My buddy Spike from Boston was visiting the last couple days. While showing him some of downtown Manhattan Beach, I took him by the new work/lofts project at 1300 Highland that has just opened. I was surprised how well-designed the place is (okay, maybe minus the odd cheap-looking flowers in the planters) and how well it holds up when looking up-close and not just from afar. The mix of materials is beautiful and well designed. Spike pointed out several really well thought out attentions to detail and quality surfaces, which are especially obvious in contrast to the Metlox shopping center a block away (like in the construction and design of the awnings). It was designed by local architect Grant Kirkpatrick of KAA Design, and it'll be interesting to see how this places fills out and develops. I was disappointed when the building at this site was demolished (it wasn't anything special, but it did have some nice charm that we constantly lose around here to big olive-gardeniate buildings), but the results are a nice surprise and look to promise a welcome addition to our streetscape.