Broadway still has a long way to go before it reaches its full potential as the most amazing street in all of Los Angeles. What makes Broadway inherently special is the unique history and architecture that define the street. However, in order to fully appreciate its grandeur, Angelenos must be able to interact with the street in various practical ways including shopping, dining, and entertainment. That’s why I’m always excited when I learn of a new store that will draw more people to the street, creating relevancy that’s been missing for decades. The dream of fully activating Broadway will be getting another step closer as everyone’s favorite Vans store is planning to open here near 8th and Broadway.
Vans, one of the world’s most popular shoe brands, has recently signed a lease to occupy the entire ground floor retail space at the historic 1930 Singer Sewing Machine Building. According to a reliable source, this new flagship downtown store will be up to 8,000 square feet large (including a mezzanine level), which would make this one of the largest Vans stores in the country (if not the world). For reference, the flagship store that opened in London is 3,500 square feet large.
Located between Urban Outfitters (formerly the Rialto Theatre) and the Tower Theatre (where Apple was rumored to be opening), the 8-story Singer Sewing Building has been undergoing an adaptive-reuse conversion into seven luxury lofts where each unit (taking up the entire floor) will be up to 5,000-6,000 square feet large. According to the building owner, ANJAC Fashion Buildings, they are currently still undergoing seismic retrofitting, which means that the building could finally be habitable in 2018.
Vans opened its first store in Anaheim, CA in 1966 and grew successfully into a global brand by promoting the Southern California lifestyle of surfing and skating to the world. Today, the company does well over $2 billion in sales and is embraced not only by youthful skaters, but the trend-setting designer world. There are now over 600 stores worldwide.
Vans will join a growing mix of retailers along Broadway that is finally forming a critical mass that will be synergistic (that is to say, “a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects”) that will likely begin attracting more shoppers and more stores to open in Downtown LA. Vans in DTLA is slated to open in spring 2018.