Wow that was fast! Only about a month since construction started, a brand new Starbucks opened last Friday on the ground floor of the Title Guarantee Building at 5th and Hill by Pershing Square. Another Starbucks you ask? Yes, but I still think there are two reasons to be excited about this even though it’s “just another Starbucks.” One, the new cafe gives everyday regular folks a way to interact with a beautiful historic building that’s been closed off for decades. Even though this 13-story historic beauty — topped by a stunning Art Deco crown — was converted into 74 lofts back in 2008, the ground floor had been sealed off to the public occupied by the building’s leasing office and a small fitness center. Now, with Starbucks replacing the leasing office and gym, even if you’re not a resident, you can still engage with the building like never before.
And that brings us to the second reason why this is an exciting development in the long marathon of cleaning up Downtown LA. Because Starbucks helps activate this corner with new investment and energy, it also helps toward the clean up of a still-sketchy intersection at 5th and Hill. Anecdotally, I have heard many residents of Title Guarantee complain how unpleasant it is for them to come downstairs just to walk their dog or go about their daily lives. It goes without saying that Starbucks won’t be the complete answer, but it’s still a significant addition to helping the corner feel safer for pedestrians walking in this area.
Current hours for Starbucks at 5th and Hill will be open from 4:30 am to 8 pm. Hopefully as the intersection continues to clean up, they can extend their hours later.