downtown los angeles, fashion district, historic core
comments 11

Topaz: New Mixed-User Breaks Ground in Historic Core in Downtown LA

A rendering of Topaz as seen from Main Street with ground floor retail and corner/penthouse units having balconies (Photo: TSK)

A rendering of Topaz as seen from Main Street with ground floor retail and corner/penthouse units having balconies (Photo: TSK)

A rendering of Topaz on the Los Angeles Street side with a large "light curtain" seen in the center cutout of the building (Photo: TSK)

A rendering of Topaz on the Los Angeles Street side with a large “light curtain” seen in the center cutout of the building (Photo: TSK)

With the exception of the Medallion apartments at 4th/Main, there have been no ground-up market rate housing developments built in the Historic Core in Downtown LA. Pretty much all new lofts and condos in the Historic Core that have come on the market over the last decade have been conversion projects taking advantage of the adaptive reuse ordinance. All that’s about to change, however, as numerous high-rise projects have been proposed in the Historic Core that will be the next evolution of Downtown LA’s urban revitalization, filling in all those anti-pedestrian surface parking lots. We won’t have to wait too long for some action because the exciting new chapter for the Historic Core begins now with Topaz, a new mixed-user, that broke ground last Friday near 6th/Main.

Topaz replaces a surface parking lot that stretches from Main to Los Angeles Street adjacent to the historic Santa Fe Lofts. The mixed-use development will rise 7 stories and include 159 units for rent and a fairly large amount of commercial retail space on the ground floor totaling 23,000 square feet that will face both Main and Los Angeles. The market rate project will be developed by Jade Enterprises and designed by Downtown LA-based architect firm TSK (Tate Snyder Kimsey).

Topaz will add potentially 200 new residents to the block and fill in a large gaping hole along both Main and Los Angeles between 5th and 6th Street helping to activate the ground floor with future restaurants and shops that will open here once the project is completed in fall 2016. And also important to note is the fact that Topaz will add in a much needed balance of market rate housing to a block along Main Street dominated by SROs including the new Pershing Hotel Apartments currently under construction at 5th/Main less than a block away.

Renderings for Topaz were first released last year on Building LA.

A view looking north along Main Street with the Topaz mixed-user going up on the right hand side

A view looking north along Main Street with the Topaz mixed-user going up on the right hand side

Green construction fencing has gone up where Topaz broke ground late last week

Green construction fencing has gone up where Topaz broke ground late last week

11 Comments

  1. Thanks Brigham! Its really an exciting project for the neighborhood. I tried to reference this project over the weekend and couldn’t find it. Thanks again!

  2. Jason says

    Interesting. 23,000 sq. feet of commercial and retail? There are dozens of vacant commercial spaces on LA street directly adjacent this location (I live in Santa Fe Lofts). Should be interesting to see how the new build affects, impacts (improves?) the commercial business’ on that side.

  3. John G. says

    Another stumpy for a global city that has such a long history of sprawl. Looks like a good design but in the wrong location…

  4. Glad to see more development downtown and this has somewhat of a different, slightly more interesting look, but like Jason, I wonder how all the ground floor retail spaces in all of these new buildings will be able to survive, given the amount of empty ground floor retail space currently available. I feel bad for many of these businesses that have no patrons during the week and only a smattering on weekends and have seen several come and go already.

    Maybe there needs to be more commercial business downtown to activate these areas during the week.

  5. Jason says

    @cj

    It should be interesting. I have to wonder if the $/sq. foot prices in these new build projects is commiserate with the market value. The entire first floor of the Mercantile a block away has been empty all year (save for a pop-up shop or two), most of the retail at SF Lofts and all of the redeveloped spaces east on both Main and LA St. all have sat relatively vacant for the past year. From what I can see / understand in discussions with most retail owners, a lot of their business is online, while the brick and mortar locations serve more as a shipping / delivery location than sales floor. That said, it’s been a crazy year in the Historic Core!

  6. None of the vacant retail spaces on LA Street have the quantity of square footage and the quality of improvements this building has. I can think of multiple tenants that will be looking at this space.

  7. @ Jean-Luc

    I did indeed. Thanks!

    @brady westwater

    Do they sell sunglasses, women’s apparel from China or party supplies?

  8. I also understood that the renovation of the beautiful building on the corner of 5th and Main would have a lot of commercial space. (It appeared they were all built out when I walked by today.) Why would a business spending that kind of cheddar elect to have a LA Street storefront over 5th or Maine?

  9. I’ve lived at 6th and Main for 9 years; all I’ve ever really wanted is a Trader Joe’s within walking distance of my loft. I’d be beyond ecstatic if this building housed the first of what should someday be three or four TJ’s in DTLA. Not holding my breath, of course; just wishin’.

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