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.
Author Archives: Brigham Yen
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank goodness! We are finally getting a real urgent care here in Downtown LA. I can’t tell you how excited I am from personal experience as someone who had to leave downtown recently when I needed a reputable urgent care. I know, I know. It’s not a sexy bar or restaurant or even the next flagship retailer, but this should be just as exciting for people who understand that you cannot become a livable community here in Downtown LA without having basic services available to all residents. And one of those “must haves” in any established residential community is access to great health services. That’s why I’m very excited to announce that “DTLA Urgent Care” will be opening this year in northern South Park at 8th and Francisco St.
If you haven’t been to Union Station lately, you’re totally missing out! The grandest rail station on the west coast just got so much grander. The 76 year old Spanish Revival/Art Deco masterpiece recently underwent a much needed extensive restoration and upgrade as part of Union Station’s short and long-term master plan (that you can read all about on Metro’s official blog The Source). The short-term changes are pretty much completed now, which included not only restoring the station’s amazing architectural features — like the dozen magnificent 3000-pound bronze chandeliers that hang in the main waiting room and grand ticket concourse — but also upgrades like new beautiful signage and wayfinding signs, digital information screens that dramatically improve the transit users’ experience, and even bringing back an old fashioned shoe shine stand. And for Amtrak lovers, a new metropolitan lounge was introduced in late 2013 you have to check out.
It never gets old when we say South Park is truly on fire! Another massive mixed-use project called 1200 Figueroa is preparing to break ground very soon across the street from both Staples Center and the even more massive $1 billion Fig Central project. Talk about future synergy! A downtown resident sends in these great snap shots (below) taken yesterday from the Expo Line train as construction crew members were seen setting up barricades along the perimeter of the 2.7 acre project site. According to public records, the ground breaking will allow the project to begin foundation work (excavation and shoring), which also includes two parking levels underground.
Third wave coffee bar Barista Society soft opened today inside the beautifully renovated Union Station in Downtown LA — the transit hub of the west coast. Having gained a loyal following of coffee fanatics with his first location at Library Tower, which opened in May 2013, owner Charn Bak is now planning to ramp up more openings this year — potentially three more — starting with his second location here in the eastern wing of Union Station near the Red and Purple Line subway entrance and the Patsaouras Bus Plaza. The third location will be located at California Plaza with another fourth undisclosed location somewhere in the Financial District.
The 67-room boutique O-Hotel in South Park packs a lot of punch for its relatively small size. Not only is it home to disco bar Honeycut and D’Vine Wine Bar (both located in the basement), but it’s also home to the popular Bar & Kitchen restaurant housed in the hotel’s lobby helmed by Chef Vahan Tokmadjian. Construction started early last month in March on giving the restaurant a full facelift that will give it a stronger independent identity instead of being just a “hotel restaurant.” Expect not just a new look, but a new menu as well.
It was almost exactly a year ago when the $1 billion Metropolis project broke ground. For decades, the 6.3 acre site sat vacant as an ugly parking lot where, time and time again, failed attempts at developing the site perpetuated its anti-pedestrian scar on the urban landscape. Now, one can see the massive project under construction along the 110 freeway, rising at the northwestern edge of Downtown LA’s booming South Park district. New renderings provided by the developer, Greenland USA, has been released showing a more finalized idea of what the end product will look like.
Addressing some of the pent up demand for more condos in Downtown LA, SF-based Trumark Urban broke ground last week on a new condo tower just a stone’s throw from Staples Center and the new massive $1 billion Fig Central project, which also just started construction recently. Aptly named Ten50 for its location at 1050 S Grand Ave in burgeoning South Park, plans call for a 22-story tower with three subterranean levels for parking (totaling 25 floors) and 151 condos for sale. The amenity-rich building will strive to be “boutique style” according to the developer, obviously distinguishing itself from the other much larger projects in the immediate area, including the aforementioned Fig Central that will have over 500 condo units.
Third wave coffee has finally arrived in the heart of Downtown LA’s Financial District, which is currently dominated mostly by Starbucks, Starbucks, and a couple of Coffee Beans. (Okay, there is third-wave Barista Society at Library Tower, but that’s borderline Bunker Hill.) Close to all the action, the very popular Two Guns Espresso from Manhattan Beach will be opening soon at the base of the Figueroa at Wilshire tower — a 53-story skyscraper owned by Brookfield situated directly across the street from the highly anticipated Wilshire Grand.
Billed as the biggest construction project in USC’s history, the $650 million USC Village project broke ground last September and is now actively under construction on the north end of campus just a little over a mile south of Downtown LA. The 1.25 million square foot mixed-use development — including dorms for up to 2,700 students and lots of planned retail options — replaces University Village, which was a nondescript and dated retail complex built in the 1960s. Last year, the exciting announcement came that Trader Joe’s would be opening a 12,700 square foot market inside this new project, which will not only serve USC students but the larger neighborhood as well. Now, a reliable source tells us that City Target has signed a lease taking up the majority of retail space inside USC Village.