Sunday, June 8, 2008

Downtown Open House

I went downtown over the weekend to pick up The Dress. Walking back to my car, I stopped in at a nearby bookstore, and learned that it was Downtown Open House Day, organized by Downtown LA. There were walking tours, and art galleries were open. Many of the downtown developments had open house showings of their residential properties. It was easy to spot the buildings participating - they had clusters of purple balloons in the doorway.

I looked at some paintings in a gallery on the corner of Spring Street and 4th. The space was rough and unfinished, like a construction site. The guide suggested I tour the rest of the building, which had some 200 residential units that would be going on sale this summer. Similar to the Little Toyko complex, studio apartments had been carved from a turn-of-the-century building, and glossed with high-end appliances, new bamboo flooring, and featured raw brick walls for that edgy industrial look. I toured 6 hip yet elegantly decorated model units to view each available floorplan. Prices started around $300,000.
My next stop was a building on Broadway at 7th, right across from the shuttered Tower Theatre.

These units were rentals, not condominiums for sale. Rentals started at $1500 a month. Here, too, the developer had created apartments from a building originally intended for business purposes, but unlike the Spring Street space, the older features remained. The original pebbled-glass and transomed doors that once led to office suites now led to apartments. Floors of hexagonal tiles with Greek key borders gave way to polished concrete. The floorplans were irregular, with odd yet appealing little nooks and alcoves.

The decor here was a little more Ikea than Dwell, but I could totally see myself waking up every morning to this view.

The rooftop terrace was also open for viewing so I checked it out. It was pretty nice. A paved terrace with lounge furniture, planter boxes with sun-tolerant plants, and a pergola for shade. There was even a hot tub and a fountain.

Can you imagine living here? Is it too unreal? Too glossy? too much like a magazine? But remember where you are. When I remember its on Broadway, I smile, and think maybe I could live here.

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