New Options Revealed for Vella Group’s Planned 1.8MM SQFT Development in Los Angeles

Vella Group, City of Los Angeles, Bjark Ingels, Studio MLA, Los Angeles, Arts District, Amazon, Hawthorne

By Catherine Sweeney 

A long time project proposal by Vella Group could be getting a new look, according to a notice for a final Environmental Impact Report published by the City of Los Angeles. That report showed a design alternative for the project at 670 Mesquit Blvd. that would add more office and residential space to the mixed-use development.

The project has been in the works for the past six years and would replace existing cold and dry storage warehouses on the 5.45-acre site. The 1.79 million square foot project is designed by Bjark Ingels and landscape architect Studio MLA and would include the construction of five interconnected buildings above both subterranean and podum parking. 

The new design alternative for the project shows that these buildings could now include more than 1 million square feet of office space, 420 multifamily residential units, a charter elementary school that would consist of 32,150 square feet of floor area, 11,664 square feet of retail uses, 59,700 square feet of restaurant space, and a 236-room, 209,560 square foot hotel. 

Additionally, the project would include up to 44,069 square feet of studio, event and gallery space and up to 52,242 square feet of gym space. Other amenities in the alternative design would include parking for 3,500 vehicles and a 75,000 square foot deck extending over a railway just east of the project site.  

The original project, according to a draft EIR published just last year, would consist of just 994,055 square feet of office space and 308 residential units. The project was also set to include up to 136,152 square feet of retail and restaurants totaling up to 89,577 square feet. The studio/event/gallery space was also initially intended to total 93,617 square feet, while the gym space was to total 62,148 square feet. The vehicle count as well as the planned deck would remain the same across both design concepts. 

According to a landing page for the project on Studio MLA’s website, designs for the project are intended to “transform an aging, riverfront industrial site in the Arts District into a new mixed-use development with flexible, creative office space, affordable and market-rate housing, hotel, and a range of commercial and retail uses. Restaurants, art galleries, and public parks and plazas will help enliven the neighborhood day and night. Floating decks bridge the rail line separating site from river to give people access to the river’s edge for a true LA experience.” 

The Vella Group, is a privately held real estate development and investment company with locations in both Los Angeles and New York City. Founded by Zach Vella, the company owns and operates a portfolio consisting of commercial, residential, retail and hospitality properties.

The company is responsible for a number of developments throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. One such project is a 61,380 square foot creative office building at 12515 Cerise Ave. in Hawthorne. The building is fully leased to Amazon and was sold at the end of December for $60.78 million to IDS Real Estate.