With over 250 locations in the US, you’ve probably heard of Pure Barre before (there are 17 locations in the LA metro). For those who haven’t, it’s a fitness studio offering daily classes that’s meant to whip you into tiptop shape using a mix of exercise techniques inspired by pilates, yoga, and dance. A brand new Pure Barre just opened last month in Downtown LA on Olive Street near 8th and it’s another strong sign that downtown is maturing into an actual livable community filling up with a diverse range of services and amenities for its growing population.
Author Archives: Brigham Yen
A couple weeks ago, we talked about the exciting changes coming to 11th and Hope, which included the retrofit of an existing parking structure by replacing the first level parking with 11,000 square feet of retail space — a revolutionary move for car-obsessed Los Angeles. Now, the first business to open in this new retail addition will be CoCo Fresh, which offers a wide variety of boba drinks (sometimes referred to as bubble tea) including favorites like the original milk tea or the aromatic passion fruit.
In the increasingly crowded landscape of Downtown LA’s development boom, Fig Central across from Staples Center, having recently broken ground, will still stand out as one of the hugest game changing projects to date in Downtown LA. When completed several years from now, this truly massive $1 billion project on 4.6 acres of land will catapult South Park to a whole new level of urbanization. Three skyline-redefining towers designed by RTKL (shown in these new renderings released) will rise as part of the project — one 49-story tower and two 40-story twin towers — adding 504 new luxury for sale units to downtown’s condo-starved housing stock.
Just over two years ago, one of the largest residential mixed-use projects in Downtown LA broke ground at 8th and Grand in the Financial District adjacent to Bottega Louie. Now aptly named Eighth & Grand (instead of “G8″), the seven story, 700-unit development by San Francisco-based Carmel Partners is close to finishing their first phase out of potentially three, which will allow new residents to move in as soon as this summer with the project fully completed by early next year. The project has gone up relatively fast for such a large building by implementing the proprietary Conxtech construction technique using a steel frame “chassis based modular building system.” Due to the increased strength of a steel framed structure, the facade is able to incorporate more glass windows as well as a 40-foot rooftop pool.
Last week, DTLA Rising revealed that the recently restored Rosslyn Hotel would be getting a new indie grocery store in a neighborhood still lacking in residential amenities. According to the building’s owner, SRO Housing Corporation, the new market will strive to be like a “mini Ralphs” where residents nearby in the Historic Core could get many of their grocery needs met, helping to make life more convenient. Now, more details have emerged including the grocery store’s name, which will be called “Village Market.” To be quite honest, I have a feeling the 3,200 square foot grocery store will be more similar to the 3,000 square foot Fresh & Easy Express concept (there’s one by USC) than a Ralphs. In any case, Village Market will include meats, produce, and other sundries that will cater to an established residential population.
The upcoming election for Los Angeles City Council District 14 presents voters with a stark choice about the future of Downtown LA. The leading candidates, incumbent José Huizar and former County Supervisor Gloria Molina, have very different views of what a downtown is and what it means. To frame the candidates’ positions, it’s necessary to first understand why DTLA, or any large city’s downtown, is important. It’s a lesson most of the country forgot after World War II and has had to painfully relearn, but here it is: a downtown isn’t just a plot of land in the city center, it’s a place of practical and symbolic importance. Downtown matters.
Last year in March, we revealed some exciting plans about a parking structure at 11th and Hope that was getting the “mixed-use treatment.” The owner of the 7-story parking structure, Downtown LA-based PSP Investment Group, decided to do something pretty revolutionary for car-obsessed Los Angeles. PSP retrofitted the parking structure by replacing the first parking level facing Hope Street with new retail space totaling about 11,000 square feet. Basically, the very urban-conscious PSP went against the grain by taking away space reserved for cars and giving it back to people. A smart move given that the new retail space will eventually generate more pedestrian activity, adding a new spark of life to an otherwise very dead block.
Speaking of new markets coming to Downtown LA (like the exciting news from last week regarding a giant Whole Foods opening in November of this year), another smaller local indie market is slated for the newly remodeled Rosslyn Hotel at 5th and Main in Downtown LA’s Historic Core. The still-unnamed market will be going into a 3,200 square foot corner space that used to be Bert Green Fine Art who is credited for founding in 2004 the popular DTLA monthly Art Walk. According to the building owner SRO Housing Corporation — which just recently completed a full restoration of the 13-story beaux arts historic gem — the new market will strive to be like a “mini Ralphs,” or basically a neighborhood grocery store carrying pretty much a little bit of everything you would need like cereal, fresh produce, and even meats.
Earlier today, a press conference announcing the opening date for Whole Foods was held across the street, catercorner from the future grocery store site at 8th and Grand in Downtown LA. The event was put on by Councilman Huizar and reps from Whole Foods who confirmed the current targeted opening date of Nov 4, 2015, which will be a Wednesday. The new 41,000 square foot grocery store will include a restaurant and bar, a coffee bar, and outdoor patio seating that will wrap around the entire corner of 8th and Grand. The front entrance will be located toward the middle of the block on the Grand Ave side just a bit south from Bottega Louie. In addition, the store sits underneath 700 luxury rental units under construction called Eighth & Grand, which will also be opening in several phases over the next year. The developer of this project is Carmel Partners of San Francisco.
With so many new developments under construction in the Arts District, Downtown LA’s industrial chic community is about to get even hotter in the next few years. Adding to the fire is a new exciting retail project aptly named AT MATEO that just broke ground in mid-January last month. So aptly named because you can bet a lot of Angelenos will be “at Mateo” when this thing is finished in about two years. Purchased last summer for $32.5 million by a joint venture between ASB Real Estate Investments and local real estate firm Blatteis & Schnur, five large warehouses occupying a huge block bounded by Mateo and Palmetto will be converted into an open-air 130,000 square foot retail hub consisting of a major retail anchor, grocery store (I’ve heard they are courting the ever elusive Trader Joe’s), and numerous restaurants and retail shops. In addition, a 400-space parking structure will be incorporated into this $30 million redevelopment project.
With so many Chinese companies investing in strategic mega projects here in Downtown LA — Shanghai Greenland’s Metropolis; Beijing Oceanwide’s Fig Central; Shenzhen Hazens’ redevelopment of the Luxe Hotel site — it makes total sense that China’s main broadcast network, CCTV (accessible to a billion viewers worldwide), run an updated story about all this frenetic real estate activity here in LA’s rising urban center.
Reporter May Lee of CCTV America (based in Washington, DC) reports on the increasing number of Chinese investments in the U.S., and specifically focusing on the hot market here in Downtown LA with “no sign of slow down” yet.
Please enjoy the video above and check out the full story by clicking here.
In another truly momentous milestone for the revitalization of Broadway, new neon signs that were installed this past week were turned on for the first time — after at least four to five decades of being dark — during last night’s Night on Broadway event that attracted thousands of Angelenos who gathered downtown to celebrate the 7th Anniversary of Councilman Jose Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway effort. Just last Monday, DTLA Rising first reported that signage was being tested and installed on Clifton’s historic facade as a precursor to a very likely, and much-anticipated, grand opening later this year.
One of the most beautiful coffee spaces to open in Downtown LA, Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters has debuted their first Los Angeles location in the up-and-coming Fashion District with a soft opening earlier today. The 1,600 square foot cafe faces Spring Street with an expansive glass entrance set back within the historic Primrose Design Building allowing for a spectacular outdoor patio seating area that’s intimately tucked away and covered from wall-to-wall-to-ceiling with living green vegetation.
Sure you can get ramen in Little Tokyo (and lots of it), but the whole point about living downtown — in a walkable city center — is being able to have convenient access to a variety of different foods and services nearby. If you live/work in the Financial District or South Park, there really isn’t a variety of Asian food outside sushi. For example, there’s hardly any Chinese, and a bowl of pho (Vietnamese) doesn’t exist. For someone who grew up in the SGV who’s used to eating all that variety of good authentic Asian food, it’s been the hardest part for me living downtown not having easy access to that. So that’s why I’m so excited that a new Japanese eatery called 3rd Generation brings delicious ramen (with my favorite hot yummy pork-based broth) to the Financial District. It doesn’t encompass everything Asian obviously, but it’s a good start for this part of downtown.
Okay, this is incredible! For those of us who have wanted Broadway to return to its old former glory as LA’s main high street, there are some very interesting rumors that Gucci — yes the designer label found in the most tony addresses in the world — has been exploring Broadway for a new store location. Without outing anyone in particular, a source has come forward claiming that reps for Gucci have made an offer to take over an existing business but was turned away by the store owner. Amazingly, after this source told me, I have heard Gucci’s name pop up several times from different disparate sources, which means something could definitely be brewing on the down low.