Who built the burned-downed DaVinci?

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Photo via Twitter: Adrienne FitzPatrick

The LA Times reports that the fire that ravaged a Downtown LA apartment building overnight is being investigated as a criminal fire.

Although blazes “of this magnitude” are always treated as criminal fires, “it’s very rare for the entire building to be engulfed at once,” Capt. Jaime Moore told the Los Angeles Times.

“There may have been some foul play.”

Flames shot up into the night sky in the early morning as the giant building burned. The faux-Italian apartment building, called the Da Vinci, is one of several similar developments to come to Downtown.

Builder Geoffrey Palmer once remarked that he embraces the Italian renaissance because Downtown L.A. is going through its own renaissance. His other developments include the Piero, the Visconti, the Medici and the Orsini. “People have been unhappy about Geoff Palmer’s designs for a long time,”  Executive Editor at the Los Angeles Downtown News John Regardie told Madeleine Brand on today’s Press Play.

They have little relationship with the surrounding neighborhood and are ” very inward focused.” Palmer also sued the city to avoid building low-income units. However, he’s certainly had an impact, having “created more housing than anyone else in and around Downtown Los Angeles,” said Regardie.

Earlier this year LA Magazine profiled Palmer, his legal trouble in L.A. and the many reasons local residents have opposed his development projects. The magazine concluded: “Palmer isn’t focused on investing only around the fringe of downtown anymore. He envisions a city core that two decades from now will resemble Manhattan, and to that end he expects G.H. Palmer Associates to add at least 1,200 other apartments to the area.”