Loft Living LA Magazine

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LOFT LIVING LA Buy, Rent, Sell,& Learn About Lofts in Downtown Los Angeles


The Argument Has Always Been The Same. (Page 3)

So the Residents are Welcoming -- What about the Bureaucrats? (Pages 4 & 5)

Snap Shots of


When 3/4 of Downtown is selling at 1/2 price, great interior design raises the stakes & the prices! Meet designer Darra Bishop. (Page 7)

Molino St Lofts







“The argument was always the same.” By Donna Huffaker Evans Me: “This is not the suburbs!’’ Him: “Babe, we live in Burbank.’’ Me: “But there’s a liquor store at the end of our block!’’ This alone, I reasoned, catapulted my residential status into the likes of our friends who lived in lofts Downtown. I liked the way they walked everywhere, rode the Metro to hit Hollywood and always mentioned a new restaurant, or pointed out how some ghastly bar just turned gastro pub fabulous. In reality, it took me a good 40 minutes to hoof to a strip of bars or selection of non-chain eateries. I drove more than I walked, and as much as I tried to utilize

public transit, the closest red line stop dinners at several restaurants – all within required wheels or gobs of extra time. walking distance. People smile and say hello here. They hold But what I envied most about our Down- the door for you. They apologize if their town friends was their sense of community chair bumps you. It’s like the south without – the very thing the suburbs were sup- racism. posed to provide. I met Mike and Kathryn’s Last week, on a Facebook group for the friend from the Rowan once – once – and Arts District, residents chatted wildly about weeks later as I walked down Spring Street, an adorable scraggly dog that looked this woman flailed her arms like she was to have been dumped out of a car. He signaling a plane. She was saying hi to me. appeared hungry and certainly skittish. I’d lived on the same street in Burbank for Several residents caught him long enough 10 years and the most my neighbors ever to hand-feed him, but then he dashed talked to me was when their kid kicked a away. Naturally they named him Dasher. soccer ball through my window. Back and forth the comments flew: who’d So we packed our stuff, sold our house and last seen him, where. Had he been given moved to the Arts District. We’ve been at any water? Did anyone have a friend lookMolino Street Lofts for one month and ing for a dog (it’s Downtown – someone is in that time the residents have hosted a always looking to adopt a dog)? One after cookout and asked me to join the social another they strategized about how to committee. We’ve gone out to dinner a capture the little guy and nurse him back few times with folks we just met. Several to a healthy size. All for a dog no one knew. That’s a community – and a community I’m thrilled to call my home.


So the Residents are Welcoming By Donna Huffaker Evans

One of the first things you learn as a reporter is to be super nice to the court clerk. To all of the public servants actually, as they hold the keys to the kingdom. Or at least the file that you desperately need to peruse. While it’s easier to smile at someone already smiling, I rather like the challenge of penetrating a wall of grump. I braced for a gaggle of grumps in Los Angeles city government. In Burbank, the bureaucrats were smiling before I even approached the window. Odd, I thought, but maybe it was because the city government was a manageable size. In fact it was solely due to Burbank Fire Department’s rapid response time that I chose to stay in the Media City when my 93-year-old Grandma moved in with me. Grandma was awesome, unlike the thieving relatives who attempted to financially bleed her dry. Back in 2002, at the age of 31, very single and a full-time reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, I found myself the caretaker for a nonagenarian in failing health. So when the police raided the relatives’ house, and arrested them, that left the placement of my ever smiling Grandma to me. I opted for my home rather than the old

folks home. But because they’d taken such poor care of her – no exercise of any kind – her leg muscles atrophied to the point that she could not climb the eight steps into my building, let alone the 22 that led to my door. There I am, explaining to Grandma that the relatives would be going to jail for what they were doing, all the while trying to figure out how to get her out of my 1994 Mustang and into the apartment. Then it hit me: The Burbank Fire Department. How many times had I heard my scanner, years earlier at the Burbank Leader, squawk, “Old woman, trouble breathing,’’ moments before the sirens roared to the victim’s rescue. In true Mayberry fashion, I asked the BFD if they could carry Grandma into my apartment. Minutes later, an engine arrived with many, many handsome men who hoisted her out of the car and into a stretcher-type chair. Surrounded by six hard-armed firefighters, Grandma blurts, “See, Donna, I can get a man. I can get six of them.’’ Every other encounter I had with a Burbank official after that was equally pleasant. And while I’ve had drinks in (continued pg. 5)


-- What about the Bureaucrats? the backyard of Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski’s house, I don’t expect to toast Antonio any time soon.

on the other end asked for my number so someone could get back to me. My first big city blow off. Awesome.

Customer Service Surprise However I also didn’t expect calling Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar’s office would be as pleasant. Sure the residents of Downtown Los Angeles have been warm and welcoming, but what about the bureaucrats?

I hadn’t finished typing the text to my husband, slamming the sloths of Los Angeles government, when the phone rang.

All of our furniture and worldly possessions had been stored in a POD for several months. Delivering the POD to unload it promised to be tricky, as my loft doesn’t have a driveway, merely a loading zone that I crossed my fingers would be available at 7 a.m. on that Saturday. The real problem, though, was the warning from the PODS people: “If we get a ticket for being parked on the street too long, you pay for it.’’ Well how long was too long? I could’ve researched it, but I wanted to check out the customer service of my new city’s seemingly bloated bureaucracy. So I called the District 14 council office. I explained the issue and furrowed my brow when the gent

“Hello, Mrs. Evans? This is [so-and-so] from Councilman Huizar’s office. First of all, welcome. I understand you have some concerns about your POD?’’ Speechless. The official went on to explain as long as it was picked up in a day or so, there would be no problem. Then he told me to have a nice day. Day? It’s going to be a nice Downtown life.


LOFT DESIGN WARS! Meet Darra Bishop and her Molino Street Masterpiece. Darra shares her Top 5 suggestions when moving into a loft. By Darra Bishop

Lofts are different. Chances are if you are living in a loft you are less conventional than your apartment-dwelling friends. Amazing aspects of loft living stem from the wide-open, configurable spaces and industrial charm, but having so many options can be overwhelming. Finding the right solutions for your space can make your loft-living dream a beautiful and practical reality. Here are 5 easy, loft-centric tips for maximizing the beauty and livability of your home. 1. Divide and separate – Dividing up functional areas in your loft can be a challenge - exposed beams and steel girders can serve (continued pg. 7)

877-4LA-LOFT INTERIOR DESIGNER DARRA BISHOP 323.788.8481 Molino Street Lofts as logical anchor points for room dividers, but what kind of dividers you use is where things get exciting. High ceilings and open areas allow for more unusual solutions – think tension poles supporting resin panels, ceiling to floor mounted bookshelves, or even modular linkable shapes that can hang from the ceiling or build-up from the floor. Two of my favorites are “Algue” (, and the Nomad Architectural System (mioculture. com).

beams, steel girders and conduit are all elements that feed into the romance of loft living. Bringing the outdoors in to your loft will give those structural elements an interesting, visual contrast. A wall of plants is one way of enjoying nature sans yard. It will literally and figuratively give a breath of fresh air to your surroundings. Modular systems like Urbio (www. and Woolley Pockets ( can be configured to any space, large or small.

2. Don’t forget the storage – Without a garage to contain all of your large bulky stuff and with few walls to hide your possessions, lofts all too-often end up looking messy. Have the best of all worlds by implementing carefully planned storage solutions. Whether it is luxury custom-configured closets or modified IKEA shelving, keep in mind that there is always an opportunity to put a creative twist on your plan. Storage doesn’t have to be unsightly, but in a loft, most things are exposed, so making them functional and beautiful is essential.

4. Quiet space, quiet mind – Noisy neighbors? Any multi-unit dwelling can have noise issues, and the hard surfaces of a loft magnify the problem. Any soft surface or material will make your loft quieter. Felted area rugs, fabric window treatments and upholstered furnishings are conventional solutions to dampen the noise, but why not install a modular, customizable, 3-dimensional textile that can add playfulness whilst making things quieter for you and your neighbors? “Clouds” by Kvadrat can be designed to “grow” up a wall unto the ceiling or even be used as a room divider (

3. Balance industrial charm with natural accents – Exposed


Bring the light in – Most loft

spaces have a large bank of windows, but what kind of light reaches the rest of your home? Larger loft spaces can get dark and even cavernous as you move further away from the windows. Here is a trick to bring light into as much of the space as possible: Install a cluster of decorative mirrors on a deeper interior wall within eyeshot of your main light source. The mirrors will reflect the light from your windows and add brightness and dimension to the rest of the space. Lofts are different and so are the people living in them. Realize your dreams of fashioning your industrial Eden, and live a more spectacular life! Darra Bishop is an Interior Designer whose firm, bespoke design, focuses on creating progressive design solutions for the thoroughly romantic, unconventional and industrial loft spaces in Los Angeles. 323.788.8481 LOFT LIVING LA  7

When you Buy, Rent, or Sell your loft property, you need to choose for all of the following reasons:​ • 6 agents exclusively working on Downtown Los Angeles and surrounding area transactions. • Loft Living LA has been helping people exclusively move into Downtown lofts longer than ANYONE ELSE...since 2001. • Loft Living LA completes more transactions each year (including rentals) than any other team in Downtown Los Angeles. • Loft Living LA sells more residential real estate than any other team in Downtown Los Angeles. • Loft Living LA rents more units than any

other team in Downtown Los Angeles. • Loft Living LA lists more properties than any other team in Downtown Los Angeles. • Loft Living LA has a 4 star YELP.COM rating. • Loft Living LA is the ONLY residential real estate team serving as exclusive leasing agents for 3 loft buildings in Downtown. • Loft Living LA is ranked as the number one team for Keller Williams Los Angeles in transactions closed. • Founders of which focuses on educating the general public about various Downtown non-profits helping the homeless (since October 2006). • Co-founders of the Downtown Real Estate Association serving Downtown real estate needs. • We’ve lived in Factory Place Lofts (in the heart of the Arts District) for 16 years. You are our neighbors and friends.

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Enjoy The Arts District (coffee shop) DRE#01780236 Keller Williams Realty. Please note that if you are currently working with a real estate broker, this is not meant to be a solicitation of your business.

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