Image Source: The Patch.com
Considered by many to be one of the hippest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the LA Arts District is overflowing with galleries, restaurants, and boutiques to delight creatives and professionals alike. But it’s tough to fully appreciate this ‘hood without knowing a bit about its history.
Back in the 1970s, the LA Arts District was essentially an industrial wasteland that was overtaken by visual artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives looking to capitalize on the cheap rent and greater personal freedom that comes with it. However, with lower housing costs also came squalid living conditions and sparse amenities.
In the decades since then, young professionals and transplants increasingly fell in love with the neighborhood for its authentic charm and its uniquely inspiring vibe. As a result, zoning laws were modified, allowing more businesses and developers to swoop in and plant the cafes, art galleries, and high-end boutiques the neighborhood is so beloved for today.
Architecture & Development
With large-scale developers increasingly setting their sights on the neighborhood, the Arts District is seeing a major influx of mixed-use buildings designed for retail and living. For example, Irvine developer, SunCal, partnered with architects Herzog and de Meuron to create the 6AM project, which is a $2 billion development featuring retail space and nearly 2,000 high-end condominiums and apartments.
Image source: TheFordFactoryLA.com
Then there’s the old Ford Motor Factory, purchased by developers in 2014 for a mere $37 million, which is being repurposed into a massive complex designed for creative professionals with some retail space on the first floor.
Amid all of the luxury developments is also a push to retain affordable housing for the artists that made this neighborhood so appealing in the first place. Neighborhood activist organizations, like The Affordable Housing for Artists group, are actively working with developers and policymakers to create affordable housing allocations specifically for artists to prevent displacement and retain the neighborhood’s charm and creativity.
Eat, Drink, & Play
The culture of the Arts District is laid-back and creative, catering to artists and young professionals with an ever-growing list of restaurants, galleries, and shops. And one of the components that really sets this neighborhood apart from the rest of LA is its walkability, which makes its attractions all the more inviting and accessible.
Image source: @manueladtla
Art enthusiasts will fall in love with the flour mill-turned-contemporary art gallery by Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel. The expansive building occupies nearly an entire city block on the corner of 3rd and South Garey and features evolving exhibitions and events for art lovers of all sensibilities.
If you’re in the mood to shop, then it’s a great idea to take a walk to E 3rd street, where you’ll find many boutiques and galleries showcasing treasures that beg you to take them home. If you’re looking for a gift for a loved one, check out Poketo, which offers a wide range of unique artisan accessories from socks to jewelry to s’mores kits. On the other hand, if a home update is on your to-do list, head to Alchemy Works for creative home decor that’s tough to find elsewhere.
Once you’ve exhausted yourself with shopping and art perusing, you can pay any number of the Arts Districts yummy grub spots a visit. For a quick bite, check out the Yeastie Boys food truck for an unforgettable bagel sandwich or walk to Zinc Cafe for eggs, baked goods, pizzettes, and sandwiches. And if you’re in the mood to splurge, head over to Bestia where dishes like Potato Leek Ravioli and Grilled Pork Tomahawk Chops will satisfy the biggest of appetites.
LA Arts District Homes for Sale
If you like the industrial-chic vibe of the LA Arts District, we suggest you check out some of the lofts that this area has to offer. With their exposed brick walls, cement floors, and soaring ceilings, Los Angeles lofts truly capture the modern live/work aesthetic so prevalent here in the Arts District. Start your Search With Style® with our hand-curated listings of all Los Angeles lofts for sale.