If you’ve ever been to Grand Central Terminal in NYC or Union Station in Washington DC, you’ll see that they’re not just homogeneous train stations but a dynamic destination filled with a wide range of shops and restaurants that attract both locals and tourists. (Have you experienced the beautiful Apple flagship store inside Grand Central Terminal before?) In fact, both stations are considered top tourist destinations in their respective cities. Over here in LA, it’s good to see that we’re finally starting to add businesses into our beautiful Union Station, which has been improving and becoming better and better almost every year.
Today was a very exciting day for urban advocates in Los Angeles! Transit accessibility and convenience went up a great notch with the opening of Metro’s first pedestrian tunnel that links the busy 7th/Metro Center subway station — actually the busiest station in Los Angeles — directly into a private commercial property, and in this case, the shopping center known as The Bloc.
Super exciting news for Downtown LA’s growing retail scene! One of the biggest names in fashion retail has committed to opening a new store in Downtown LA, which has been experiencing an explosion of new development not seen since the 1920s construction boom. I am so excited to announce that the very popular Nordstrom Rack has just finalized a lease to open their first downtown store at the FIGat7th shopping center located in the heart of the Financial District.
Back in June 2016, we announced that one of Downtown LA’s most successful independent retailers — the purveyor of fashion’s hottest trends and accessories, Brigade LA — was opening a brand new and exciting flagship location at LA Live in Downtown LA’s burgeoning South Park district. About a half a year later, Brigade LA has opened its new store adding to a growing mix of businesses coalescing around LA Live and the Staples Center.
DTLA is about to “eat mor chikin.” America’s most lucrative fast food restaurant chain is finally coming to Downtown LA opening in the heart of the Financial District. According to Business Insider, Chick-Fil-A generates the highest revenue per restaurant over any other fast food chain in the country. It’s also apparently the most popular fast food chain in the country, even surprisingly, besting the venerated In-N-Out Burger in recent customer survey rankings.
Back in June 2015, we reported the exciting news that Blue Bottle Coffee was coming to the Bradbury Building in Downtown LA, which would become its second DTLA location after the Arts District. Well fast forward a year and half later, and the popular third-wave coffee chain has finally opened at the corner of 3rd and Broadway signaling yet another strong sign that Broadway is actually, really turning a corner in its long-awaited revitalization.
Sneakerheads rejoice! The brand new Footaction with Nike Kicks Lounge opened today December 18 on Broadway in Downtown LA. The store coming to Downtown LA’s most significant historical street was announced this past summer in July while the store took only about 5 months to complete build out just in time for the holidays. What was previously a lower-end discount clothing store that still sadly defines much of Broadway today, has been transformed into a polished storefront that stands in complete contrast to most of its immediate surroundings near 8th and Broadway.
Not all exciting developments have to be large-scale mega projects (although what DTLA fan isn’t absolutely thrilled by all the recent high-rise proposals from South Park to the Civic Center to the Arts District?). For me, I am often just as excited by the smaller-scale urban developments happening on the ground level that’s focused on enhancing the pedestrian experience, and in this case, what’s happening underground. After speaking to two different Metro contractors onsite, they both have told me that the new Metro pedestrian tunnel linking the 7th/Metro Center subway station to The Bloc shopping center will be completed early next month!
Pet lovers rejoice! And since Downtown LA is chock-full of residents with their furry pets, there should be quite a few downtowners happy to see that Petco has finally opened their doors for business this past week selling everything a pet owner could possibly need. It’s also another sign that large chains, who once shunned downtown, are finally beginning to see Downtown LA as a viable and desirable location to open their stores in.
One of the most popular sandwich chains in America is FINALLY planning to open one here in Downtown LA! Ever since I tried Earl of Sandwich for the first time back in 2012 while visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, I’ve been a huge fan of their delicious Full Montagu packed with juicy and tender slices of roast beef and turkey on toasted wheat bread. Unfortunately, those Earl-sandwich cravings meant I’d have to drive all the way out to Downtown Disney in Anaheim just to get one (that’s been the only one in the LA metro area so far, although a brand new one just opened at Tom Bradley at LAX).
Wow, time sure does fly. I can’t believe it’s already been a year and half since DTLA Rising first announced that Karl Strauss — the local brewery founded in San Diego in 1989 — was opening its main Los Angeles flagship location here in Downtown LA (there’s another one in Universal City Walk). We’ve all been waiting eagerly for another eatery to activate a once desolate corner in the middle of Downtown LA’s Financial District. Well, the wait is finally over as Karl Strauss is now officially open for beer and foodie lovers alike.
A brand new $1.6 million park is now open in the burgeoning Arts District in Downtown LA. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Saturday, Nov 5, celebrating the exciting grand opening of a much needed outdoor gathering space for a rapidly growing urban community that’s seeing unprecedented growth in both residential and commercial developments. Everywhere you look is something new coming to the next corner. With all that rapid change, there’s no doubt the new Arts District Park will play a significant role in supporting that future growth making the community more livable and inviting.
The Arts District in DTLA is really starting to fill in very nicely now, picking up speed as a critical mass is finally beginning to form connecting a sprawling community that stretches from the 101 freeway in the north all the way down to almost the 10 freeway to the south. What was once mostly an industrial warehouse district has been transforming before our very eyes within the last few years into a vibrant urban neighborhood filled with new restaurants, stores, art galleries, and even office space with Warner Brothers and Hyperloop making their headquarters here. Over at 3rd and Garey, two new exciting stores have just recently opened that continue to help attract more people into one of DTLA’s hottest districts. Detroit’s Shinola and Portland’s Salt & Straw Ice Cream are now open for business!
Ramen fans rejoice! Another place to grab a hot yummy bowl of Japanese ramen is coming to the heart of Downtown LA’s Financial District. You might remember almost two years ago, I was super excited that 3rd Generation was the first eatery to bring a good attempt at authentic ramen to the Financial District (check out the slurping good pics here), and now we’re finally gonna get more than just one place to grab ramen here in the FiDi (never hurts to have more options I might add when it comes to variations of food).
Lots of activated retail spaces are one of the main keys to unlocking the full potential of any urban setting no matter where you are, and Downtown LA is no exception. If you want Downtown LA to succeed, you gotta have ground floor retail — everywhere. Think about it. Almost any vibrant urban center you visit that’s walkable and vibrant — whether that’s Manhattan, London, Madrid, or Tokyo — is usually filled to the brim with dense back-to-back retail and restaurants on the ground floor (and in Tokyo’s case on the upper and lower levels as well!). So for an ardent urban advocate like myself who yearns for LA to become truly walkable one day, I am constantly looking for signs that Downtown LA is maturing into a serious urban center. That’s why I’m so excited to see that 801 S Grand is adding that critical piece of the urban puzzle with an ongoing retail space expansion project that will transform this corner into a vibrant urban setting.