Posts tagged with "California":

Placeholder Alt Text

Former California prison to become trailblazing medical marijuana farm

Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga, California is set to be repurposed as a medical marijuana production facility, after Coalinga city officials jointly agreed to sell the building to a local firm, Ocean Grown Extracts, to the tune of $4.1 million—conveniently covering the city's $3.8 million debt.

Prior to closure, the prison had a capacity of more than 500 inmates though operations were put to an end when California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations decided to shut the facility down in 2011. Now, after lying empty for half a decade, the building will now become a high-security factory for cannabis oil extraction.

“It’s like the Grateful Dead said: ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been,’” Coalinga Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Keough told the Fresno Bee after he and council members voted 4-1 in favor of the plan. “We listened to the citizens and created a package that was reflective of our population.”

“You can never do anything that satisfies everyone,” Keough added, “but we were pretty darn close to doing that.” It has also been reported that the 77,000-square-foot building is due to create approximately 100 new jobs as well ending a "long journey to medical cannabis legalization for Coalinga" despite medical marijuana use being legal in California for quite some time.

Co-owner of Ocean Grown Extracts Casey Dalton explained the firm has their eyes set on operations being up and running before the end of the year. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer 100 jobs and make safe medicine available for patients,” she said. “We appreciate Coalinga taking a chance not only on us, but on the industry.”

In order for the firm to carry out extraction, the facility must be secured under locked gates with no public access with 24-hour surveillance. As for the building's interior, much of it will remain as it was left. Meanwhile, all employees are subject to stringent background checks which must be passed, plants must have tracking devices on them and the plant must also have techniques for odor control.

Placeholder Alt Text

California developers sidestep environmental laws, hasten project approval with ballot initiatives

California’s ballot initiative system allows residents to propose laws as well as approve them by popular vote. In the past, this has resulted in drastically reducing property taxes and the approval of the country’s first law for medical marijuana. Recently, controversy has arisen due to the use of the system by developers to disregard state environmental laws and consequently hasten the pace of major developments, reports The New York Times. Using this popular vote system, plans were approved for several major development projects in Moreno Valley including “a stadium in Carson, a shopping center north of San Diego and a vast warehouse complex,” the article lists. This process of approval circumvents the California Environmental Quality Act whose rules would otherwise present obstacles for the developers. Another concern, addressed by The Times article, is that residents do not even have the opportunity to vote on the designs in question. In order for a project to be considered for special election or approval, a petition with the signatures of 15 percent of eligible voters is required. Local officials can then proceed to approve the project without a ballot to avoid the financial burden a special election would present. While the California Environmental Quality Act requires that developers “to identify and mitigate the environmental effects of their projects,” the law is not enforced by any government agency, only by lawsuits. Claims to sue “can range from destroying animal habitats to blocking a view,” The Times states. As a result, projects can be delayed and their costs exacerbated. Out of nine plans for new Walmart stores in California, eight were approved without a ballot. A California Supreme Court decision in 2014 addressed Walmart’s actions determining that elected officials can indeed approve projects without a ballot and therefore avoiding “environmental review.” Other developers have followed suit and projects across the state have attracted scrutiny and opposition for this reason, including a shopping center in Carlsbad and a proposed World Logistics Center in Moreno Valley.
Placeholder Alt Text

Three ballot initiatives that could reshape California’s cities in 2016

This year, aside from deciding who will become the 45th President of the United States, voters across the West will consider several important statewide ballot races that will directly impact the region’s urban landscapes, ecological future, and transportation infrastructure. In California particularly, the philosophy of direct democracy via ballot proposals promises to bring many contentious issues to election day.

Charter Amendment C

San Francisco’s municipal lawmakers are taking their debate over affordable housing directly to the people. Consensus in the Bay Area is to raise the minimum inclusionary housing requirement from its current 12% level. Partisans, however, can’t seem to agree on whether to raise the minimum to 25%, as proposed by Supervisors Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin. Their ballot measure will be up for a vote in this June’s California primary. With details of the plan still to be hammered out and as a development boom rumbles through the city’s South of Market district, the city government must act soon if the area is to contain a better-than-average affordable housing stock.

Measure R 2

Voters in L.A. are potentially looking to cement their growing rail legacy with a 40-year capital improvement campaign funded by a round of tax increases. Thanks to the passage of 2008’s Measure R, two light rail extensions are opening in L.A. this year. In March, Los Angeles Metro put forth a wish list of projects to be funded by Measure R 2, the transit agency’s plan to raise L.A. County’s sale tax by an additional $.50. The increase, coupled with an extension of 2008’s hike, is expected to raise $120 billion for transportation related projects over 40 years. Metro is looking to avoid a repeat of 2012’s slim defeat of the similar Measure J, which garnered 64.72% of the vote, just shy of the 66.6% supermajority needed to pass. When asked about how Metro plans to broaden support within the electorate, Pauletta Tonilas, Chief Communications Officer, told AN, “Our goal is to plan for future growth and provide ways to better the way we get around the county. The draft plan we’ve released shows we are delivering projects in every area of the county and that has been a big part of our support.”

Anticipated projects include fast tracking the long-delayed westside Purple Line subway and South L.A.’s LAX “people mover” extension of the Green Line, as well as a third extension to the northern arm of the Gold Line to Azusa in the eastern reaches of the San Gabriel Valley.

Neighborhood Integrity Initiative and Build a Better L.A. Initiative

The NIMBY-driven Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (NII) is battling the Union-supported Build a Better L.A. (BBLA) measure for a say in the city’s growth. The NII takes aim at booming-Los Angeles’s outdated city plan, by forcing the city to update all supplementary community plans while changes to the General Plan can be agreed upon. Simultaneously, the bill puts a moratorium on all spot-zoned projects for two years. Because many of the city’s most ambitious construction projects require these spot-zoning measures—due to the outdated nature of the code—the NII effectively halts development city-wide. The BBLA initiative is fighting to instead fast track projects requiring spot-zoning variances if those projects employ union labor and include construction of affordable housing units.

In perhaps a sign of things to come this November, two large, density-oriented projects recently won approval in very different parts of L.A. County. Koning Eizenberg Architecture’s 249-unit, 32-foot tall mixed use complex at 500 Broadway won enthusiastic approval from Santa Monica’s City Council. The scheme’s approval centered on its addition of 64 off-site affordable housing units as well as its proximity to the soon-to-be-opened Expo Line extension. In Hollywood, the Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects-designed Palladium Residences, two 30-story towers with 731 units, won approval from L.A. City Council. Although the project is comprised solely of market rate units, council members praised its location near public transit, in this case, the Red Line subway a few blocks north.

Placeholder Alt Text

California’s 7x7x7 program explores how its schools can be more sustainable

How can innovative design achieve zero net energy?

This is the challenge put forth by Chester “Chet” Widom, FAIA, State Architect of California, in the “7x7x7: Design, Energy, Water” initiative for the state’s education system. California has the largest population of any state in the union, yet it is strapped by a 5-year long drought that threatens the state’s economy and way of life.

In light of these concerns, Widom examined the geography and geology of California and determined the state is made up of seven distinct ecologies. He selected seven of the state’s leading sustainable design firms (WRNS Studio, Aedis Architects, Lionakis, Ehrlich Architects, DLR Group, Hamilton + Aitken Architects, and HGA Architects) and gave each an educational institution to study. Faced with unique instances of geographic and demographic diversity, the seven architecture firms were each asked to develop a conceptual case study that could form the foundation for a major state-wide campus design revolution.

In February, the California Division of the State Architect (DSA) completed a new initiative called “7x7x7: Design, Energy, Water,” that highlights ways to “improve the built environment while simultaneously greening California’s aging school facilities.” Widom pointed out that California has 10,000 campuses serving students from Kindergarten through community college. He postulated that each campus has an average of five buildings in need of renovation, meaning 50,000 buildings must be adapted, state-wide; a staggering challenge, indeed. But, if the state could use energy and water reductions to save $3,000 per year per structure over ten years, it could save $1.5 billion overall, money that could be put back into young people’s education.

That ambition inspires the seven imaginative projects dispersed across the state. 

WRNS Studio and Ehrlich Architects were challenged by the harsh, tight urban environments of their sites in Oakland and South-Central Los Angeles, respectively. Both elected to use the energy and water challenge to totally transform their campuses. At Lincoln Elementary School in Oakland, dubbed “a place of asphalt” by Pauline Souza of WRNS, the team connected the students to nature by developing what Le Corbusier called the "5th facade," the roof, into outdoor, PV-powered energy-efficient classrooms. Souza said they would achieve 45% energy and water reductions by creating more natural environments for their “harshest critics,” 6-11 year-olds. Ehrlich Architects, with Mia Lehrer + Associates landscape architects, transformed the entire site—ground plane and roof—into a learning garden. Through xeriscape landscape interventions they would divert 200,000 gallons of water annually to be used for irrigation, education, and to teach students the value of the local watershed. This would ultimately turn, said the architects, “the entire campus into a learning tool.”

Embracing advanced technology in diverse climates led DLR and HGA to bring us back to the future. Working at the Bubbling Wells Elementary School in hot and windy Desert Hot Springs, DLR explored ideas to conserve energy and water, like “Water Harvesting.” This concept uses the wind to run a series of compressors that collect condensate from the humidity in the air, essentially capturing water out of thin air. DLR is now exploring a test of this technology with the Palm Springs Unified School District. In downtown LA, HGA was asked to study Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Rather than seeking to achieve Zero Net Energy, the firm instead suggested changing the question: What would happen if the project “started at zero” and moved toward the positive? With an integrated approach using cloud-based computer analysis and parametric modeling, HGA analyzed 640,000 combinations of design strategies to improve the healthiness and energy-efficiency of the school. One impressive result was the reduction in carbon emissions. The current building currently produces 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of the CO2 produced by 191 cars annually, but with a cluster of design interventions, the team would reduce carbon emissions to zero.

“DSA is proactive in meeting Governor Brown’s directive to achieve Zero Net Energy by 2030” and that, “7x7x7: Design, Energy, Water, is just the beginning of a process that has the power to transform 10,000 campuses and help teach millions of California students how to become stewards of their own environment,” Widom explained.

Placeholder Alt Text

The Golden State’s cities calculate how to use unspent development revenues

Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley Reseda neighborhood is poised to spend $23 million in reactivated excess bonds as a result of post-redevelopment bills signed late last year by Governor Jerry Brown.

The action came last September after a series of legislative moves that in 2011 began to wind down and ultimately dissolve all 400 of California’s local city and County Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs)—entities originally conceived to funnel tax increments into blighted areas to promote economic development and affordable housing projects. Leading up to the dissolution, much criticism had been directed to community redevelopment agencies, citing waste and corruption.

“The only way to mend it was to end it and cut out abuses,” said L.A. city councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who was serving in the California State Assembly at the time of the 2011 CRA dissolution and now represents the Third District, which spans the northwest portion of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, including the communities of Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills. His district contains three of the nine CRA-owned properties that must be developed within a certain frame of time, as set forth in the governor’s bills. “If we don’t put together an acceptable development deal within three years, the nine properties get sold off. Having said that, we have the potential with these three lots in our district to generate catalytic investment that we think will create a domino effect of more development.”

Reseda’s plans for the reinvestment of funds in Los Angeles consist of two key vision plans related geographically and culturally along the historic portion of Sherman Way. The Reseda Theater Adaptive Reuse Project (for which the RFP phase is underway) hopes to spur commercial oriented development, including entertainment, dining, and other services, to activate the street and generate more foot traffic. The “Reseda Rising” project is a larger revitalization project for Sherman Way’s historic commercial corridor and would include two non-contiguous CRA properties as lynchpins in the effort.

For other parts of Los Angeles, the city was able to transfer a pipeline of affordable housing projects, as well as some unspent affordable housing and general redevelopment purpose bonds. Once those projects are completed, however, there will be no more traditional tax increment funds to devote to redevelopment. Los Angeles is currently gearing up to establish a new type of agency that will take the place of the former redevelopment agencies. This model, provisionally referred to as Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs), would provide a minimum 25 percent work programs for affordable housing, with the intention to put a focus on challenged neighborhoods. Unlike the former CRAs, CRIAs would be run by separate boards composed of elected officials and at least two public members.

But the new agencies would be working with nearly 70 percent fewer funds under the CRIA model in accordance with restrictions governor Brown has set out in AB107 and other respective bills. When asked, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office couldn’t give benchmark dates or a timeline for this kind of reorganization, but re-emphasized the mayor’s strong desire to get 100,000 new housing units built in the city by 2021 (Under the mayor’s plan, outlined in 2014, 30,000 new building permits for housing have already been issued as of September 2015.)

Meanwhile, San Francisco will use its reinstated funds to finance a few key housing projects, but the city also negotiated to spend a portion of reactivated funds to implement the Transbay Redevelopment—a large-scale neighborhood and transportation redevelopment atop derelict and demolished highway ramps that were damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Currently used for parking, the mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood will comprise approximately seven million square feet of residential, office, retail, hotel, and park spaces, but 1,200 new units reserved for very low, low, and moderate income households (befitting SB 107 requirements). The project between the South of Market Street area and Rincon Hill on San Francisco’s east side also features a 1,100-foot tall-skyscraper by Pelli Clarke Pelli—the Salesforce Tower. San Francisco was able to continue with the Transbay Redevelopment in part because it is  a continuation of funds originally allocated through a CRA, and also because of sheer political will and a big lobbying effort.

Other cities continue to fight for what they view are their legal rights to the property taxes and accrued interest that made up their local CRA funds. Watsonville and Glendale’s lawsuits against the California Department of Finance were settled in the municipalities’ favor, but hundreds of others remain unresolved.

Back in Reseda, councilmember Blumenfield is looking ahead to the economic development opportunities in his district, despite the looming questions about what kind of new agency might accommodate such projects in the future. “If we don’t spend the excess bond money from a development perspective, it’s just gone,” he said. “In my district we need market rate housing and affordable housing. We might be able to use some of the bond money to build affordable housing. Instead of traditional redevelopment funding, there are other options, such as borrowing on future tax revenue or subverting funds back into a project—these are just another shade of the same color.” 

Placeholder Alt Text

Y Combinator is funding a California net-zero design-build firm

  It seems that nearly every week we hear about a new startup securing millions in funding. Last spring (2nd quarter 2015) venture capitalists contributed $17.5 billion in investments, close to the highest level since 2000 (and we know what happened back then). But for now, the money is pouring in. Many West coast cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle are experiencing both the positive and unintended consequences of that growth. Now Y Combinator, the investment firm/incubator based in Mountain View, California with investments in high-profile companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, Instacart, and Reddit, has plans to go into the construction business. The company is backing a design-build firm, Acre Designs, that specializes in net-zero energy home kits. Acre Designs is seeking to break into the market and ride new net zero laws in California. In revisions to Title 24 last summer, the state mandated that all new residences (including single family, under three-story multifamily, and low income) meet net zero energy requirements by 2020. Commercial buildings must do the same by 2030. The California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission define net zero as energy-neutral buildings whose energy production is equal to energy consumption over the course of a year. There's a small-but-important detail in Title 24: the homes can be net-zero energy ready—not necessarily achieving net-zero energy levels—by 2020. The cost for Acre Design's houses is not cheap. Prices hover around $277-$333 per square foot but this includes construction and features such as solar panels and appliances. The firm is also giving discounts to people who rent their home for more than 50 days on Airbnb. The company is planning its first home/vacation rental hybrid for a client in Cannon Beach, Oregon. There are three size options: small (2 bedrooms, 1,200 square feet, $400K), medium (3 bedrooms, 1,500 square feet, $450k), and large (4 bedrooms, 1,800 square feet, $500k). There are also two design variants: a house with a more traditional pitched roof and a second, midcentury modern-inspired version that sports a butterfly roof. Once the foundation is ready, construction can take up to three months. It will be interesting to see how the California net-zero mandate, and the companies that fill the void, plays out. For now, we can wait and hope that reducing energy consumption is also considered in the ways people get to, and from, these homes.
Placeholder Alt Text

A New Online Trove of West Coast Midcentury Modern Architecture

Sometimes photographs are used to tell a story. Other times they mark the passage of time or celebrate a joyous moment or memory. And if we are lucky, we can catch a glimpse of what interested the photographer and how they experienced that moment. Today, we view much of our architecture through the literal and figurative lens of professional photography that circulates on design websites, firm pages, and social media. But how do architects see their own work? The work of their contemporaries? What happens when the architect takes control of the camera? The University of Southern California has digitized approximately 1,300 slides by architect Pierre Koenig and architect and color slide company owner, Fritz Block. Those images now reside in a public database documenting the pair's photographs of mostly 1950s and 1960s midcentury modern architecture on the West Coast. Koenig had already selected certain images for digitization in the late 1990s, though unfortunately that didn't come to pass. But now architects, designers, midcentury modern fanatics, and history buffs can get a unique glimpse into a wide range of modern architecture. The photo database's of projects include Koenig’s Case Study #22, John Lautner's Foster Residence, and Pietro Belluschi's Central Lutheran Church. “The Block and Koenig slides are two of the smaller unique collections in the possession of the USC Libraries,” explains USC on the collection's webpage. “They document examples of 20th century California architecture that developed stylistically from the foundations of the International Style as established by the 1932 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, titled Modern Architecture: International Exhibition, and of European pre-World War II Modernism.”
Placeholder Alt Text

wHY will design a new Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco across from SFMOMA

LA and San Francisco have always been in an arms race to see which city has more, or better, of everything. With the recent opening of LA's Broad Museum and next month's debut of the new SFMOMA, the stakes have never been higher. However, those proper art museums are facing competition for attention (and Instagram posts) from several major global art galleries setting up in the Golden State. Los Angeles recently debuted a new Annabelle Selldorf-designed Hauser & Wirth outpost in that city’s booming Arts District. Now, not to let their So-Cal brethren have all the glory, San Francisco is rolling out the welcome mat for Gagosian's recently-revealed gallery. Located in San Francisco’s downtown arts district, it will be designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, founder of LA and New York-based wHY The new gallery is an old brick building owned and occupied by Crown Point Press, a longtime neighborhood gallery that focuses on displaying printmaking and etchings. It's situated across the street from the soon-to-be-opened, Snohetta-designed expansion to Mario Botta’s original SFMOMA building. This new Gagosian certainly looks to fill a growing niche within Northern California’s wealthy, tech industry-driven, art-buying community. In reference to the decision to open this new gallery, Gagosian told the San Francisco Chronicle,“This makes sense with the new museum opening and with the emerging collector base in Silicon Valley.” According to renderings provided to A/N by Gagosian, the new 4,500 square-foot design is organized as a traditional white-walled gallery. It features nothing more than a line of structural columns, some lateral bracing, and a skylight interrupting the otherwise minimal space. The historic building’s facade is being left untouched, save for new signage displaying the gallery’s name over the building entrance. The new gallery's May 18 opening is timed to coincide with the debut of the new SFMOMA. The inaugural show will feature works on paper and sculpture by the likes of Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, and Pablo Picasso.
Placeholder Alt Text

Long Beach Aquarium Expansion Will Add 29,000 Square Feet

The largest aquarium in the U.S. (and the world) might be the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta—it hosts more than 100,000 animals and 550,000 square feet of exhibits. But the West coast—southern California more specifically—has the Aquarium of the Pacific. It features 5-acres of exhibits and over 500 marine species, and even a dive immersion program into a tropical reef exhibit. And it's about to get bigger. On the heels of SeaWorld announcing the end its controversial Shamu killer whale shows and breeding program by 2019, the almost 18-year old Aquarium of the Pacific released renderings and information on a new expansion, Pacific Visions. The aquarium is working with San Francisco-based architecture firm EHDD whose designers are also working on the Seattle Aquarium expansion. Renderings reveal a new 2-story theater with two projection areas: one curved along the wall (130 feet long by 32 feet tall), and a second on the floor (30-feet in diameter). Plans for the new wing will also add an art gallery and 6,000 square feet of space for rotating exhibits. The curves of the planned two-story wing resembles a blue whale. Its 800 panels of shimmering glass skin will also serve as a rain screen. The expansion is the last phase of the aquarium's 2005 master plan. The Aquarium of the Pacific was founded in 1998, "conceived as a cornerstone of a waterfront retail and amusement complex that would bring visitors to Long Beach at a time when it was struggling to cope with the closure of a Navy shipyard and the loss of about 50,000 jobs,” writes the Los Angeles Times. So far, the aquarium has raised over $35 million of the $53 million project budget through public and private funding. The target opening date is late 2018.
Placeholder Alt Text

Oakland wants George Lucas’s Museum

Back in San Francisco in early 2014, the Presidio Trust rejected revised plans for three different cultural space options on an 8-acre site. One idea was a proposal for George Lucas’s Museum of Narrative Art in The Presidio, a 1,500-acre park in northern San Francisco. He then abandoned his San Francisco plans to build a museum to house his cinema, digital, and narrative art collections. He went to Chicago, where his wife grew up. But the proposed Chicago site has faced lengthy disputes. Nonprofits are worried that his 300,000-square-foot museum on land near Burnham Harbor would set a new precedent for private lakefront development on land that is protected for public use. The proposed site is currently a Chicago Bears' football parking lot. The city intends to lease the land for 99 years at a cost of only ten dollars. Beijing–based firm MAD Architects was tapped for the $700 million project that has been mired in legal disputes for over a year. Now, George Lucas may have another option: reconsider the Bay area. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the City of Oakland is trying to get his attention. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's spokeswoman, Erica Terry Derryck, told the Business Times: “If plans for a museum in Chicago do not come to fruition, we’d be thrilled to explore the possibility of this exciting project coming to life in Oakland.” So far, we wait until mid-April, when federal judge John W. Darrah comes to a decision on whether construction on the Chicago project can start.
Placeholder Alt Text

Los Angeles LGBT Center reveals Leong Leong–designed campus

Last August, AN reported the Los Angeles LGBT Center, along with developer Thomas Safran & Associates, tapped Leong Leong to design their new campus in Hollywood, the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. This week, new renderings of the center were revealed.  “The firm is known for using common materials in uncommon ways, with results that belie humble beginnings: a sleek facade composed of mirrored louver blinds, sound insulation foam transforms into a chic wallcovering,” wrote former AN west editor Mimi Zeiger. New York– and L.A.–based Leong Leong was selected from a shortlist of five firms. Founded in 2009 by brothers Cris and Dominic Leong, the firm is known for projects like the 3.1 Phillip Lim store in Seoul, Korea. Also part of the new campus design team is L.A.–based executive architect Killefer Flammang Architects and Pamela Burton, in charge of landscape architecture. The campus will hold centers for seniors and youth, 100 beds for homeless youth, 100 affordable housing units for seniors, and 35 units of supportive housing. They are building a kitchen, retail space at ground level, as well as underground parking for 350 cars. The Center will also move it administrative offices from the McDonald/Wright building to the new campus, converting McDonald/Wright into a health-services center dedicated to physical and mental wellness. The Center has raised $25 million in pledges needed for phase one construction, and $3 million so far of the $15 million for phase two. The new campus is expected to open early 2019. On the topic of LGBT services, if you are further north on the west coast, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood more specifically, there is an LGBT visitor’s center that opened in 2013, the second of its kind in any U.S. city (Miami was the first).
Placeholder Alt Text

L.A.’s A+D Museum celebrates Downtown Arts District in new home

After moving this past July, the A+D Museum in Los Angeles is now fully settled in its new home at 900 East 4th Street in the developing Downtown Arts District. The exhibit that opened March 24 features the work of creatives like product designers KILLSPENCER x Snarkitecture, to architects/gamers Ozel Office, to sculptor Vincent Tomcyk. A+D was founded in 2001 by architects Stephen Kanner and Bernard Zimmerman and focuses on contemporary architecture and design exhibits, educational programming, kid-focused design workshops, and outreach. The museum originally opened in the Bradbury Building and was nomadic for much of its first decade. In 2010, the museum thought it found a permanent space at 5900 Wilshire Boulevard on Museum Row near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (shout out to one former exhibit Never Built: Los Angeles co-curated by AN contributing editor Sam Lubell). But eminent domain forced A+D to look for another spot. Soon after moving in, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans to demolish the Museum Row building to make space for the future Fairfax station that is part of the in progress 3-phase Purple Line extension. The complete extension is estimated to open, if on schedule, by 2035. Gensler designed A+D’s new digs, renovating an 8,000-square-foot old brick building that could have been a bowling alley. The new arts district location means the museum is across from the downtown L.A. architecture school, SCI-Arc. These recent developments are part of a larger effort to convert an area that was once mostly empty warehouse into a new neighborhood celebrating art and design.