Downtown LA, an urban center still starved of various shopping options and other retail amenities, has been eagerly and anxiously awaiting for the completion of The Bloc. The massive $180 million remodeling project, which sits squarely in the middle of the bustling Financial District, has been delayed for almost a year (it was “supposed to be” done last November). Even so, the project has slowly started to come to life with the recent opening of the interior courtyard (once covered by an ugly atrium) and the beautiful makeovers inside Macy’s and the newly upgraded Sheraton Grand Hotel. In addition, it’s exciting to see that one of the shopping center’s original tenants, LA Fitness, has also relocated its once tired space into a brand new one that reflects the new downtown.
After about a year of construction build-out that started in early 2015, the brand new LA Fitness opened its doors last month in June relocating from its previous location near the front of The Bloc to a much larger space adjacent to the Macy’s department store in the back of The Bloc. The new three-story gym now spans 31,000 square feet of workout and training space compared to its former smaller digs at 22,000 square feet. Upgrading to a much bigger space allowed for the exciting addition of a new swimming lap pool now located on the gym’s lower basement level, which also includes cycling and group fitness classes.
Although the main entrance to LA Fitness is located within the interior portion of the shopping center (right next to the Macy’s lower entrance), the gym does have expansive windows that face Flower Street on the main street level that has helped enliven The Bloc’s exterior facade with more transparent human activity (basically people doing cardio on machines) compared to the former impenetrable brick walls that once defined the original Macy’s Plaza. Further helping with the street activation along Flower was the opening of the new USPS post office in April of this year.
The opening of the new LA Fitness is only one of many more businesses that are planning to open at The Bloc including Alamo Drafthouse and Davio’s Steakhouse. Even though it’s taking “forever” to complete, I am still so grateful that The Ratkovich Company took this massive project on as the former Macy’s Plaza fortress was just absolutely unacceptable in a revitalizing DTLA.
LA Fitness is open Monday thru Thursday 5 am to 11 pm, Friday 5 am to 10 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 8 pm. Hours may change once the entire shopping center is fully open next year.