downtown los angeles, historic core
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Ross Dress for Less Opening Soon on Broadway in Downtown LA

A new Ross is coming to Broadway near 7th Street with an anticipated opening in spring

A new Ross is coming to Broadway near 7th Street with an anticipated opening by this spring

A new permanent sign for Ross Dress for Less — the giant discount clothing chain — went up earlier this week at their new upcoming location in Downtown LA on Broadway. Back in Jan 2012, Ross leased 39,000 square feet, taking the entire historic 1920 Woolworth Building near 7th and Broadway, which is helping to bridge the revitalization gap between lower and upper Broadway. The store has been actively under construction since the latter half of last year, which also included cleaning and restoring the beautiful Art Deco historic facade.

The new Ross Dress for Less is scheduled for completion by spring 2013. The actual build out of the store has not begun yet. Most of the work taking place entails preparing the building’s interior for the configuration and infrastructure needed for Ross requirements, such as adding new escalators for retail space in the basement level.

Although some residents have understandably expressed concern over another discount chain entering the “Broadway market,” which is already saturated by swap meets and other independent discount merchants, I still view the new Ross as part of the progress being made along Broadway (where an Urban Outfitters may be coming as well). The new Ross will not only carry more products relevant to downtown residents, but the entire beautiful Woolworth Building itself will be fully restored and activated. I also think a mix of reputable retailers, both upscale and economical, will provide balance and diversity.

New permanent signs for Ross were installed this week

New permanent signs for Ross were installed this week

The new Ross contributes to the revitalization of Broadway with a full cleaning and restoration of the beautiful Art Deco 1920 Woolworth Building

The new Ross contributes to the revitalization of Broadway with a full cleaning and restoration of the beautiful Art Deco 1920 Woolworth Building


    • brudy says

      Seriously. They did a nice job restoring the facade, but who can see it with that abomination stuck on front?

  1. Although I would have preferred the more upscale Marshalls or even a Nordstrom Rack, I think the new Ross will actually be good for Downtown LA in the long run. First of all, I believe there’s gotta be a mix between “high, middle, and low” in Downtown LA to be a balanced and diversified urban center. We’ve just had so much “low” that we need a lot more “high” and “middle” to bring that balance, but I don’t think a Ross necessarily sets us back. I love how in Manhattan, a Sephora could be next to a McDonald’s next to a Duane Reade, etc. I also appreciate the restoration and reactivation of the beautiful Woolworth Building. And perhaps this will be an opportunity for Ross’s buyers to stock the store with a bit more upscale clothing brands if there is demand for them.

    • brudy says

      The size and architecture of Broadway make it the most likely candidate for that kind of midtowny density, perhaps with a dash of Lower Broadway thrown in – if we get those kinds of retailers.

      • Lawrence says

        It’s not really a question of if so much as a when. Broadway is a long street and is lined continuously with flagship style retail space. With Ross testing the waters, others will likely follow. The shopping districts in Santa Monica, Pasadena and more recently Venice that we take for granted have all come to be in the last 25 yrs or less. Prior to this, most of these areas were pretty unremarkable and even downtrodden like Broadway. Hell in the early 90’s the first block of what is now 3rd street promenade near Wilshire had a Woolworth’s a small Mediterranean Restaurant named Eat-A-Pita and lots of empty space. Over the course of the next decade better retailers came in – and now it’s one of the the most sought after streets in the region for retailers. Just takes time, but as some point success builds on itself.

        • brudy says

          Yeah, I agree in the long term I’m sure it will be great. Sometimes though you just want the now to be decent. In 25 years I’ll be almost ready for the pasture.

    • I believe Ross has some offices in the Fashion District and I heard they MAY relocate some of their corporate operations into the upper floors including Ross buyers.

  2. Any chains to take over space is a good thing for the city. Less vacancies mean more mom and pop type of places coming in. I don’t think its that great seeing all of the vacant store fronts with some trendy places in between. The chains should also be much more active in cleaning up in front of them.

  3. alisarivera431377074 says

    There are Ross stores in Brentwood and Lake Avenue in Pasadena. If it isn’t too low rent for those areas it will be fine in DTLA.

  4. Woolworth wasn’t exactly upscale. I am glad Ross is revitalizing this building and hope others follow. Angelo Home is a great addition to Broadway in the retail space of the Eastern Columbia. Now, if we can get the old May Co/Hamburger Dept store renovated between 8th and 9th on Broadway. Also, where are some of the Downtown centric retail oriented businesses like Guess, Forever 21, American Apparel, Alternative Apparel etc on Broadway? Rocket Dog’s building is looking good on 9th and Broadway. I would love to see a mix of independent retailers and chains.

  5. Alan H says

    Even if Ross is just a “place holder” for this space for the next 10-15 years, I’m grateful that SOMEONE cared enough to reinvigorate this beautiful building.

  6. René Garcia says

    I for one am glad that Ross is taking a position in the Broadway market. i have toured many boutique operators of different types and they all all me the same, *It is a bit too frontier*. With Ross, Figaro, Angelo etc the landscape is now more appealing. If we discuss high and low I believe that there is a already a *high* and *low* clothing bifurcation. Skingraft etc all are very high (and amazing!!) and the fashion district is on the low end. This is a good addition to the mix!

  7. Eon (Commercial Real Estate Broker) says

    Ross’ sign is just naturally plain and unattractive in some sense. It’s going to spark a huge commercial interest on that street very soon though. Developers already know it’s a great place to invest but the skeptical ones are waiting it out a bit to see Ross’ success. It’s essentially a case study for them before they start investing.

  8. Ken Hall says

    Brigham, I would also think that being a national retailor, Ross will have evening hours, thus activating (and brighting up) another part of Broadway at night, which I think, is a really good thing.

    • Lawrence says

      Bolt Barbers should be very familiar with the word UpScale since it opened a location on Tony Melrose Avenue on the Westside.

  9. Andrew W. says

    The signage couldn’t be any more unsavory, but overall I can’t complain considering this timeless, gorgeous Art Deco building is getting a new lease on life, which is definitely something worth celebrating about for us who love and appreciate DTLA — there’s just so much beauty and amazing architecture around. And like some people here, I would have preferred something more “upscale” (the word of the day), but we can pontificate and debate all day whether Ross is the right/wrong retailer for this space. As downtown continues to evolve, we must recognize a building activated by pedestrians will surely beat a dusty, underused/vacant building any day of the week. A truly vibrant urban core contains a mixture of independent and chain retailers serving its diverse population.

  10. Topher says

    I agree with many of you that DTLA will never be Manhattan……. It will be BETTER! DTLA will be the NEW HOT SEXY CITY in the world.

      • topher says

        you guys are so funny….i’ve been there many times…i love NY. you guys need to give LA more faith….you will see…things don’t happen over nite…LA might be late in the game but its catching up.

    • JDRCRASHER says

      I have.

      And while I agree that DTLA won’t be “better” in the sense of what it has to offer of variety… i just get the feeling that Manhattan is a little overwhelming. I probably couldn’t see myself living there. Maybe Brooklyn or Queens…

      And this is coming from someone who adores city life; in fact at some point I’m hoping to live in DTLA for a little while. But after recently learning how to drive, I can see the upsides to it. And that’s why I’ve come to appreciate LA’s polycentric nature and how you can live a life with a commute centered around both the car and (gradually) the train.

      I’ve heard many compare LA with Tokyo, so that’s a place I sure as hell would like to visit.

  11. Helene Mochedlover says

    Remember when the Lake Avenue merchants complained because Ross Dress for Less would downgrade their territory ? Ha ! Now we have TJMax as well. More stores are closing, more opening, that’s life in the Big City !
    Pasadena is still a great place to live, and has everything necessary for the good life. Now that downtown LA is maturing, it too, must be a great place to live!!!

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