downtown los angeles, financial district

New Renderings of Downtown LA Macy’s Plaza Makeover into The Bloc Show Complete Transformation

New renderings were released today showing a completely transformed retail center for the complex once known as Macy's Plaza (Photo: The Bloc Downtown)

New renderings of The Bloc Downtown were released today showing a completely transformed retail center for the complex once known as Macy’s Plaza (Photo: The Bloc Downtown)

Everyone wants more retail options in Downtown LA. And more retail options we shall get. One of the most exciting redevelopment projects in Downtown LA will be the complete overhaul of Macy’s Plaza, which includes 2.4 million square feet of commercial space comprising a mix of retail, hotel, and office. The new $160 million makeover of Macy’s Plaza will be renamed The Bloc and will be redeveloped by its new owner The Ratkovich Company (they acquired the property back in May 2013 for $241 million).

The new renderings released today, now on The Bloc’s website, show a completely transformed retail center that actively engages 7th Street. The atrium has been removed making it into an outdoor center, and the escalators along with a new sprawling staircase leading into the lower level (where NYC’s Eataly is purportedly considering), have been relocated closer to the sidewalk providing easier access and helping to draw more pedestrians into the complex.

In addition, a second story retail level has been added in the renderings allowing for potentially larger retail tenants. Existing tenants that will be staying, such as Macy’s and Sheraton Hotel, have been revamped and are updated to current design standards. Macy’s will be updated to flagship status, according to sources, offering a higher quality selection of brand merchandising. Sheraton Hotel will be receiving a $40 million upgrade as well.

One of the most exciting new features about The Bloc, shown in a couple of renderings, are LA Metro subway signs located on the lower level. These Metro signs mean a direct pedestrian connection to the 7th/Metro subway station across the street from within the mall itself. Many urban and transit-oriented cities around the world (like New York, Tokyo, London, etc.) have subway entrances linking to shopping centers, etc. As I previously mentioned in an earlier post, Metro designed many of the subway stations with “knock out panels” that allow for future expansion of certain stations, and in this case, allowing for a direct pedestrian connection to The Bloc.

Construction on The Bloc will take about 2 years starting in early 2014 and completing in late 2015.

All renderings courtesy of The Bloc.

A corner view of 7th and Flower

A corner view of 7th and Flower show a possible new restaurant with outdoor seating

The escalators have been moved closer to the sidewalk allow for convenient and easier access into the complex

The escalators have been relocated closer to the sidewalk allowing for convenient and easier access into the complex

A view of the new second story retail added to the complex

A view of the new second story retail added to the complex

A view of the updated Macy's facade from the lower level

New escalators with direct access to Flower Street have been added where none currently exist

Outdoor seating areas have been added

Outdoor seating areas have been added

From the lower level, notice the METRO subway sign on the left allowing for direct pedestrian connection between The Bloc and 7th/Metro station across the street

On the lower level, notice the METRO subway sign (“M”) on the left allowing for direct pedestrian connection between The Bloc and 7th/Metro station across the street

What Macy’s Plaza looks like today

A view of Macy's Plaza today as it prepares for a $160 million makeover

A view of Macy’s Plaza today as it prepares for a $160 million makeover

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  1. Scott Williams says

    Looking good, I’m hoping there will be no smoking in the courtyard and a high end retail tenant such as Barneys NY or Saks.

    • Don’t count on Barney’s coming to DTLA anytime soon. Financially, they are on shakey ground.

  2. Dion says

    Excellent! much anticipated! Game changer in regards to retail for DT LA

  3. It looks great, I wonder if they are doing anything with that brick monstrosity on 8th Street between Hope and Flower.

    • Brandon says

      I doubt they do anything to the parking structure above Macy’s, however I am sure that there will be some street front upgrades to the Macy’s entrances on Hope & Flower, but because of the grade change I doubt that 8th St. will be anything more than a loading dock area.

      This is a section through the building:

  4. Karl says

    It worries me that they only show the seventh street side

  5. Martz Flats: is that the old wood building that was known as ‘The Grey Lady’ that stood at the southeast corner of 7th & Flower? Given the glorious facade of the Roosevelt Building across 7th, THIS will be one of the great outdoor spaces in western America.

  6. @cyfroice: simple, take the bricks off of the base of the department store and give all of that square footage over to L.A. artists. On whatever waterproof and ultra violet (light) stabilized substrate, what could Alexis (Patti Anne) Smith do for the Eighth Street frontage? What could Kent Twitchell do for the Flower Street frontage? And what could Lari Pittman do for the Hope Street frontage? The results could be a stellar point of destination for city residents and all sorts of visitors to Downtown Los Angeles.

    • William says

      Excellent suggestion, John. This idea would add an international uniqueness to the project.

  7. If Macy’s is staying, I hope they understand the standard they need to bring their current store up to. Expectation is high and if they can meet or exceed that expectation, everyone will win!!!

  8. Replacing the red brick with windows along the 7th street side makes the building seem a lot less imposing. I’d still like to see what they do with the Hope and Flower sides of the building, but this isn’t a bad start.

    8th street is probably a lost cause. Maybe they could at least put some art along the parking structure? Can’t think of any functional ways to improve it that wouldn’t double the project’s budget.

  9. Matt Mason says

    In addition to previous-mentioned improvements to the 8th St garage, I hope stores along Flower and Hope will be transparent and open directly to those streets. Great news regardless!

  10. Antonette DeVito says

    Keep opening up to the streets & the city. Thank you for getting rid of the atrium. Please, can they plant trees around the mall (if not in the ground, at least in large planters?).

    • Brandon says

      There are trees all around the property already. The real threat is that these mature trees will be taken out during construction and replaced with smaller ones.

  11. @my2cents. I’m pretty sure they have all ready stated that they will update Macy’s into one of their flagship stores, which there are very few of those in the country. I don’t have a link sorry.

  12. Overall I like this, although I’m really worried about that Flower St. side. Wonder why they didn’t show any of it. Anyways, I’m usually against these types of retail developments – they are like black holes when it comes to streetscape activity – look at the vermont/wilshire apartment building, the los angeles mall near city hall, and even 7th at fig to a certain extent. This however, looks to be highly activated, would hopefully have a direct connection to Metro, and if done right and as long as the immediate area is highly activated, this area can support this type of development. I’m guessing this general area will be getting a lot of the major retail names. I had kind of hoped for Broadway, but I’m thinking it’s not going to happen.

  13. Brandon says

    There are some floor plans on The Bloc web site that show the street level and ground level conceptual layouts. It looks like the office tower entrance on Flower will be closed and given over for retail frontage and the office lobby will be only accessible from the plaza. Similarly because of grade changes the ground floor anchor tenants will have an opportunity for street frontage on Hope & Flower streets. Currently there are Macy’s display windows in these locations, but these entrances go into the food court not as Macy’s is one level above. Check out the plans:

  14. GlennH says

    This won’t be a “flagship” macy*s, as there are no plans included in The Bloc design that include expansion of the square footage of the store—which is currently on the medium-to-small side compared to other outlets.

    macy*s has been struggling to maintain their existing legacy behmoth “flagship” stores in NYC, CHI, PHIL, and SF, so it makes sense that they would avoid diminishing returns by attempting to establish an extraordinarily large flagship store in DTLA.

    However, I did read that they are planning to include a “macy*s Visitor Center” in the remodeled DTLA store, which is a tourist-oriented feature of the flagships. This alone will be a welcome addition to DTLA. The Vistor’s Center typically offers exclusive in-store discounts to tourists, as well as discounts to other area attractions the store has partnered with.

  15. I know the gym downstairs need updated. I went once but it was too dirty for my taste. Looking forward to the transformation. Im up that way everyday and 7th St/Metro station is the place I come by at least a few times a day. Am excited to see the finished results. Ive been wanting them to do something with that building since I moved here.

  16. Vivian Ginyard says

    Living in the downtown Area….just walking distance from the BLOC…..I am excited about the new coming traffic……Please check me out on INSTAGRAM/VIVIANGINYARD…..I AM ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR HAIR EXTENSIONS AND HAIRREPLACEMENT NEEDS…..LICENSED……EXCITED!!

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