downtown los angeles, south park

Big Changes Coming to 11th/Hope in South Park in Downtown LA

A new mural and retail space added to the parking structure at 11th and Hope are just two of many exciting changes transforming this South Park intersection

A new mural and retail space added to the parking structure at 11th and Hope are just two of many exciting changes transforming this South Park intersection

Last year in March, we revealed some exciting plans about a parking structure at 11th and Hope that was getting the “mixed-use treatment.” The owner of the 7-story parking structure, Downtown LA-based PSP Investment Group, decided to do something pretty revolutionary for car-obsessed Los Angeles. PSP retrofitted the parking structure by replacing the first parking level facing Hope Street with new retail space totaling about 11,000 square feet. Basically, the very urban-conscious PSP went against the grain by taking away space reserved for cars and giving it back to people. A smart move given that the new retail space will eventually generate more pedestrian activity, adding a new spark of life to an otherwise very dead block.

But it doesn’t stop there. Some other really exciting changes are happening in various stages of development at 11th and Hope that will help further activate this intersection with new found life. In addition to the new retail space, PSP collaborated with the South Park BID and Do Art Foundation to commission local LA artist duo devNgosha to paint the entire facade of the 7-story parking structure — both along 11th Street and Hope Street — with a new mural comprised of fanciful “characters on the move” inspired by the stop motion sequence with motion picture projection. The new mural started work in early December and wrapped up earlier this month.

Another exciting change will be the addition of a new parklet, which will be the first one in South Park and only the third one in Downtown LA (the first two parklets were installed two years ago on Spring Street in the Historic Core). According to LADOT’s People St program, parklets introduce new streetscape features such as seating, planting, bicycle parking, or elements of play, and ultimately, encourage pedestrian activity. The new one coming to South Park will be positioned directly in front of the corner restaurant Briks on Hope Street. The South Park BID in its effort to activate the community has sponsored the parklet and will be maintaining it once it is installed. Currently, they are finalizing construction documents and other formalities with LADOT and will be launching the parklet later this year.

Rendering of a new parklet coming to 11th and Hope sponsored by the South Park BID

Rendering of a new parklet coming to 11th and Hope sponsored by the South Park BID

Two other exciting developments loom on the horizon for 11th and Hope. One, the historic Desmond building (catercorner to the parking structure) continues with construction upgrades that will renovate and bring the 1916 structure up to code as it prepares to become the new 82,000 square foot headquarters for AEG Live and AXS Ticketing, which is projected to add over 500 employees to the block where very few office workers currently exist. To me, that also means 500 hungry mouths to feed during lunch time that will help boost and attract more dining options to the immediate area.

Lastly, the corner retail space at Luma that has been vacant ever since the luxury condo high-rise was completed in 2007 will finally be activated when a new restaurant opens in the space later this year. With a soaring high exposed concrete ceiling, the still unnamed new eatery will strive to transform the space into a welcoming and casual neighborhood gathering spot “with a new food and drink escape complete with a few twists and surprises” according the restaurant’s co-owners film producer Tony Frere and destination developer Greg Schumann who have also teamed up with Dave, Jamie and Jonny Whitton (Villains Tavern, Bow and Truss, Sunset Marquis).

In case you haven’t noticed lately, the rest of South Park is really on fire. It’s like one massive construction site with a bunch of big holes in the ground (foundations being dug) where dead zone parking lots once ruled as king. A bottleneck of projects stalled from the last Great Recession are now bursting out of the seams, finally. Massive mega developments like Metropolis and Fig Central — once thought impossible during the recession — along with a slew of other mixed-use projects from developers like Hanover, Astani, and Trumark Urban are now actively under construction pointing to an exciting new future for South Park that’s vibrant and livable.

11,000 square feet of retail has been added to this parking structure, which will be lined with new eateries

11,000 square feet of retail has been added to this parking structure, which will be lined with new eateries

A new fanciful mural by artist duo devNgosha has given new life to a once drab parking structure

A new fanciful mural by artist duo devNgosha has given new life to a once drab parking structure

A closer view of the devNgosha mural with its stop motion inspired sequence of characters

A closer view of the devNgosha mural with its stop motion inspired sequence of characters

The glassy Luma tower will soon gain a new corner neighborhood restaurant

The glassy Luma tower will soon gain a new corner neighborhood restaurant

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18 Comments

  1. I freaking love the art on this structure. I know it’s pretty controversial in this community, but it reminds me of 80’s street art that I adored as a kid. So, yeah, I’m sure we’ll get a few people bashing it in this thread… I know a lot of people don’t like it, but I think it looks great and it compliments the art on the side of Flower Street Lofts as well.

  2. It’s a great picture of a block in transition. It definitely goes to show that a few thoughtful changes can go a long way to liven up a former dead zone.

  3. Graf Simmons says

    Devon Gosha crushing this structure so beautifully. Need more fresh and exciting murals like this sprinkled throughout downtown that won’t get buffed by the city. I heeavily condone this type of art and retail and restaurant development. South Park is getting cooler!

  4. Sebastian says

    The parklets become eye sores, because they are not being used properly. Who wants to work out in a parklet come on now. The Parklets should be used to for dining tables from the restaurant in front of it, if not they will become eye sores with homeless people sleeping on the benches.

  5. corner soul says

    Very cool!

    Downtown LA has a lot of hulking parking structures that could be better integrated into the community by simply adding some small storefronts facing the street.

    And I would assume it’s more profitable for the owners of these garages over the longterm (it’s certainly better for the local economy to have more foot traffic.)

    I’d love to see the city adopt some sort of zoning/tax incentive to push for more of this. Sounds like a job for Huizar!

  6. E Thompson says

    I am also worried about the parklet. If the 2 on Spring St. are any indication as to how the city or BID plans to maintain the parklet, we are in trouble. I mean, how long has it been since the one was hit by the drunk driver? It is still a complete mess over there. I like all of the improvements, just not sure if a parklet there is the right thing for our neighborhood.

  7. Setta El Dabe says

    i live in South Park and am excited for all the positive changes happening around here. The parking lot you mentioned in your article is much less an eyesore now, a good move by the landlords. A parklet in front of Briks is not a good idea though. It will certainly turn into an eyesore. I really have no desire or intent to sit In a 20 by 5 parking space in the street No thank you to that, doesn’t seem safe nor welcoming.

  8. jonjones says

    The parking garage art, if you can call it art, is so ugly, looks like graffiti. The parklette will get smashed by a drunk driver and who in the HELL let psp cut down all the beautiful, centuty old trees that lined the street? Chopped down without a thought. Seems like these idiot owners need to get their eyes checked. Maybe Oliver people’s, lens crafters or warby parker will move into one of these shoebox sized retail locations. Psp ruined what could have been a nice addition to the neighborhood. Don’t be fooled people.

  9. RWags says

    Jon. You’re spot on. At least two of us get it. Thought this bum Huizar was trying to clean up South Park, not tying to bring it to its knees. Vote for the other guy. That’s my endorsement.

    • So because PSP investments cut down those overgrown trees you’re gonna vote for Molina??? Enjoy your parking lots. Hope you don’t have a vote.

  10. jonjones says

    Thanks rwags. Let’s not do drinks at briks or that other dump rocket ship. I’ll be in church on Sunday praying that the clowns who leased that corner spot in Luma can make a decent go of a restaurant. What about that crap box chocolate fried chicken place? Already out because the concept was soooo awful not to mention the food noone tried. Puhleez!!!! It’s not that hard. But somehow people love to overthink simplicity.

  11. Been watching the mural go up and I never thought I would say I actually like a parking structure, but I love that they were able to liven it up without having to do much else (there’s enough construction going on around here, not that I’m complaining). Love the art and how it makes South Park look less “stuffy.” Hopefully the parklet will be better maintained than the ones on Spring St since the BID is in charge of it– they’ve been doing a pretty great job in the neighborhood so far.

    The problem with huge old trees is that they block the streetlights and make the sidewalks dark and and uninviting at night. Can’t depend on the City to trim regularly, so I’d rather have well-lit sidewalks.

    Hoping all this development will soon bring interesting, lasting retail and restaurants. We’ve had a few gems but since we’re on the edge of development, there hasn’t been enough foot traffic to sustain them.

    Point of clarification about the Luma corner retail space though– for a short while in 2009 it was an art gallery, but yes, has been pretty much vacant otherwise.

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  13. The mural is so ugly, I hope they are able to wash it out & come up with one that would fit that space, It doesn’t work ,

  14. ELTINDTLA says

    Looks like the city has started work on the “parklet” this morning. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for a better design than the Spring street versions.

  15. I totally envision this side of Hope Street becoming a “tony” neighborhood alongside the treelined boulevard…from 8th St. to Washington St.! I envision boutiques, restaurants, clubs and bars, and community nesting places like you’ll find in Larchmont, and West Hollywood!

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