Author Archives: Brigham Yen

Upscale Men’s Retail Shop, Wittmore, Opens in Downtown LA Arts District

Wittmore is now open at One Santa Fe in Downtown LA's up and coming Arts District selling unique men's clothing and accessories (Photo: Wittmore)

Wittmore is now open at One Santa Fe in Downtown LA’s up and coming Arts District selling unique men’s clothing and accessories (Photo: Wittmore)

After years of delays and construction, it’s so good to see One Santa Fe filling up not only the 438 apartments upstairs with new residents but also the retail spaces downstairs on the ground level. The quarter-mile long Michael Maltzan-designed project sitting along the train tracks by the LA River on the eastern edge of Downtown LA’s Arts District is finally opening its first new businesses providing a glimpse into the exciting new shops and restaurants (a total of 25 stores) coming to this massive mixed-use project. In late March, the very first new business to open was popular vegan eatery Cafe Gratitude (you can read our review here). And now, upscale men’s boutique Wittmore soft opened just last Friday becoming One Santa Fe’s first new fashion retailer to open.

Continue reading

Starbucks Coming to Title Guarantee at Pershing Square in Downtown LA

A new Starbucks is coming soon to the ground floor of the historic 1930 Title Guarantee Building at 5th/Hill in Downtown LA

A new Starbucks is coming soon to the ground floor of the historic 1930 Title Guarantee Building at 5th/Hill in Downtown LA

One of Downtown LA’s more stubborn hot spots surrounding the Pershing Square subway portal replete with loitering and other illicit activities may finally get just a little less unsavory — at least that’s what we’re all hoping for. The Title Guarantee Building at 5th and Hill — an adaptive reuse project completed in 2008 with 74 lofts for rent — will be getting a brand new Starbucks taking over its ground floor leasing office catercorner to the problematic subway portal. Construction on the new Seattle coffee chain started just this past Monday according to the building’s leasing agent I spoke to. For reference, the leasing office has been relocated to the 12th floor of the Title Guarantee.

Continue reading

Nice Cream to Bring Gelato Goodness to The Bloc in Downtown LA

Nice Cream will be scooping organic gelato and sorbet (made fresh daily) at The Bloc in Downtown LA

Nice Cream will be scooping organic gelato and sorbet (made fresh daily) at The Bloc in Downtown LA

N’ice Cream, a growing local indie chain with locations mainly on the Westside, has signed on at The Bloc in Downtown LA. Already in other hot LA destinations like Santa Monica Place and Abbot Kinney in Venice, N’ice Cream will be introducing their brand new soft serve concept with freshly-made organic gelato and sorbet topped off with their hand-crafted toppings. The new dessert eatery will take over a 700 square foot location on the lower level adjacent to other exciting eateries and shops coming to the shopping center.

Continue reading

New Bunker Hill Crosswalk Connects The Broad with MOCA in Downtown LA

A new crosswalk has been installed on Grand Ave connecting The Broad and MOCA on Bunker Hill

A new crosswalk has been installed on Grand Ave connecting The Broad and MOCA on Bunker Hill

One of the most anticipated new projects opening later this year in Downtown LA is The Broad contemporary art museum on Bunker Hill, which will house the over 2,000-piece permanent art collection belonging to billionaire Eli Broad. As part of the infrastructural improvements to the area and to prepare for the grand opening of the museum slated for Sept 20, a new crosswalk on Grand Ave was installed in early May approximately mid-block between 2nd and 3rd Street.

Continue reading

LAPD’s Backward “Jaywalking Stings” May Finally Be Abolished

The LAPD has been targeting pedestrians with $200 jaywalking tickets in a city that should be ecstatic that pedestrians now roam again in car-obsessed Los Angeles

The LAPD has been targeting pedestrians with $200 jaywalking tickets in a city that should be ecstatic that pedestrians now roam again in car-obsessed Los Angeles

As someone who is an ardent and staunch supporter of making our car-obsessed city more pedestrian oriented, I am truly uplifted to see that our city government — specifically Councilmen Mike Bonin and Jose Huizar — is finally stepping in to address the absolutely asinine “jaywalking” tickets the LAPD has been shamelessly handing out to unsuspecting pedestrians throughout Downtown LA (and other parts of LA like Koreatown) despite huge public outcry over the years. Even more egregious, these suburban-minded LAPD cops will actually set up sting operations, frequently I might add, at our busiest intersections like 7th/Figueroa during the crowded lunch rush waiting like wolves to slap anyone who steps into the crosswalk after the countdown timer begins with an unforgiving $200 ticket.

Ka-ching.

Continue reading

City Athletix Wants to Be Your Affordable Upscale Gym in Downtown LA

A new state-of-the-art gym called City Athletix is now open in the Financial District in Downtown LA

A new state-of-the-art gym called City Athletix is now open in the Financial District in Downtown LA

When it comes to gyms, the Financial District in Downtown LA is definitely the center of it all. If you appreciate options on where to work out, then you’re in luck. You have all the major chains like Equinox, Gold’s, 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, and private unique clubs like LA Athletic Club and the Jonathan Club. Now, add another one to the mix, this time a completely independent brand called City Athletix that strives to be the next best gym in Downtown LA that offers an upscale experience at an affordable price.

Continue reading

Now Open: Pitchoun! Brings Authentic French Bakery to Downtown LA

New French bakery cafe Pitchoun! is now open located on Olive Street across from Pershing Square

New French bakery cafe Pitchoun! is now open located on Olive Street across from Pershing Square

Opening this past Friday, Pitchoun! is an exciting new French bakery cafe that brings freshly baked baguettes and croissants to Downtown LA’s Pershing Square. Located along Olive Street at the wonderfully restored PacMutual Building, customers are first greeted by an eye-catching outdoor patio filled with bright orange tables and chairs beckoning customers to sit outside. Upon entering the eatery, you are immediately transported to an intimate space somewhere in Paris.

Continue reading

The Emerson: Redefining Luxury Apartment Living in Downtown LA

The Emerson is Downtown LA's newest luxury apartment tower now ready for move-ins (Photo: The Emerson)

The Emerson is Downtown LA’s newest luxury apartment tower now ready for move-ins (Photo: The Emerson)

Downtown LA’s newest luxury rental building, The Emerson, developed by Related California is setting a new benchmark for apartment living in the city’s cultural center. With stunning interiors designed by celebrated design firm Marmol Radziner, The Emerson brings simple elegance and superb interiors to the DTLA apartment landscape. Rising 20 stories high with residences ranging in size from studios to one and two-bedroom layouts, The Emerson offers an unparalleled level of services and amenities.

Continue reading

Approved: New Metro Pedestrian Tunnel Linking The Bloc in Downtown LA

A "knock out panel" (seen where the illuminated maps are) will be taken out to make way for a new pedestrian tunnel linking to The Bloc across 7th Street

A “knock out panel” (seen where the illuminated maps are) will be taken out to make way for a new pedestrian tunnel linking to The Bloc across 7th Street

An exciting new pedestrian tunnel linking LA’s busiest subway station 7th Street/Metro Center with The Bloc in Downtown LA was approved today by Metro’s Board of Directors. The Board adopted Metro’s Planning and Program Committee’s formal recommendation presented in a prior meeting that took place recently on April 15 to authorize the funding and approval of “The Bloc/Metro Connection.” The project entails a new 12-foot tunnel underneath 7th Street that will allow transit riders to directly access The Bloc without having to come up to the street level and vice versa.

Continue reading

Another Boutique Hotel Coming to 7th Street in Downtown LA

The historic Foreman & Clark building at 7th/Hill, currently a jewelry mart, is slated to become a new boutique hotel (Photo: Hunter Kerhart Photography)

The historic Foreman & Clark building at 7th/Hill, currently a jewelry mart, is slated to become a new boutique hotel (Photo: Hunter Kerhart Photography)

Just last week, we were treated to the wonderful news that the gorgeous-but-dilapidated Giannini Building at 7th and Olive was snapped up by NY hotel developer Sydell Group to be converted to a high-end boutique hotel most likely under their NoMad brand. Now, prepare for this. Another upscale boutique hotel is currently in the early stages of development on 7th Street just one block east from the Giannini.

Continue reading

Historic Giannini Building to Become Posh Boutique Hotel in Downtown LA

The historic 1923 Giannini Building on 7th Street, once the LA headquarters for Bank of Italy, which ultimately became Bank of America, will be converted to a posh boutique hotel

The historic 1923 Giannini Building on 7th Street, once the LA headquarters for Bank of Italy, which ultimately became Bank of America, will be converted to a posh boutique hotel

This is huge! According to the LA Times, the Giannini Building at 7th and Olive was just purchased by NY-based hotel developer Sydell Group, which is also currently converting the Commercial Exchange a block south at 8th and Olive into the trendy hostel Freehand. The news of the Chetrit Group selling this amazing 12-story historic edifice for $39 million to one of New York’s best boutique hotel developers — they opened The Line here in Koreatown, for instance — is especially significant given the building’s strategic location along 7th Street.

Continue reading

Now Open: CoCo Fresh Brings Boba Milk Tea to South Park in Downtown LA

CoCo Fresh is now open at 11th/Hope in South Park offering a large variety of boba milk tea drinks

CoCo Fresh is now open at 11th/Hope in South Park offering a large variety of boba milk tea drinks

Boba fans in South Park rejoice! The popular Taiwanese drink is now serving at CoCo Fresh (announced in February), which soft opened yesterday on Tuesday near 11th and Hope just a couple blocks east from Staples Center. Billed as the largest boba chain in the world with over 1,900 locations from Asia to South Africa, London to the Philippines and now Los Angeles, CoCo Fresh offers a wide variety of drinks to choose from like jasmine or taro milk tea to mango or passion fruit green tea (and boba is optional, although I highly recommend it!). Other types of drinks are available as well including fresh fruit juice, slush, and yogurt.

Continue reading

Renderings Revealed: Shenzhen Hazens’ Flagship $700M Project in Downtown LA

Renderings of Shenzhen Hazens' new massive $700 million project shows three new towers across from LA Live (Photo: Shenzhen Hazens)

Renderings of Shenzhen Hazens’ new massive $700 million project shows three new towers across from LA Live (Photo: Shenzhen Hazens)

Metropolis and Fig Central — both a pretty $1 billion a piece — aren’t the only massive Chinese developments that will redefine South Park in Downtown LA in the coming years. Renderings for another massive $700 million development in South Park by a third Chinese developer have been revealed showing three beautiful towers designed by architect firm Gensler. Last summer, Shenzhen Hazens purchased the Luxe Hotel at 1020 S Figueroa across from LA Live and two adjacent parcels north and south of the hotel forming a large contiguous L-shape development site. The Shenzhen, China-based developer plans to redevelop the entire site (including the removal of the Luxe Hotel building) with a brand new mixed-use mega project that will include 650 luxury condos, a 250-room hotel, and 80,000 square feet of commercial retail space with a pedestrian plaza along Figueroa.

Continue reading

Aussie Fast-Fashion BNKR Opening First US Store in Downtown LA

Aussie fast fashion label BNKR will be debuting their first US location in Downtown LA this year at 9th/Broadway

Aussie fast fashion label BNKR will be debuting their first US location in Downtown LA this year at 9th/Broadway

As we wait eagerly for high-end French label A.P.C. to open (hopefully) later this month near 9th and Broadway, we have yet another fashion forward brand from Australia that will be making this hot intersection into their new US flagship debut that is sure to make a lot of women very happy. First reported on Apparel News, the fast-fashion Aussie brand BNKR (pronounced “bunker”) will be opening their very first brick and mortar store outside of their only other store in Adelaide, Australia here in Downtown LA at the historic 1916 Blackstone building, which was a former department store converted to 82 lofts in 2010.

Continue reading

The Emerson: Redefining Luxury Apartment Living in Downtown LA

The Emerson is Downtown LA's newest luxury apartment tower now ready for move-ins (Photo: The Emerson)

The Emerson is Downtown LA’s newest luxury apartment tower now ready for move-ins (Photo: The Emerson)

Downtown LA’s newest luxury rental building, The Emerson, developed by Related California is setting a new benchmark for apartment living in the city’s cultural center. With stunning interiors designed by celebrated design firm Marmol Radziner, The Emerson brings simple elegance and superb interiors to the DTLA apartment landscape. Rising 20 stories high with residences ranging in size from studios to one and two-bedroom layouts, The Emerson offers an unparalleled level of services and amenities.

Continue reading