate in the Arts District.
In the upper right section the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (CASP) area encompasses a large area sometimes known as the North Industrial District. Older generations may refer to it as part of Chinatown or Dogtown.
In a June 14, 2021 letter by the Chinatown Stakeholders to the Planning Commission, CASP was addressed per the below excerpt which is somewhat critical.
In the Cornfield – Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (“CASP”) adopted in 2013, City Planning attempted to promote infill development in the CASP area but also sought to limit the percentage of residential space in the floor area of new projects. This had the unintended effect of discouraging new development even at a time when other parts of the Central City were experiencing a development boom. The only project within the CASP area that has been approved since adoption of CASP (1457 N. Main St., with 244 live/work units) moved forward only as a result of the Central Area Planning Commission granting (in May 2020) an exception from CASP’s limitation of residential uses not exceeding 15 percent of the floor area. The City Council subsequently approved Councilmember Cedillo’s motion (Council File No. 13-0078-S2) directing City Planning to review the land use incentives in CASP to determine whether they had the net effect of discouraging the production of mixed-income housing.
In addition to the above commentary, the Shimoda Design Group submitted its criticism of the draft plan as per below excerpt:
The draft plan website states “Several years ago, City Planning set out to create a modern and efficient zoning system for Los Angeles. The proposed approach aims to establish a new Zoning Code that is more responsive to the needs of Los Angeles’s neighborhoods, in addition to being easier to use.”
These are noble goals, but the current draft of the code does not show itself to be more responsive to local needs, nor is it easier to use. We believe that the zoning sections regarding Form, Frontage, Standards & Use and Density are too prescriptive and need to be revised to allow for creativity and diversity in aesthetics and construction. As it stands this document is too granular and contains many contradictions in its prescription. The density and the complexity of the current version will create an administrative nightmare for the city in its implementation and interpretation. Many of the prescriptions for dimensional minimums and maximums are not reflective of real market conditions and place unnecessary limitations on creativity. The code will inadvertently create requirements that will effectively neuter Los Angeles as a competitive and desirable place to invest in. The result will negatively impact the future of Los Angeles.
We strongly believe that the current draft needs further revisions and input from the professional design and development community prior to adoption. The draft analysis of the Downtown, Arts District, Little Tokyo, and Chinatown districts in particular need to be reconsidered and not be defined by transitory cultural associations, a form-based code or by prescribed use requirements that will not evolve over time to reflect the community that it serves. We strongly believe and support the up zoning of all of these areas to increase density and affordability.
The CASP is a land use document that governs a 600-acre industrial area interspersed with clusters of residential neighborhoods, commercial activity, City-owned land, affordable housing developments, and open spaces, such as the Los Angeles State Historic Park (the “Cornfield”). The area contains 3.7 million square feet of industrial space—the most prevalent use in the CASP—of which 74 percent is used for warehousing, storage, or distribution. There are about 1,800 dwelling units in the CASP, three-quarters of which are in multi-family buildings, totaling about 6,200 residents.
Below is a list of industrial real estate listings that were sold in the 4th Quarter of 2020 over 10,000 square feet in size in the Central Los Angeles industrial submarket. Information includes: buyer, seller, sale price, square footages, and property features for warehouses and manufacturing buildings.
The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is leading the construction of the new, $588 million Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles. The completed structure will be a 3,500-foot long viaduct connecting Boyle Heights and the Arts District across the Los Angeles River. The original viaduct was built in 1932, but had significantly deteriorated due to “concrete cancer”; it was demolished in 2016. The new viaduct will have ten pairs of lit arches, bike lanes and wider sidewalks, along with stairway access and bike ramps connecting to 12 acres of recreational and open space under the bridge, including the Len Hill Plaza. The bridge is funded primarily through the Federal Highway Administration, with additional City support. The viaduct will be completed in Summer 2022
Constructed in 1932, the original Sixth Street Viaduct (also known as the Sixth Street Bridge), was an important engineering landmark in the City of Los Angeles. It was one of a set of fourteen historic structures crossing the Los Angeles River, and the longest of these structures.
Due to its large size, the original Sixth Street Viaduct was constructed using an onsite concrete mixing plant. Unfortunately, the aggregate used in the concrete caused a chemical reaction known as Alkali Silica Reaction, which caused deterioration of the concrete structure within 20 years of its completion. The total project replacement cost is $488 million, making it the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles.
Located in a highly urbanized area just east of downtown Los Angeles, the original bridge acted as a critical transportation link between the neighborhoods of the Arts District on the west side and Boyle Heights on the east side.
The original viaduct was demolished in 2016. The new viaduct is scheduled for completion in 2022.
Amid exclamations like “I am going to be so happy to see the bridge completed!”, the most common questions on social media were about pedestrian and bike lanes and general accessibility. The wide and separate sidewalks and bicycle lanes planned for both sides of the bridge met with high praise. https://www.sixthstreetviaduct.org