downtown los angeles, historic core

Downtown LA’s Foreman & Clark Sold to Vancouver Developer for $52 Million

The historic Foreman & Clark at 7th and Hill was just sold for $52 million to a Vancouver developer

Onni Group is the first thing I think of when I hear “Vancouver developer” in the Downtown LA development scene (especially after they just added their beautiful 33-story Level tower at 9th and Olive to our growing DTLA skyline). However, a new Canadian player is coming into town. Bonnis Properties, also Vancouver-based, has just completed the acquisition of the historic Foreman & Clark building at 7th and Hill for a whopping $52 million ($353 a square foot) according to broker Derrick Moore of Avison Young who represented Bonnis Properties.

In June 2014, it was announced that one of the most prominent buildings in the shrinking Jewelry District, the 13-story Foreman & Clark was slated for residential conversion (named for the former department store that occupied the building in 1929 when it was built). Plans were submitted to the City of Los Angeles for 165 live work lofts and two restaurants and a bar.

The owner at the time, Dr. Kyung Ku Cho, who purchased the building in 2012, then decided after that he wanted to switch directions and go the hotel development route with rumors pointing to SBE’s Hyde Hotels last year as the possible operator. That obviously fell through when some claimed that Dr. Cho just couldn’t agree on a number with SBE’s owner Sam Nazarian.

Well, it’s time to put the tumultuous past behind us and look forward to a brighter future for this gorgeous Art Deco edifice, which has sat terribly underutilized for the last several decades in a dilapidated Jewelry District. Although more details will be coming soon, the initial statement coming out of Avison Young is that Bonnis Properties intends to pursue the original plan to restore and convert the building into residential units with restaurant/retail on the ground floor instead of going the hotel route.

This is wonderful news for those of us who want to see the Jewelry District continue to shrink and be replaced by high-quality developments that not only help clean up the seedy environment, but also bring in new exciting retailers and restaurants that will remain activated day and night, which will help reconnect the Historic Core with the Financial District and South Park.

You may also remember that the three-story “International Jewelry Mart” next door to the Foreman & Clark along 7th Street was also sold late last year to NY-based Atlas Capital for $14.7 million who also plans to repurpose the building.

Built in 1929, the Foreman & Clark sits at 7th and Hill the heart of Downtown LA (Photo: Avison Young)

Built in 1929, the Foreman & Clark sits at 7th and Hill the heart of Downtown LA (Photo: Avison Young)

15 Comments

  1. Best of luck. Always hearing about all these ambitious plans yet I’m hearing so much about a finished product. Everyone always talking about a revitalized DTLA but the progress seems so slow.

    • Have you even been Downtown recently?I n fact – have you ever been to DTLA? I just walked down 8th past four major projects one after another and they are the last empty lots or empty buildings on the south side of 8th from the freeway to Los Angeles Street. And the north side of the street only has one lot which doesn’t have any plans on it.

      And Los Angeles Street from the Civic Center to Olypmic will soon only have – one parking lot left on either side of the street. Every other parking lot for ten blocks is either under construction or about to go into construction. And both these streets were dead only a few years ago. And everywhere look when your’re walking in DTLA – you are never out of sight of new finished product

    • JDRCRASHER says

      Considering the mountains of cockamamie regulations and red tape facing developers in LA I’d say we’re doing pretty good (Hopefully that new ReCode:LA initiative will bring about much needed changes).

      But it’s the transit infrastructure expansion that’s taking FOREVER to implement.

  2. Christopher says

    It took many decades for DTLA–and Hollywood for that matter–to fall into disrepair. It can’t be rectified overnight. This is a grand old building and it certainly deserves a second life.

  3. bob devin jones says

    me parada
    to even suggest that the progress in DTLA “seems” so slow, shows the poverty of your vocabulary and the oh so typical yet very ill informed views about that area of los angeles… which is experiencing a splendid and well deserved renaissance

  4. Christopher Eaton says

    David Parada, put on your walking shoes and get out there. Block after block in every part of DTLA there are dozens and dozens of projects that have either just completed construction, are under construction (ground up and rehabs), or are about to commence construction. Take a copy of the LA Downtown News’ quarterly development issue, always accessible on their website at http://www.ladowntownnews.com, use it as a guide, and see for yourself.

  5. Christopher Eaton says

    Brigham, while I’m all for evolving the Jewelry District as a residential neighborhood, I’m still hoping that the City isn’t too nonchalant about the jewelry industry in DTLA and its displacement. It’s functioned for decades as a destination location for shoppers and trade from all over the county and country. While it may be in consolidation mode, it’s still providing too many important jobs and taxes for the city to simply leave to chance to where it is that these businesses are relocating. Close proximity between suppliers, makers and retail/trade locations is crucial.

  6. BobSonn says

    Its a smart move to switch this project from hotel back to residential. The hotel market Downtown will be tremendously over-built by 2018. We need more good resi projects like this one.
    That is the driver of the Downtown economy. Hotels are merely a follow-along until our Convention Center gets its focus straightened out…

  7. sebstian says

    There’s quite a lot of development, but my only concern is Downtown still has a major Homeless problem that they need to fix fast.

    • Exactly. Poverty, especially ultra concentrated poverty like Skid Row, breeds crime. Forming Skid Row was the biggest mistake Los Angeles County has ever made (with the supposed “containment policy”). Now, community leaders and residents alike (including many homeless and destitute individuals) are calling for the DECENTRALIZATION of Skid Row’s housing and services to be spread across the vast county as the ONLY real long term solution to this horribly entrenched problem that affects not just the new wealthier residents of DTLA, but also the very people who must suffer day in and day out in the worst possible conditions in the United States (a supposed “developed country”).

      This article about the rising violent crime in Skid Row from DT News is worrisome, and could it mean more violence is on the way?

      http://www.ladowntownnews.com/news/violent-attacks-in-skid-row-shock-community/article_4847ac18-f858-11e5-88eb-57fc9a14dc9c.html

    • bob devin jones says

      you are right re homeless concern and it requires that everyone in the community focus on the problem, however rehabilitating that marvelous building; in no way detracts from that effort

      • corner soul says

        Indeed… more tax revenue for the city = more resources for those living on the street.

      • I didn’t say rehabilitating this building would detract from the goal of resolving the homeless issue in downtown. In fact, it’s quite the opposite I believe. The more non-homeless that move into downtown, the higher the stakes become, which equals more pressure on our politicians to decentralize Skid Row.

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