More than 30 years ago when Howard Klein bought the buildings off Alameda Street that would later become the Factory Place Arts Complex, the area was known more for its gritty industrial buildings than vibrant community.

Today, the downtown L.A. Arts District is buzzing with young people who live in the neighborhood’s lofts and work at the tech companies and creative studios that have moved into the area.

To cater to this growing demographic, Klein has been looking for a restaurant to add to his multibuilding complex, which features lofts, offices and retail space.

“What we really wanted was somebody that would service the community,” he said. “This area has become a dining destination and we wanted something that could further that.”

It appears he’s finally found a match in restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and chef Angelo Auriana. The two have teamed up to create Factory Kitchen, an Italian trattoria set to open in Factory Place this fall.

The restaurant will follow in the footsteps of culinary hot spots such as Church & State and Bestia, which have become fixtures in the neighborhood and turned it into a foodie magnet.

Ferdinandi – one of the brains behind downtown’s Drago Centro – said he’s become enamored with the changing demographics of the area. He looks forward to serving affordable, little-known Italian dishes (think risotto and focaccia instead of pizza and pasta) to adventurous diners.

“The downtown clientele is very dynamic, very open to trying new things,” he said. “But there are also people coming here from every part of town. It’s is reminiscent of the Meatpacking District in New York.”

– Natalie Jarvey