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Geoffrey Palmer seen as both downtown L.A. trailblazer, steamroller
Geoffrey Palmer seen as both downtown L.A. trailblazer, steamroller

Before rows of trendy restaurants and luxury residential towers became common in downtown Los Angeles, developer Geoffrey H. Palmer had a vision for some of the city center's more neglected corners. Over the last 15 years, he built a series of fortress-like faux-Italian apartment blocks across downtown, several of them clustered along the 101 and 110 freeways and visible to commuters as they negotiate the four-level interchange. The Da Vinci was the latest in Palmer's so-called "Renaissance collection," apartment complexes with such names as the Orsini and Lorenzo. But early Monday morning, the 526-unit project under construction along the 110 Freeway was severely...

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