Toy Factory Lofts
1855 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA
|Toy Factory Lofts|
Toy Factory Lofts
|Developer||Star Truck Warehousing Company|
|Architect||Western Land Improvement Company|
|Management Company||Linear City LLC|
|Number of Units||119|
|Number of Floors||7|
|Construction Method||Steel-reinforced concrete|
|Type of Roof||IRMA|
|1855 Industrial Street, Los Angeles|
|Distance to Public Transit||Over 10 bus stops nearby|
|Title of Land||Condominium|
The Toy Factory building was built by the Western Land Improvement Company, the land development arm of the Santa Fe Railroad, for the Star Truck Warehousing Company. It was built of steel-reinforced concrete and finished in 1924. Because of its massive, poured-in-place concrete columns and floor structure, the Toy Factory building was a civilian bomb shelter during World War II.
In 1974, Ace Novelty purchased the building to use as a toy factory. It was subsequently taken over by Play-by-Play when they bought Ace Novelty. Within twenty-five years, the building was derelict and being used used by a bankrupt toy company to store stuffed animals.
In 1999, the passage of the adaptive-reuse ordinance, which offers financial incentives for converting commercial buildings, immediately sparked developers' interest in the old commercial and industrial buildings in Los Angeles' downtown--including the Toy Factory building. In 2002, Linear City LLC purchased the property for conversion to live/work lofts on the upper floors and commercial space on the ground floor. 
Linear City faced many challenges when they converted the Toy Factory building. At the time of purchase, the property was not zoned for residential purposes. Linear City had to secure the necessary Artist-in-Residence designation before they could begin. Once proper zoning was secured, there were several technical deficiencies to address. The property had no interior parking, no green areas, no sidewalks, and no setbacks from the adjacent properties. The ground floor was also elevated 50 inches above the street level.
In addition to the physical conversion challenges, no mainstream bank was willing to give financing to a new development company planning to built the first mixed-use project in an unproven area. However, things did come together. Linear City finally secured financing from Fremont Savings and with the help of architects Clive Wilkinson and Don Bearney and general contractor Swinerton, the conversion finished in 2006 on time and on budget. 
Toy Factory Lofts is located at the corner of Mateo and Industrial in the Los Angeles Arts District. The Arts District is a vibrant growing district next to Little Tokyo on the eastern side of downtown Los Angeles.
The area was originally an industrial railroad area. Train tracks still zig and zag through the area as a reminder of the area's industrial past. By the 1970's, however, many of the buildings were standing empty, which attracted artists who wanted good live/work areas. In 1981, the City of Los Angeles passed its "Artist in Residence" or "AIR" ordinance, which allowed residential use of formerly industrial buildings (which many artists had been using already, despite the zoning). By the turn of the 21st century, the area had begun to attract more affluent residents as well. Today, converted loft-style apartments exist along side working industrial buildings as well as many restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and one-of-a-kind shops.
The area allows for easy access to 10, 110, 5, 60 and 101 freeways and is serviced by several bus routes.
The seven-story Toy Factory building was built in 1924. The building was built with a unique curved north elevation in order to curve around the arc of an out-of-service Santa Fe Railroad spur. It was built by the Western Land Improvement Company. It has huge poured in place concrete columns and floors and a steel-reinforced concrete frame.
It was renovated in 2006 by developer Linear City, architects Clive Wilkinson and Don Bearney, and general contractor Swinerton. The renovation converted the former factory into live/work lofts. 
Layout and Features
When the Toy Factory Lofts were converted in 2006, the architects kept many of the 1924 features of the building such as high ceilings and concrete floors. However, they also installed many modern conveniences such as central heat/air conditioning, stainless steel appliances, and Kohler bathroom fixtures.
Unit features include:
- Stainless steel cabinets and appliances
- Stainless steel sink
- Grohe faucets
- Track lighting
- 11' to 20' ceilings
- Polished concrete floors
- Double pane thermal windows
- Central heat/air-conditioning
- Kohler bathroom sinks
- Deep soaking tubs
- Separate showers (per plan)
- Ceramic tile surround for tub and shower
- Full length vanity mirror
- Monobloc mansfield toilets
- Washer and dryer ready
Toy Factory Lofts have numerous different floor plans available. The third floor live/work lofts offer a few "one of a kind" lofts with private gardens & balconies. Floors four through seven offer twenty-two live/work lofts per floor. The seventh floor penthouse units enjoy higher ceilings.
 - See the Reference Section below for floor plans directly from the Toy Factory Lofts website.
Building amenities include:
- Rooftop pool and terrace
- 7000 square foot urban park on the lower roof of the building
- Landscaped street sides
- Grand entrance lobby
- Evening and daytime doorman
- Secured, indoor, direct-to-your-unit parking
- Two oversized elevators
- 24-hour dial-up entry system
- A market and restaurant on the ground floor
|Toy Factory Lofts Bylaws|
- This building allows pets
- The building allows rentals
- No restrictions on age are placed on residents
- Several units have balconies and there is a fire pit available on the communal rooftop terrace
The Toy Factory Lofts building was built in 1925 and was therefore not designed as a green building.
However, the 2006 conversion created a 7000 square foot urban park on the lower roof of the building as well as landscaping on the street and private gardens in some of the penthouses.
The conversion also saw some energy efficient appliances installed in the units.
Residents seeking to shrink their carbon footprint can do so by taking public transportation, which is easily accessible.
There is also a market on the ground floor of the building, lessening the need to drive to a shopping center for forgotten items.
- In 2009, residents from Toy Factory Lofts and adjacent Biscuit Company Lofts set up a community garden behind the Biscuit Company Lofts.
- Actor/director Vincent Gallo owns several units in this building. 
- The Toy Factory Lofts lobby has a unique mail room created from an old shipping container.
- Before the Toy Factory building was converted, it was valued at about 1.9 million dollars. Now it's valued at around 70 million dollars.
- Toy Factory Lofts
- Linear City LLC: Toy Factory Lofts
- Linear City LLC: Toy Factory Lofts
- Toy Company Lofts
- Floor Plans from Toy Factory website
- LA curbed: Less crime, more garlic
- LA Curbed: Vincent Gallo
- Linnear City: Toy Factory Lofts
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