L.A. fire: Building developer vows to go forward after massive blaze

The developer of an upscale apartment project in downtown Los Angeles that saw one of two buildings go up in flames during a massive blaze said the Da Vinci development would move forward despite the destruction.

"Though we have temporarily lost Building B, we will be opening Building A across the street at the end of January to those families looking forward to occupying their new homes," Geoffrey Palmer said in a statement.


Palmer's company is known for the Orsini, the Medici and other faux-Italian apartment buildings that have risen along the four-level 101-110 freeway interchange downtown. The complexes have been part of the revitalization of downtown, though critics have complained about the design and size of the buildings.

The Da Vinci project was in the news earlier this year when the developer sought a pedestrian bridge that would link it to other complexes in the area and offer residents a route to downtown attractions.

The developer told the city that transients living under the 110 Freeway would pose a safety threat to future renters. The bridge proposal faced criticism from some in downtown, but the City Council approved it in May.

The DaVinci development was to be a 526-unit, seven-story apartment complex in the 900 block of Fremont Avenue, along the 110 Freeway near Temple Street.

"Experience urban-style elegance and European living in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The Da Vinci, the newest member of the Renaissance collection, will offer fifteen unique floor plans to match your lifestyle," the project's website said. "Indulge in world-class amenities, such as a state of the art fitness facility, a full size indoor basketball court, a residential lounge, a library, a theater and a business center."

In his statement, Palmer thanked the fire department for putting out the fire and added: "We understand that the cause of the fire is under investigation and we defer all such questions regarding cause" to the L.A. City Fire Department.

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