Location:  San Diego, California

Client:  Lennar / JMI Realty

Metropolitan Lofts is Los Angeles first new urban loft building and consists of a new mixed-use development with 264 loft-style apartment units with  approximately 11,000 square feet of ground level retail space in the “South Park” district of downtown Los Angeles; across the street from the Los Angeles’ entertainment district and Staples Center.  

A market-rate rental project with a 20% affordable component, Met Lofts is the culmination of a CRA-led redevelopment effort to turn a once desolate city block of mostly surface parking into a vibrant mixed income residential community including affordable, senior, and family-oriented with physically challenged flats and town homes.  Inspired by early 20th Century Modern and reflecting  the industrial fabric of the existing neighborhood in which it is located, the eight-story boutique rental residence combines the visual arts into a fully integrated urban community and is downtown Los Angeles’ first all-new state-of-the-art urban loft building. 

Designed by the renowned Los Angeles architectural firm Johnson Fain, the concrete, steel and glass structure meets the street at all three frontages creating a strong urban fabric while enclosing a generously landscaped ‘urban room’ or courtyard.  It is visually open on the south to other developments on the block, with views to the Los Angeles skyline beyond and to pedestrians and event goers along 11th street. A public art component, created by the art and design collaborative Electroland, capitalizes on the heavy foot traffic whose movement on an interactive electronic carpet is registered on the façade. You can watch your creation on the lobby plasma screens while the drivers on the 110 Freeway enjoy the show. Parking, all above grade, is provided at each tenant floor, in an imbedded eight-story parking structure which is anchored at the ground floor with live-work residential units.  

The Ballpark Village Master Plan (BPVMP) Development Standards establishes the general design and development criteria for Parcels C and D of San Diego’s Sports and Entertainment District, a component of the Centre City Planned District. These parcels are envisioned as a high density mixed-use center adjacent to Petco Ballpark and one of San Diego’s main light rail stations, in the heart of downtown’s energetic entertainment, restaurant and sports district.

The BPVMP is the framework for a richly mixed-use neighborhood that is fully integrated into its surrounding community by providing view corridors and extending the street system through the project.  The plan sets the course for Ballpark Village to contribute to the development of a distinctive world-class downtown with high quality building and amenities that reflect San Diego’s unique setting. The urban form prescribed in the Ballpark Village Master Plan reflects the Ballpark District and San Diego’s downtown identity.

The mixed uses in Ballpark Village will contribute to establish downtown as a vibrant and livable place that allows people to live close to work, transit, and culture. Ballpark Village will foster vital public spaces and active street-life. Building massing and placement will reinforce the celebration of San Diego’s unique climate and waterfront location. The plan will be a component of the Balboa Park to Bay link, helping to re-establish Balboa Park’s relationship to downtown.

These Development Standards govern elements such as: minimum and maximum development, height, bulk, vehicular/ pedestrian circulation, building setbacks, step-backs, tower orientation, and other general urban form elements. These elements complement the aesthetics and operations of neighboring Petco Park, and provide a flexible urban design framework that allows a variety of uses to respond to changing market conditions.

The provisions of the BPVMP are used by San Diego’s Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) in the review of Centre City Development Permit Applications for the various components of the BPVMP.