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A $2-billion mega-project could reshape Downtown LA

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An Arts District cold-storage plant dating to the 1890s would be replaced with housing, offices, a hotel and shops in a proposal unveiled Thursday by Denver developers. With a price tag between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, the complex would rank among the largest L.A. commercial real estate developments in recent memory.

Continuum Partners launched the city approval process for a 10-building project that includes a residential skyscraper at Central Avenue and 4th Street, a historically industrial neighborhood dotted with art galleries, apartments and buzzy restaurants that has become increasingly attractive to tech and entertainment companies including Apple TV, Sony and Warner Music.

The Denver developer seeks to make over Los Angeles Cold Storage’s 7.6 acres for a project called Fourth & Central.

Fourth & Central is intended to feel like a small, walkable community with new buildings that acknowledge the industrial history of the area without appearing too precious in their design, architect Alan Pullman said. His Los Angeles firm Studio One Eleven is overseeing the master plan and designing buildings, but also brought in another architect to make the look of the complex more diverse.

“We want to create a neighborhood that feels like an organic part of the city that grew up over time,” he said, and avoid the design monotony often found in mega-developments.

There will be a public courtyard and pedestrian pathways meant to break the impermeable barrier that the cold-storage complex now creates in the neighborhood.