Saturday, September 20, 2008

Great Republic Lofts Grand Opening

Great Republic Lofts held their grand opening sales event this weekend. The building is on Spring Street bordering 8th Street and Main Street. The building will have 72 for sale lofts ranging in size from 649-981 square feet. 20 lofts were released for sale this weekend with an average price of $484 per square foot, which is reasonable. 72 parking spaces will be available in the parking lot next door for residents. The developer owns the parking lot. Each loft had quite a bit of light and all units had exposed brick. From the 5th floor models that were available to see all had views of downtown, either facing east or west. The finishes were well done, bathrooms have glass tile on the tub surround. Kitchens also had a mosaic glass tile back splash. Each unit will come with appliances with the exception of the washer/dryer.

The sales staff were beyond welcoming and were very patient with countless questions from potential residents. There will be retail on the ground floor and they are trying to secure a French cafe to open.

More pictures at inLAonLA's Flickr page

Update: First Release Price List

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NCT Lofts All Lit Up....Well, Almost...

The NCT Lofts building is showing some light. The bottom lights shining up on the building have just been turned on in this adaptive reuse project. It is great to see this building lit up at night after being dark for so long. The top portion lights are not on but should be on soon. According to the Downtown News development issue, the building should welcome its new tenants in two months. The building will have 93 apartments ranging from 650-1700 sq. ft.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Fashion District Balls Are ON!!!!

This isn't Angels Knoll Park, Angels Flight, or an Automated Public Toilet, these are lit up balls! Something actually got done in this great city of ours. The Fashion District balls are on! The lit up balls can be found at Spring St./Main St. and 9th St. I just can't believe that this project was complete in a reasonable amount of time. (sorry for the bad pictures, still learning how to shoot at night...)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunset Junction 2008

It's hard to believe that it cost 20 bucks to get into Sunset Junction these days. Was it worth it? Yes and No. The festival food in itself is worth it to me, gyros, polish sausage sandwiches, any meat you can think of on a stick! Also, Broken Social Scene were playing and that is worth it, but the technical difficulties made it unbearable. It wasn't the band's fault but rather the stage hands. Microphones kept going out while the band was in the middle of a song. All in all I felt ripped off. So... not worth it. Sunset Junction continues Sunday with !!!, The Germs, Black Keys, Kinky, Jeffrey Osborne, and Stephanie Mills playing. Also, don't drive! Take the Metro 2 or 4 bus from downtown which drops you off just steps from the entry gates. Get off at Sunset and Maltman. You can also take Metro Red Line to Vermont/Sunset, or Vermont/Santa Monica stations and walk it.

What's up with Sunset Junction and lube?

Broken Social Scene

Friday, August 22, 2008

9th Street Lofts/Emil Brown Building Conversion

It's great to see another conversion happening here in the Fashion District. The Emil Brown Building, built in 1922, architect John M. Cooper is being converted into 37 loft apartments. The building is located at 9th St. and Santee St. The roof will be used to house penthouse units with private rooftop decks. The roof will also include a large landscaped deck for the tenants. The ground floor retail already includes a Starbucks and a Quiznos and several clothing retailers such as Shoe Monster! The conversion architects are David Gray Architects. They are behind conversions such as Great Republic Building, National City Tower Lofts, The Judson, Tomahawk Building, and the Orpheum Lofts. Judging by those conversions this building will surely look just as great.

Rooftop rendering and floorplans via architect's website.

The following picture is from the USC Digital Archives:
Birdseye view of Los Angeles from 1024 Santee Street, June 1, 1929.

You can see the Emil Brown Building in the middle right of the picture.

Slow Progress on the Medallion Project

Is it just me or is this project moving at a snail's pace? The Medallion project will eventually have 192 residential lofts. It will also have 203,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 700 parking spots. The project practically encompasses an entire city block bordering 4th St, Los Angeles St., Main St. and 3rd St.

Renderings via architect's website. I wish they could have gone taller for these buildings:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Masa of Echo Park

Chicago style pizza is not easy to come by here in Los Angeles, but Masa of Echo Park really comes close to the original. Ever since going to Chicago and having deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno I had a hard time finding something similar here in LA.

As you can tell by the picture, this is the real thing. We had the Lots of Meat deep dish which came with sausage and pepperoni. A large is $19.95 which is a deal.

Masa of Echo Park
1800 W. Sunset Blvd.

Mon-Thur 11AM-12PM
Fri 11Am-Midnight
Sat 8AM-Midnight
Sun 8AM-11PM
Brunch 8AM-3PM Sat & Sun

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Falafel Express

After getting a much needed haircut at L.A. Barber College I went to Falafel Express on my way home. I was looking forward to the opening of this restaurant. I was glad that I would be able to walk rather than drive to Zankou Chicken to get my chicken Shawarma on. I had some high expectations and I was greatly disappointed.

I ordered the Chicken Shawarma plate at $11.50.
It came with three salads/dips, I had the humus dip, avocado dip, and the marinated eggplant. The chicken was beyond dry. It was chewy and way overcooked. The salads were fresh and were pretty good. The humus was not that great, it really lacked flavor. I also bought a drink for $1.50, which comes out to $13.00. I am willing to give them a second chance and try the falafel. For now, I will be driving to Zankou Chicken to get my chicken Shawarma on.

Falafel Express
433 S. Spring Street
Open Mon-Fri 7AM-5PM Sat & Sun Closed
Free wifi

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Earthquake!! Drop!!

There are times when I don't like being a teacher especially during an earthquake. I was teaching a 3rd grade summer school class. We felt the rolling, then I yelled drop and the students quickly went under their desk. A number of students started to cry, while others thought it was fun. We evacuated quickly and school was dismissed. I found everything in my loft exactly where I left it with the exception of an open window that wasn't open when I went to work. Not sure what is better, teaching at school during an earthquake or being in my 100 year old concrete building.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Look at SB Main & SB Spring

Outside the windows of my loft I've been watching the SB Spring and SB Main buildings slowly come together. SB Main looks as if it is almost done. SB Spring, by the looks of the exterior has a little ways to go. SB main will have 220 units, SB Spring will have 195 units. These buildings show amazing potential as far as activating yet another corner in downtown. With available ground floor retail, it is exciting to think about the potential. I contacted the leasing office at SB Manhattan to see if they had information. Both buildings will be available as rentals and the expected completion date will be by the end of this year. I just hope the interiors are up to par. SB Grand and the Higgins building interiors, well , lets say, not to my liking. While the SB Manhattan and SB Lofts building interiors were a step up.

There were some odd choices for the exteriors though, for example:
This SB Spring sign is terrible, especially on a historic bank building. I don't see why they have to have the "name" on the building, its not even the original name of the building. Also, the painting of the original stone is a cheap way to avoid cleaning the damn building, its just lazy.

Here is another example of the lame signs on the SB Main. Why does Shy Barry, or Barry Shy, have a need to name his buildings, ego? The water falling is not rain, but water falling from a crew cleaning the outside of the building on the upper floors. Also, the stone was lazily painted over as well.

There are some pretty cool details like the one on the left on the SB Main building.

Crews power washing the exterior of the SB Main building.

Here is a picture that I took with my iPhone a few months back when they started painting the street level stone. Instead of cleaning the granite at the base of the building they painted it. They didn't even bother cleaning it before painting it, this paint is going to chip easily. Another lazy way to finish a building.

I am glad to see these buildings rehabbed. Even though these may be Barry Shy buildings, it is just nice to see that people will be living there. There have been many problems in the past and many horror stories (Bartlett anyone?), but Barry Shy's last two buildings (SB Manhattan, SB Lofts) have seen less problems. Two more new buildings rehabbed in downtown, many more to go.

More photos at inLAonLA's flickr page

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lot 44

Last Sunday I finally paid a visit to Lot 44 on Spring and 3rd. I read many reviews of the coffee shop, some favorable, some not so favorable. One of the reviews that I read stated the service was not so good. I have nothing but good things to say about the service when I was there. The cashier was attentive and the barista knew her stuff. We ordered a couple of drinks, a 16 oz. caramel latte, a 16 oz. blended drink (can't remember which one), and a piece of carrot cake. It all came out to 13 bucks. A little expensive but not too bad. The latte was great, it got me wired, exactly what I intended it to do. My partner had the blended drink and he said it wasn't too sweet and he enjoyed it. The carrot cake was pretty good as well. The decor was minimal and clean, which I liked. As far as the wifi, I had no problem accessing the internet on my iPhone, and it wasn't slow, I guessed they worked out the problem they were having. Also, the cashier knew what the T-shirt I was wearing meant, which was a Pretty Girls Make Graves shirt. All in all I be visiting Lot 44 again...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

6th Street Bar & Grill

After reading a review of the 6th Street Bar & Grill in the latest Downtown News, I decided to go and try out a burger. When I arrived, around 4:00 PM on a Wednesday the place was empty. The Downtown News restaurant review said that the service was not that great and it took a while for the food to be prepared. This was not the case this afternoon. I was promptly seated and I ordered my burger. 10 minutes later my burger was ready.

I ordered the Western Burger and it was satisfying. The bacon was well cooked and the meat portion was just right. The only problem I had with it is that I didn't really taste the BBQ sauce. The fries tasted fresh and all in all I enjoyed it and recommend it. The price came out to a total of $10.65 with drink, and they have ample parking! They also have free WiFi..

Sixth Street Bar & Grill
601 S. Central Ave.

REO @ Skylofts


1443 Sq. ft. ( says: 1320 Sq. ft.)
HOA: $670
2 Bed/2 Bath

Details from Realtor:
801 S Grand Ave #1501, Los Angeles, CA 90017 Area: (23) Metropolitan
Amazing Live/Work loft ,southwest corner unit facing Staples with amazing views. Full service building with doorman, gym, screening room. Two parking spaces side by side. This is a great deal. Unit 1301 is listed for $908,000 now. If you are buying to rent out, you can get $3000 or more. I just rented 1401 for $3,000. Hurry, wont last.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ink and Weneez...

About a week ago I had to print something and my printer was out of ink. So I went to the Inks and Toner place on 6th and Spring to refill my ink cartridges. It was going to be $9 to fill the cartridge, but there was a 15 minute wait. I decided to get a quick bite at Weeneez at 5th and Spring and I really did regret it. I arrived at Weeneez and ordered my hot dog and while I was ordering there was a cockroach on the counter. It didn't bother me much and I let the person behind the counter know about it and he wiped it off . I still ordered and enjoyed my hot dog. But after a while there were quite a few flies in the restaurant. I am not talking 2 or 3, but more like 6 flies hovering around my food. To top it off a guy came in and was ordering a burger or something and then an argument ensued between the guy and the manager. They were yelling at each other. So the cockroaches, flies, and yelling, it wasn't a pleasant experience and that is probably the last time I visit Weeneez again.

Friday, June 27, 2008

REO at Elleven!

970 sq ft
HOA: $620
Sale Price: $377,990!!
1 Bed/1 Bath

Description from the realtor:

1111 S Grand ave #912, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Area: (42) Downtown L.A.

REO.Great One bedroom size unit at Elleven South. Bamboo floors, stainless steel kitchen, high floor facing east, Washer and Dryer in the unit, one underground space included, Amazing deal, lowest price in the building, great chance for you that want to be in one of the best buildings Downtown. Located in South Park. Work, Live, Play.

If you are buying to rent out, you can ask $2,200 for this unit.

Uncle John's Ham 'n Eggs

I went to Uncle John's Ham 'n Eggs based on a recommendation from
I have since gone there a few times now. The place is on 8th and Olive and is only open weekdays from 8AM to 3PM. I had the day off so I tried it out.

I had the Chasu Pork BBQ and eggs with fried rice and home fried potatoes as sides. It also came with toast all for $7.50, they didn't charge for the drink I believe. I enjoyed it and was plenty full afterwards. I have since tried the Chasu Pork BBQ omelette, which was $6.50 and I did enjoy the omelette more, the serving was a bit less than the Chusu Pork BBQ and eggs. Of the three times I have been there (I am on vacation) it has been full, but there was always a seat available. I asked the waitress why they weren't open on the weekends and she replied that the weekends are to resupply and prepare for the next work week. Too bad...

Now in Downtown LA

My first post...
I moved to Downtown from Hollywood back in January of 2008. So it has been about 7 months living in Downtown and it has been an adjustment. I purchased a loft at Santee Village in the Cornell Building, and I love it. The purpose of this blog is to offer updates on the ever changing neighborhood that is Downtown. In the 7 months I have been here, I have seen changes and with more residents coming in I am expecting to see more dramatic changes, time will tell..