A Plan to Dramatically Transform L.A.’s Arts District, and Other News

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Fourth & Central proposal in Downtown Los Angeles

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A $2 billion mega-project may dramatically transform the Arts District in Los Angeles.

Despite the pandemic having deadened the streets of downtown Los Angeles, builders are forging ahead with major projects under the belief that the city will continue to grow as conditions improve. Continuum Partners plans to transform a 1890s-era cold-storage plant in the Arts District into a major mixed-use development that includes housing, offices, a hotel, and shops that would rank among the largest commercial real estate developments in the city’s recent history. The project, called Fourth & Central, would be financed by private investment and feature 10 buildings include a 68-room hotel and offices that aim to appeal to creative firms such as Spotify, which recently planted roots in the area. “We want to create a neighborhood that feels like an organic part of the city that grew up over time,” Alan Pullman, whose firm, Studio One Eleven, is overseeing the development’s master plan, told the Los Angeles Times. Two other marquee buildings in the development will be designed by David Adjaye. If all moves ahead, construction will begin on Fourth & Central within two years with phased openings spanning the following five to seven years.

Cube Art Fair, the “world’s largest public art fair” opens concurrently with Frieze New York. 

Though this year’s Frieze Week feels scaled-down in comparison to pre-pandemic times, some satellite events are stepping up their programming. That’s the case for Cube Art Fair, spearheaded by Belgian art dealer Gregoire Vogelsang, which is offering a hybrid physical-digital approach throughout the streets of Manhattan. According to Vogelsang, the “world’s largest public art fair” will feature more than 100 artworks displayed ain more than 100 kiosks, news stands, bus stops, and billboard across the city, anchored by a 12,000-square-foot billboard in Times Square that rotates works by various artists including Laura Jane Petelko. Other artists included in the fair include Danish fashion photographer Kenneth Willardt, French-Mexican photographer Patricia de Solages, and local artist Sam Tufnell. The artworks will be on view until May 9. 

The Amant Foundation under construction in Brooklyn. Photography by Naho Kubota

The Amant Foundation, spearheaded by arts patron Lonti Ebers, will soon open in Brooklyn.

Lonti Ebers is preparing to launch the Amant Foundation, a four-building arts campus designed by SO-IL in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When the museum opens, it’ll feature an on-site artist residency program and exhibition spaces that’ll be open to the public at no cost. Though Ebers has amassed a personal collection of roughly 1,000 works, none will be on display at Amant. “It’ll be available as a resource, but Amant is by no means meant to be showing off my collection,” Ebers told the New York Times. “I have absolutely no interest in that, and never have.” Rather, the museum will stage around five exhibitions per year, overseen by artistic director Ruth Estevez, focusing on interdisciplinary work that isn’t easily categorized. The inaugural exhibition features work by Grada Kilomba and will open on June 5.

To save the beleaguered Penn Station, New York is planning to build ten new skyscrapers.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to redesign beleaguered Penn Station—North America’s busiest train hub—by using revenue from 10 proposed supertalls around the Midtown West neighborhood is facing increasing scrutiny. Lawmakers are questioning whether the city needs more office space given the mass exodus during the pandemic and the new remote work culture taking hold, and some are even accusing Cuomo of rewarding one of his powerful real estate donors. The state has agreed to an outside review by stakeholders such as the city, local community boards, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak, and what was widely considered to be a foregone conclusion is now in doubt.    

Peloton recalls more than 125,000 treadmills tied to several injuries and one death.

In a stunning reversal, the company has agreed to voluntarily stop selling its $4,300 Tread Plus after it was blamed for dozens of accidents and one death of a 6-year-old child. At the center of the complaints is the rotating track, which has allegedly pulled both adults and children under the treadmill. After initially fighting regulators and refusing to take it off the market, Peloton relented and is recalling 125,000 machines. The company says it will offer consumers full refunds or the option of keeping the treadmill with improved safety software. 

The shuttered Le Cirque

Today’s attractive distractions:

It’s time to unpack the viral wide-angle shot of the giant Bidens and tiny Carters.

The famed Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque will auction its furniture and tableware.

Eight images of Paul McCartney will adorn a set of Royal Mail stamps this month.

Players of the new Pokémon Snap are having a blast taking pictures of Poké-butts.

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