Some very exciting news coming out of South Park that will help enliven the streets just a little bit more. Just two blocks from the Staples Center, an existing parking structure at 11th and Hope that currently houses two restaurants on the ground floor — Il Mare and Arashi Sushi — will be expanding its commercial retail space for lease by another 11,200 square feet. The 5-story parking structure with 598 spaces will be converting the ground level parking area along Hope Street into retail and restaurant space. Essentially, the entire perimeter of the parking structure will be wrapped with commercial spaces with a focus on adding new eateries. You lose a little bit of parking to benefit the growing community with neighborhood serving businesses that make living in Downtown LA enjoyable and convenient. I call that a win-win.
The owner of the parking structure, PSP Investment Group, is already building out plumbing and electrical infrastructure that will be attractive to businesses looking to open in South Park. When looking at the parking structure along Hope Street, the concrete columns that support the structure become the dividing lines between new stores that will open in the future. Each bay between the columns are 1,400 square feet large with a total of 8 spaces side-by-side that account for a combined 11,200 square feet. Of course the amount of stores could hypothetically be 8 separate businesses, but more likely, we’ll probably get several larger stores with each one taking possibly up to two or more bays.
The conversion project is driven by PSP Investment Group’s understanding of the Downtown LA urban market and its need for more ground level retail and restaurants to help activate and enliven the streets with more pedestrian activity. As discussed in an earlier post regarding a new “sexy” parking structure under construction in South Park by the Metropolis project, the need for parking is a necessary evil that even mature cities like SF and Chicago have to deal with. But every single parking structure downtown should strive to address the street with ground level retail that helps generate pedestrian activity making the community walkable. The fact that PSP is proactively doing this should be applauded and my hope is that more and more parking structures will be upgraded in the same way.
If you are a business looking to open in South Park and would like more info about this project, please feel free to contact me!