KFA collaborated with developer Uncommon and MGA Entertainment to develop a master plan for “24,” the Valley’s first live-work-play community, on the under-utilized 24-acre site of a former Los Angeles Times printing facility in Chatsworth, CA. KFA sat down with Jason Larian and Ryan Hekmat, the co-managing directors of Uncommon, to discuss the concept and development of 24.
1. What is “uncommon” about your new company, Uncommon, which you co-founded?
Larian: Uncommon is passionate about a new, “uncommon” vision for creative living as a model for the future of Los Angeles. We are a new firm, but, as a next-generation company, we co-founders each have a long history of successful development projects in the Los Angeles region. The real estate industry isn’t just about property. We are inspired to build and create spaces for people to connect, live more harmoniously, work more productively, and improve their quality of life. It’s a bold way to focus on creating long-term value for all stakeholders.
Hekmat: We take pride in being a young, imaginative and energetic company with tremendous ambitions for developing the best possible spaces for future living, working, and enrichment, linked by public transportation to regional transit centers. Our business model allows us to discover hidden value, bypass middlemen, and reinvest the savings in high-tier amenities. We want to bring award-winning, functional design to formerly overlooked areas.
2. You recently broke ground on “24,” an innovative, mixed-use “project like no other.” Who will be the occupants and users of 24’s live-work-play campus when it is completed?
Hekmat: Our anchor tenant is MGA Entertainment, a consumer entertainment products company currently headquartered in Van Nuys. 24 will be home to MGA’s new corporate headquarters. The company is well known for manufacturing innovative lines of proprietary and licensed products, including toys and games, dolls, consumer electronics, home décor, stationery and sporting goods. MGA’s award-winning brands include Bratz® dolls, Little Tikes®, Lalaloopsy™, Project Mc2 ™, Num Noms™, Gel-a-Peel™, and Zapf Creation®.
Larian: MGA has been and continues to be closely involved in planning 24 as a unique environment that will embody MGA’s core values of wellness, community and whimsical fun. MGA, Uncommon and KFA are all tremendously excited about the vision of bringing new life to such a large, underutilized property in an underserved area of the San Fernando Valley. Other tenants will offer dining and retail options, and the site will also include creative office space and world-class amenities for the residents.
3. Can you describe the most important features of 24?
Larian: The 24 acres located at 20000 Prairie Street in Chatsworth will include the 255,000-square-foot existing building; four new apartment buildings totaling 660 units; 14,000 square feet of retail/dining; a transit plaza; and extensive, community-oriented green space. The landscaping will include a dog park, community gardens, two pool plazas and a sports park. There will be a walking trail weaving through the entire perimeter, serving as promenade and an exercise path. The landscape’s canopy trees, native shrubs and drought-tolerant grasses connect the campus to the surrounding natural landscape.
Hekmat: 24 creates an integrated design vision of live/work/play, starting at the campus macro level with a composed series of diverse spaces throughout the site for gathering, fun and wellness including walking trails, an amphitheater, a village green with movie area and orchard, roof decks for yoga, outdoor dining, an open retail plaza, and a pool deck encircled by a dining room, outdoor cooking space, club house, theater lounge and gym.GO TO ARTICLE
2016 “Firm of the Year” Recognizes the Talent & Contributions of Licensed Architects Team
KFA has announced several promotions of its licensed architects. Founded in 1975 and based in Santa Monica, CA, the multiple-award-winning firm attracts innovative and talented design professionals, and nurtures their professional advancement.
A large percentage of KFA employees have been there 10 years or longer, retained by the many opportunities the firm affords to work with other creative, talented people and contribute to a large number of diverse projects. “Los Angeles Business Journal has ranked KFA as one of its “Best Places to Work” in recognition of KFA’s culture of life/work balance,” said KFA Partner Barbara Flammang, AIA. “Our associates are inspired further by KFA’s focus on social issues, such as affordable housing, mobility and transit” she added.
The AIA California Council honored KFA as “Firm of the Year” in 2016, singling out KFA’s commitment to wellness and culture building in addition to the firm’s architectural achievements.
The KFA architects promoted to senior associate positions are Allison Massett, AIA, Christine Cho, AIA, Jesse Ottinger, AIA, and Monica Rodriguez, AIA; and promoted to the position of associate are Jaime Olmos, AIA, Kristyn Cosgrove, AIA, Lars Johnasson, AIA, Laura Highcove, AIA, and Tarrah Beebe, AIA. The associates will soon put their new responsibilities to work on creating and overseeing several significant KFA projects in various stages of the designGO TO ARTICLE