The Del Rey Loft District — a two-block area bordered by Washington Boulevard and Del Rey, Redwood and Maxella Avenues — is undergoing a facelift as several apartment, condominium, and loft projects are built simultaneously.

Among the sleekest projects are Element and Indigo, developed by the Los Angeles/Ventura Division of John Laing Homes and designed by architects at the Marina del Rey-based Cuningham Group.

Developers hope to lure young professionals and empty nesters who desire to be in or near urban coastal communities such as Marina del Rey and Venice.

Element will have 50 urban lofts ranging in size from 900 to 1,600 square feet.

Located at 4141 Glencoe Ave. in Del Rey, Element has seven floor plans with prices from low-to-mid $600,000 to mid-to-high $800,000.

“Element makes a dramatic statement, not just to this part of Los Angeles but to the entire city,” said architect Jonathan Watts. “From the expansive windows to the concrete floors to the distinctive framed exterior, everything about it will appeal to people with a real urban sense of style.”

Element uses precast concrete and moment frame — construction that uses no sheer walls — allowing ceiling heights of 32 feet without columns in the loft units.

Moment frames are also more earthquake resistant because the frame gets strength from its connections rather than from columns or walls that are weaker.

Without columns in the units, the Element building can be adapted to house another facility such as office space, retail space, or a parking structure.

Precast concrete made at a plant in Riverside allows the developer to construct the building much faster than if concrete is molded on site.

Concrete floors, exposed ducts, exposed piping, and large windows are designed to give Element units a familiar loft feel.

“We held focus groups to find what our target buyers wanted,” said Annie Charles, vice president of sales and marketing for the Los Angeles/Ventura Division.

“Loft owners prefer a blank canvas so they could put their own artwork on the walls and they prefer lots of gray colors, glass walls, and a kitchen suitable for entertaining.”

She said Element — with its lofts being built from the ground up — may appeal to buyers who do not like the conversion-from-old-buildings trend that is occurring in loft districts in downtown Los Angeles.

Charles said the Del Rey Loft District gets its edge from mixed-use parcels in close proximity.

Element and Indigo are neighbors to industrial sites such as auto body shops and a police impound yard and are within walking distance of modern shops and restaurants at the Villa Marina Marketplace.

“One of our sites used to be a manufacturing plant,” Charles said. “We tried to keep the features and colors of what was once here.”

Indigo, at 4050 Glencoe Ave., in Del Rey, is a 77-unit luxury condominium building with some townhouses.

Six floor plans range from 900 to 1,875 square feet and in price from the mid $500,000 to more than $1 million.

The condominiums were designed with large balconies to face three courtyards, which creates a village environment among the residents and brings sunlight into the units.

Amenities such as an exercise room, spa, business center, and landscaped courtyards with barbecue grills encourage neighbors to meet each other.

Construction on Element is expected to be completed this fall and Indigo is scheduled to be finished in early 2007.

Element and Indigo sales events will be held at the John Laing Homes gallery at 4221 Redwood Ave., Del Rey, in a few weeks.

Just beginning construction in the Del Rey Loft District are the Del Rey Lofts on Glencoe and the Del Rey Lofts on Redwood.

The Del Rey Lofts on Glencoe is a building featuring 52 urban lofts built from the ground up.

The units are designed to be creative live/work spaces and have ceiling heights of 17 feet.

Sandblasted posts and beams, exposed fire sprinklers, and exposed ducting give the lofts an industrial warehouse look.

An artful look is obtained by installing oversized picture windows, stainless steel kitchens, and mosaic tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.

The Del Rey Lofts on Glencoe is built by CLD Marina, LLC and CLD Glencoe, LLC.

Both companies — which are also building the Del Rey Lofts on Redwood — are affiliates of real estate development and investment company California Landmark. The two projects are operated independently and separately from California Landmark.

The Del Rey Lofts on Redwood features 49 loft-style townhomes. Floor plans include spiral staircases that lead to large upper levels, high ceilings in the living areas, and tall glass windows.

Sales offices for both Del Rey Lofts are located at 4141 Redwood Ave., Del Rey.

Information, Element,

www.elementmdr.com; Indigo, www.indigomdr.com; and Del Rey Lofts, www.delreylofts.com

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