Los Angeles Times March 8, 2012 | 11:01 am
As dreams go, it’s a big one: 550 artisans filling 135,000 square feet of warehouse space with handmade glass, locally crafted furniture, felt hats, carved leather accessories, artisanal foods and more — a mega mash-up of foodie market and hipster craft fair, all in one place. That is the vision for Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, which aims to parlay the popularity of modern “maker” events, such as the semiannual Unique L.A. and Renegade craft fairs, into a permanent marketplace filling two 1940s warehouses in San Pedro.
Lest cynics think the concept seems overly ambitious, the project’s driving force can point to a track record: Crafted is the brainchild of Wayne Blank, known for his transformation of an old Southern Pacific rail yard into the successful Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica.
Blank’s partners are real estate developer Howard Robinson and designer Alison Zeno, who intend to fill their warehouses with 10-by-10-foot stalls complemented by specialty food carts in the adjoining courtyard every weekend.
“We’re offering craftspeople an opportunity to share in an incubator space where they can grow their business into successful enterprises within a supportive community,” said Blank, who is counting on the port’s cruise passengers to buoy business until the marketplace establishes itself as a destination unto itself.
Target opening: June 29. Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, 110 and 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro
— Barbara Thornburg
Renderings and photos from Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles