A collection of four separate industrial buildings located between Santa Fe, Seventh Place and the LA River, the project was original conceived by a previous developer who secured $32 million in financing from East/West Bank to convert the structures into 78 live/work lofts. Facing both the challenges of the financial crisis and organizational deficiencies, the project was taken from the original developer by the mezzanine lender, Phoenix Housing. The lender and East/West then engaged in a protracted legal skirmish and the partially completed project sat idle for over two years.
Linear City purchased the first trust deed from East/West when the bank tired of the legal morass. Phoenix proved unwilling to negotiate an amicable resolution and Linear City was forced to navigate a year-long court action. Within days of obtaining title, Linear City was able to deploy its construction team and activity resumed on the site. Building permits had expired but Linear City was able to call on the good will it had established with the Department of Building and Safety and new permits were issued on an expedited basis.
The Linear City development philosophy is founded on the belief that urban housing cannot exist in a vacuum and the developer must program their projects to include complimentary services that activate the street and serve the tenants. Consistent with that philosophy, Linear City submitted plans to the City to convert 5 spaces that had been designated as lofts into two separate and distinct restaurants. The entitlement process, which included the CUP necessary for the sale of alcohol, was successfully completed in less than 6 months.
Linear City functioned as its own general contractor. Unable to secure bridge financing at the height of the financial meltdown, Linear City deployed its own capital. The remediation and build-out was finished within one year of the time Linear City assumed control of the property. The property was fully leased within two months at the end of construction.
Restaurant leases have been signed with two well established operators. The first space, to be called Bestia, is an Italian concept funded by Bill Chait, will open in October, 2012. The second space, which includes a basement speakeasy will open in April, 2013.