Every major city has an “anti-downtown,” said Sam Brownell, principal and partner of property developers Blatteis & Schnur Inc.
Examples include the SoHo/Meatpacking District in New York City, Wynwood in Miami and the Fulton River District in Chicago. “It attracts the creative class, where music, digital content, film businesses go,” Brownell said of the model for the anti-downtown.
After an unprecedented construction boom in downtown Los Angeles, the city’s downtown area is quickly developing its own “anti-downtown,” Brownell said. It is going to be the Arts District, a formerly blighted area sandwiched in between the Little Tokyo neighborhood and Boyle Heights in East LA.
Blatteis & Schnur is wrapping up construction of At Mateo, a 190,000-square-foot development in the Arts District. Brownell and Blatteis partner Marc Guth are betting that affluent creatives will want to open offices at At Mateo, as will boutiques and restaurants, which will feature 100-year-old brickwork that will blend in with the still-gritty environs of the Arts District.